Oracle’s interest in real-time data integration became obvious July of last year when it acquired Golden Gate Software – a leader in Change Data Capture (CDC).  Last week Oracle announced the first stage of the integration of Golden Gate’s offerings with its existing Oracle Data Integrator (ODI) tool.  Those interested in the details of this announcement can click here to download a copy of Oracle’s announcement presentation. 

In the coming weeks a more detailed posting analyzing this important development will be provided by Joe Guerra, creator of the RapidDecision pre-built data warehouse for JDE and PeopleSoft (a product that has incorporated a real-time CDC capability since 1995).   In the meantime, this posting will provide a very early reaction to the announcement. 

The significance of the new offering called Oracle Golden Gate (OGG) is that it reinforces Oracle’s support for real-time data integration.  Specifically, Oracle now endorses log-based updating as the preferred approach to accomplishing CDC.  Nearly all of the recognized independent experts (including our own Joe Guerra) have been advocating this approach for many years so it is great to see Oracle officially on board. 

A common use of the CDC concept is in data warehousing where data from sources such as JDE applications needs to be synchronized to data in a warehouse used for reporting and analysis.  Without a log-based CDC capability this synchronization needs to be done periodically in large batches, often once each night.  Batch updating creates numerous problems related to the strain it can put on all the servers and networks involved.  Doing reporting and analysis on data that is known to be out of date also has obvious disadvantages. 

In spite of its appeal, CDC has not been used very often by data warehouse designers because it has not been easy to accomplish.  Besides needing tooling such as the ODI / OGG combination just introduced by Oracle, the data model of the target database must also be optimized for both real-time and Business Intelligence processing.  Ultimately it can be the most costly approach in terms of development but the most beneficial to the Business Intelligence user. Those planning to undertake this task will need guidance on exactly how to do it from a reliable source.  Buying a CDC capable tool does not insure its effective use. 

To our knowledge, at the moment very few JDE customers are using either ODI or any of the Golden Gate offerings.  The main reason is that most have not yet implemented a data warehouse.  This announcement from Oracle and the further enhancements that are sure to come over time are likely to help stimulate interest in real-time data warehousing within our community.  The upcoming posting by Joe will provide more information as to when and how it will make sense to consider Oracle’s data integration products.