Global Data by Proxy

    By: Mr. Chris Ian Pollach, Gold Member on Sep 03, 2012

    How many times have you encountered the requirement to access data across a segmented database in a PowerBuilder application? A segmented database being a logical schema that is physically sliced up into sections – say for example by country, region, province, or state geographic areas. The other scenario could be accessing disparate pieces of related data housed in various silo databases that could even be housed within various DBMS vendor technologies. For example, your company might have a district database built using SQL Anywhere technology, a regional database using Microsoft SQL Server and a corporate information warehouse built using IBM’s DB/2 database technology housed on a mainframe.

    The Challenge
    I have personally encountered the above scenarios many times in the Canadian Federal Government. For example, in Real Property systems their database is segmented and physically divided into regions: Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Central and Pacific to allow real-estate holdings to be managed by each respective remote office. In the case of Canada Elections, the polling station and district information is housed on a local DBMS, the provincial election roll-up information on another DBMS technology and the central roll-up election results on another centralized DBMS vendors software. In each of these cases, the DBMS technology and vendor imple- mentations are quite different – thus making the developers job sometimes very challenging.

    Although many of the datum are physically disjoint, it is often the task of the application developer to utilize data from these various technologies and information silos as if it were one homogeneous platform. This could be for updating where real-time roll-up is required at the primary transaction level or maybe for corporate reporting purposes on summarized data. Any PowerBuilder application can open a maximum of 255 transaction objects (aka DBMS connections) which coincides to the maximum number of network connections that any PC can have on the corporate network. However, if you have an array of Transaction objects – each one controlling one DBMS conversation, it would be a challenging coding exercise to manage a connection to each database you require simultaneous access to.

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