Datawatch Updates Heterogeneous Data Access Tool

Monarch 8 lets users extract information directly from PDF files for analysis, or export data from PDF files to spreadsheets or databases

For several years, Datawatch Corp. has marketed Monarch Data Pump, a tool that exports data from reports generated by ERP systems and other mainframe applications to Excel, Access, or relational databases.

Last summer, Monarch Data Pump underwent an extreme makeover of sorts; version 7.0 was built atop Microsoft’s .NET architecture and boasted support for OLE DB and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) information dissemination.

Last week, DataWatch announced a version 8 release of its Professional Edition that features support for PDF, HMTL, and other document types. Officials say the revamped Monarch 8 lets users extract information directly from PDF files for analysis, or export data from PDF files to spreadsheets or databases.

The new version can extract data from PDFs that were created using a variety of different sources—not just Adobe’s Acrobat program. It also supports PDF encryption so users can save passwords for PDF files or databases in the Monarch model, with high encryption.

Monarch 8 isn’t a PDF-only product, of course. Among the other new features: a report navigation tree that lets users jump to any desired section in a report. Officials say users can highlight a line in a report and jump to the row in a Monarch table that contains the data from that report row. What’s more, users can jump back to the corresponding detail data when they’re viewing summarized data.

The revamped Monarch also features improved change management capabilities. For example, officials say, users can now shift Monarch report templates left or right—a feature that comes in handy when data in an existing report has been adjusted slightly (e.g., removed a few spaces right or left). Version 8 can adjust existing Monarch model templates so users don’t have to create new models to match these altered reports.

Elsewhere, Monarch 8 can read reports up to 4,000 characters wide – an effective quadrupling of the capabilities of its predecessor. For compliance purposes, Monarch 8 generates an audit trail that tracks changes. Finally, Datawatch’s revamped offering offers additional calculated field functions, giving users the ability to easily work with memo fields. It supports user-edited fields so users can add their own customized text comments, numeric values, and dates.

Monarch 8 is available in both Standard and Professional Editions. The Standard Edition uses reports as a source of data, while the Professional Edition uses reports and can import and combine data from other sources including databases, spreadsheets, ODBC data sources, HTML files, and (now) PDF files.

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.

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