Centerfield Technologies Releases Database Essentials 2.0

Continuing its efforts to find a niche in the AS/400 market, Centerfield Technology (Rochester, Minn.) recently announced the release of Database Essentials 2.0 Advanced Performer Server.

A database management server, Database Essentials 2.0 provides the infrastructure to analyze and tune DB2/400 for high-performance access by SQL-based ERP/CRM, business intelligence and Web-based applications.

"We provide the management infrastructure to develop, optimize and manage SQL," says Ken Peters, VP of marketing, Centerfield Technologies. "SQL is all over the place; it's a trend that's really starting to take off."

The advanced performer speeds deployment and reduces costs associated with J.D. Edwards's OneWorld, SSA's BPCS, PeopleSoft, MAPICS and other SQL-based applications. Because it's an open system, Database Essentials does not have to be configured to work with each system.

Database Essentials is comprised of three main tools: usage tracking, index analysis and database analysis.

The usage-tracking device allows a customer to selectively track system activity. The index analysis tracks database activity and uses a process called index melding to determine the number of indices that need to be added to the database. The database analysis identifies needed indexes, gives a customer insight into the effectiveness of existing indices and discovers redundant indices.

According to Peters, customer feedback pointed out that they needed more automation. Although Database Analysis 2.0 features enhancements in areas such as the index analysis adviser, the biggest change is the database analysis tool, a feature not in 1.0.

After the index adviser analyzes the data and recommends the necessary number of indices, the user has two options: trust the findings of the index adviser or choose to further examine the data with the database analysis tool.

This tool allows for a slice-and-dice analysis. Users can do a more in-depth analysis for a single job or set of jobs to further understand what is working well and what can be improved. The database analysis also provides a form of security. "Sometimes the index can be right, but SQL statements can be wrong," says Peters.

Although relatively new, Peters expects Database Essentials to grow in popularity. "ERP companies generate thousands of SQLs, so it's hard to pinpoint what's wrong," he says. "Our product can pinpoint the problems much quicker, so we save companies both time and money."

Peters also points out that IBM has selected Centerfield Technologies to take part in its new education offering "DB2 UDB for AS/400 SQL & Query Performance Tuning and Monitoring Workshop." The four and one-half day course, which allows IT professionals to learn about database optimization and management of AS/400 indices, SQL-based applications and query-intensive database environments, includes hands-on experience using Database Essentials to manage AS/400 production databases.

"Effective use of the available indexing strategies on the AS/400 is important to a well-performing system," says Kent Milligan, lead DB2 technologist for IBM's AS/400 Partners in Development. "Centerfield Technology's Advanced Performance Server makes it easy to quickly analyze and maintain production level databases."