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Your Data Needs to Talk

ProData Computer Services RDB Connect offers remote access to non-i databases.


Spotlight Profile

Product: RDB Connect
Company: ProData Computer Services
Version: 2.0
URL: www.prodatacomputer.com
Overall Rating: 3.865

By now everyone is more than aware that systems consolidation onto one hardware platform via virtualization is not only where things have been headed, but also where things are now. The idea is that we’re to become one happy family, running multiple heterogeneous environments in the same hardware cabinet.

Well, frankly, the idea of running heterogeneous systems in the same IT shop is really not news to any of us; many have been doing it for a long time. The problems have been, how do we get all of these divergent database applications to be useful in a cohesive manner and talk to each other, or at least be queryable from a cross-platform perspective—which of course for us means from the IBM* Power* Systems running i perspective. In short, “I want to be able to talk to the world from my i server” has been the cry for a long time.

Several ways to do this have been engineered over the years, but what if we could do, oh, say, Oracle database SQL commands from the CL command line? Or better yet, embed full database functionality commands inside an RPG program? And do so with incredibly little learning curve and pain?

That little miracle tool exists. This month I examine RDB Connect from ProData Computer Services Inc. (www.prodatacomputer.com).

Installation

Installation was simple. I downloaded the product from ProData’s Web site and ran the install program on my PC. It did all of the work from there. Once it’s installed on the i platform, you must name and define each environment you want to work with. Absolutely simple. And it’s all clearly spelled out in the manual in case you don’t want to call tech support.

Ease of Use

The question here is, have you used SQL to any degree? The extent of your success on this product will be directly related to how fluent you are in SQL, as SQL is the driving method here. Several good books and manuals on SQL for i architecture are available, as are a lot of good sessions at the IBM Technical Conference (www.ibm.com/training/conf/us), COMMON (www.common.org) and a local user group near you (www.eserverusergroup.org).

But, even if you’re not an SQL guru, ProData tech support can help you through the minor learning curve here and get you functional on this product quickly. Helping with this learning curve are some excellent coding examples in RPG that are shipped with the product. It’s as simple as cut and paste.

Documentation

As I would expect from ProData, the documentation is very nicely done.

Certifiability

Everything I tried worked as I expected it to.

Don Rima has more than 20 years of experience with IBM midrange systems. Don can be reached at dr2@dlr2.net.



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