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Actian DataExchange Product Information

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DataExchange is the replication solution from Actian, designed to provide data portal solutions, data continuity solutions, and data synchronization solutions to users of the PSQL database products.

DataExchange installs a component to your database engine called the Replication Event Handler that captures all changes to all data files in your configured replication environment. These changes are stored in a set of data files that helps define your replication network. You can configure a single replication network for multiple databases and directories, or you can configure multiple replication networks so that each database or directory stands alone.

At specific intervals, which can be configured from continuous to monthly or anything in between, the Replication Engine reads the database for a list of all changes since the last synchronization. The compiled change list is then compressed and encrypted and finally sent to the target engine where they are applied to the target database.

Bundled with this product are tools to configure and maintain the replication network. A full suite of log files provides feedback on the state of the replication processes, and the system can be configured for proactive alerts via Email if the replication process is not able to complete within a given period of time.

The product line is divided into two "editions", named the Real-Time Backup Edition and the Data Synchronization Edition.

Real-Time Backup Edition

The Real-Time Backup Edition of DataExchange (RTBE) is specifically designed to provide companies with a low-cost, easy-to-install solution for fault tolerance on a primary database server. It is an ideal solution for building a hot-site that receives periodic updates to the database on a daily, hourly, or even continuous basis. This edition runs exclusively at the Btrieve layer and does not require DDF's. This edition is ideal for the following scenarios:

  • On-Site, Hot-Spare Server: Get the maximum uptime from your local LAN by replicating data to a local server. This scenario offers an extremely rapid recovery from a hardware failure of your primary database server. After such a failure, simply change a few application settings (or just the server name), and you're ready to rock!
  • Reporting Servers: Reporting servers are wonderful for large environments, since they can remove the CPU-intensive reporting processes from the primary database server during the day, when performance is a premium. Many companies copy the entire database from their primary to reporting server, but this can take hours for a large database. The DXSE can pump database changes to a reporting server on a set interval, as frequently (or infrequently) as you wish. Replicating daily may work for most environments on a reporting server, and it minimizes the amount of replication traffic and overhead. Some sites replicate twice daily to their reporting server, so that reports run after lunch will reflect that morning's changes. Finally, some sites replicate continuously to their reporting server, providing access to all of the most current and accurate data, but eliminating the overhead of reporting from the production server.
  • Off-Site Data Center: Threats ranging from natural disasters, disease, terrorism, theft, and internal sabotage can all cause problems for your business. Protect yourself by shipping the data off to your off-site location continuously through the day. If a problem occurs within the primary data center, you'll immediately have a known-good copy of the data ready to roll!

The RTBE package includes a single DataExchange license for use on only two servers (the primary and the backup). DataExchange 2.8 and previous versions provide a one-user license count for PSQL WorkGroup or Server (for the backup server) for management use. You can then use a batch file to place your permanent license from the primary server on standby for use on the secondary server. DataExchange 3.x and above only provide a single-user Workgroup Engine license ONLY. If the secondary server also needs to function as a backup server and you need it to match the product type on the active server, then you must purchase an additional PSQL Server license for the secondary machine as well.

Two core restrictions exist in the RTBE release: 1) Data synchronization is restricted to one-way replication only, and 2) The replication network is limited to only two database servers. If you need capabiltiies beyond this, please look at the SYNC edition instead.

For DataExchange v4 and older, the RTBE package is available in several different SKU's, for either a Workgroup Engine or for a Server Engine. The latter is further stratified by user count (6U, 10U, 20U, 50U, and Unlimited) which must meet or exceed your database engine user count. You can also get User Count Increase licenses for DX to exactly match your PSQL database license.

DataExchange v5 and above releases are available in only two license types -- Workgroup and Server -- simplifying licensing of this newer product.

Data Synchronization Edition

The Data Synchronization Edition of DataExchange (SYNC) is designed to provide companies a more flexible mechanism for distributing database updates between multiple servers or sites. It provides all the functionality and removes some of the restrictions of the Real-Time Backup Edition in that it allows for full, two-way replication between multiple sites, and it allows the piping of data to a secondary server for use as a web portal server. This edition is ideal for the following scenarios:

  • Tiered Hot Backup Configurations: The Data Synchronization edition can be configured to run a single-database backup, as described above with the Real-Time Backup Edition. However, it also offers the flexibility to replicate to multiple servers concurrently, locally and at remote sites, at different intervals. Thus, you can maintain BOTH an on-site hot-spare server AND an off-site copy of the data for optimal protection.
  • Web Portal Servers: Web servers also need updated data, but having this information accessible from outside of the enterprise firewall can be just asking for trouble, especially if the web server is ever compromised. Replicating the production data to a web server database engine provides access to your current data from the Internet while protecting your data assets. With the two-way SYNC solution, you can allow changes on the web site to replicate back into the primary database.
  • Multi-Site Databases: Although not all applications are compatible with multi-site updating, if you build such an app, DataExchange SYNC can replicate the data for you between sites, keeping everyone up to date. This is ideal for the custom software developer looking for an advanced solution.

The SYNC package includes a single DataExchange license for use on one server. Each server is licensed based on the user count in use on that server. Each additional server that will participate in the replication network (for any purpose) requires its own license that matches its database license as well. In addition, each server must also have a valid PSQL database engine license on it.

For DataExchange v4 and older, the SYNC package is available in several different SKU's, for either a Workgroup Engine or for a Server Engine. The latter is further stratified by user count (6U, 10U, 20U, 50U, and Unlimited) which must meet or exceed your database engine user count. You can also get User Count Increase licenses for DX to exactly match your PSQL database license.

DataExchange v5 and above releases are available in only two license types -- Workgroup and Server -- simplifying licensing of this newer product.

If you already have an RTBE installation and want to upgrade to a SYNC version at a later time, you can do this but with a significant charge, and you'll also need to purchase SYNC licenses for the other servers. (Due to the higher costs and licensing requirements, a SYNC deployment is approximately 4 times the cost of an RTBE deployment.)

Please note that the SQL-based replication has been discontinued from thus product, and ONLY the Btrieve-level replication is supported at this time. Contact Actian for details about additional deployment options.

Depending on the exact release of PSQL you are running, there are different versions of DataExchange available:

  • DataExchange v2.7 was supported on Pervasive.SQL V8 Windows Server database engines only. If you have Pervasive.SQL V8, you can NOT upgrade to 2.8 at this time -- you must upgrade to PSQLv9 first. This release became unsupported on December 31, 2006.
  • DataExchange v2.8 was supported on Pervasive PSQL v9.1 and newer server database engines on Windows servers only. (There is no DataExchange for Linux or NetWare.) This release became unsupported on October 1, 2010.
  • DataExchange v2.9 was supported on Pervasive PSQL v10.00, but ONLY as an upgrade from a PSQLv9 installation. (DataExchange v3.0 for new PSQLv10 installations was released with Service Pack 1.) This product worked with 32-bit versions of PSQLv10 only.
  • DataExchange v3.0 was released in August 2008 and ONLY worked on Pervasive PSQL Summit v10.10 and above. (It did NOT work on v10.00). This tool was supported on Windows 32-bit platforms ONLY. DXv3 did NOT work on a PSQLv10 64-bit engine. This release was discontinued by Pervasive Software on October 31, 2011.
  • DataExchange v4.0 was released in November 2010 and required Pervasive PSQL v11. It was discontinued by Pervasive Software on April 1, 2012. There was both a 32-bit and 64-bit implementation of this product, so you need to be sure about the bit level when you order. DataExchange v4 was ONLY available for Windows.
  • DataExchange v5.0 was released to add compatability with Actian PSQL Vx Server 11 as well as Actian PSQL v11. This version offers a per-database licensing (instead of per user), and your license key works with either 32-bit or 64-bit server engines. DataExchange v5 is ONLY available for Windows.
  • DataExchange v5.1 is designed for Actian PSQL Server v11 and PSQL Vx Server 11 for Service Pack 3 and newer. This new patch adds support for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, but it also removes the DataExchange Designer from the code, which could become an issue for some sites.
  • DataExchange v12 is designed for Actian PSQL v12 Server and PSQL Vx Server 12 systems, and is only recently available. We expect no major changes in this release over v5.1, except for support on Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10.

Users of DataExchange v2.x can freely migrate to any other version of 2.x as you upgrade your database engine. However, if you upgrade to PSQLv10.10 or higher, you will be required to get the DataExchange v3 product. Users of PSQLv11 MUST upgrade to DataExchage v4 or v5. Users of PSQL Vx must use DataExchange v5. Actian has elected to NOT provide an upgrade path, so you'll need to purchase a whole new license if you upgrade your database engine. See the pricing chart for details. Contact Actian directly at 1-800-BTRIEVE if you would like them to consider changing this policy.

If you are considering the use of DataExchange in your environment, check out these time-savers!

Contact Goldstar Software if you have additional questions!

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