SOURCE: Progress DataDirect

Progress DataDirect

September 22, 2009 08:00 ET

Progress DataDirect Unveils Industry's First Mainframe SQL Engine for Non-Relational Data to Leverage the zIIP Specialty Processor for Lowering Mainframe TCO

Progress® DataDirect® Shadow® Release 7.2.1 Offers ANSI SQL-92 to Non-Relational Data With zIIP Offload; New Capabilities Lower Costs and Attract New Process-Intense Workloads to the Mainframe

BEDFORD, MA--(Marketwire - September 22, 2009) - Progress DataDirect, the data-infrastructure division of Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ: PRGS), a leading software provider that enables enterprises to be operationally responsive, today announced the latest release of its Progress® DataDirect® Shadow® mainframe integration platform with first-of-its-kind, enhanced ANSI SQL-92 engine for relational to non-relational data processing utilizing the IBM System z Integrated Information Processor (zIIP).

Cost-effective access to mainframe data continues to be a key requirement for organizations and technology providers that rely on, or integrate with, legacy data stores. Older, non-relational databases pose unique integration challenges due to the proprietary way in which the data is stored, necessitating processing intensive data mapping and transformation before the information can be used with a relational database such as Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle. The high mainframe processing costs for native access to non-relational data causes many organizations to replicate or migrate mainframe data off-platform to reduce the cost of data transformation -- adding latency in the process.

The DataDirect Shadow platform addresses this challenge with the introduction of ANSI SQL-92 data access that leverages its patent-pending technology for zIIP exploitation. Release 7.2.1 of the DataDirect Shadow platform allows ANSI SQL-92 workloads for IMS DB databases and CICS VSAM files to be diverted from the mainframe's General Purpose Processor (GPP) to the zIIP specialty engine -- which does the work without using any of the mainframe licensed MIPs capacity. The unique approach to zIIP exploitation used by Progress DataDirect was developed in close partnership with IBM and does not cause IBM or any other third-party code to become zIIP-enabled. The expanded SQL support within the latest release of the DataDirect Shadow platform offers mainframe users more flexibility for processing intensive data queries in support of Business Intelligence (BI) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications and reinforces IBM's strategic efforts to extend the value of the mainframe to new workloads, attract new users and reduce operating costs with the specialty engines.

The standards-based SQL features present in DataDirect Shadow release 7.2.1 join the existing support for Web services and Change Data Capture (CDC) for events to complete the zIIP exploitation capabilities across the single, unified integration platform. Some organizations that use the DataDirect Shadow platform have demonstrated up to 99 percent of the processing associated with SOA integration, SQL data queries, Change Data Capture (CDC) for events and Web-enablement can be re-directed to the zIIP engine. With DataDirect Shadow release 7.2.1, organizations no longer have to automatically endure the incremental infrastructure and opportunity latency costs associated with copying and synchronizing mainframe data to off-host databases. Users can now access the data in place, securely with rich support for SQL capabilities.

"DataDirect Shadow offers a holistic approach to cutting mainframe total-cost-of-ownership by enabling the zIIP to act as a fungible appliance, capable of addressing a wide range of integration challenges," said Gregg Willhoit, chief architect at Progress DataDirect. "ANSI SQL-92 to non-relational data with zIIP offload has huge performance and cost benefits to organizations engaged in next-generation BI, where real-time access to operational data and events is imperative. Using a standard-based SQL interface, the DataDirect Shadow platform allows data residing in mainframe databases to be easily manipulated and now cost-effectively processed on the mainframe."

Seamless, Industry-Standard Data Connectivity to Mainframe Data Sources

The DataDirect Shadow product provides a single platform for exposing virtually any mainframe asset via industry standard interfaces and leverages the Progress DataDirect Connect® line of high-performance, wire-protocol driver technology for ODBC, JDBC™ and ADO.NET. This consistent data access method is further strengthened with support for the ANSI SQL-92 standard, providing multiple data interfaces (SQL, SOAP and XML) for optimal data access and interoperability. With the ANSI SQL-92 engine available in release 7.2.1 of the DataDirect Shadow product, Independent Software Vendors (ISV) now have a standard interface to provide their customers with seamless, industry-standard access to both relational and non-relational data sources.

Expanded Support for Mainframe SOA

Release 7.2.1 of the DataDirect Shadow platform also contains new features to boost mainframe SOA initiatives including enhanced API support that enables Web service requester programs to perform Web services calls in an asynchronous manner. Conversational IMS transactions can now serve as Web service providers using the DataDirect Shadow WsC capabilities of DataDirect Shadow z/Services which enable mainframe COBOL, PL/1 or Natural programs to consume and publish Web services. Using this capability reduces the performance and scalability impact within high-volume IMS/TM environments by eliminating the blocking time (time and program waits) during Web services calls.

Other key features found in the latest release of the DataDirect Shadow platform include:

--  Support for new data types and SQL stored procedures introduced in IBM
    DB2 for z/OS v. 9.1
--  Extended support for Event Driven Architectures (EDA) with enhanced
    persistence of captured data changes to non-relational IMS/DB data
--  New procedure for simplifying installation and maintenance of the
    DataDirect Shadow software using IBM System Modification Program/Extended
    (SMP/E) for z/OS program

Progress DataDirect at IBM System z Expo

Gregg Willhoit, chief architect of the DataDirect Shadow platform will deliver the presentation, "Taking zIIP Beyond DB2: A Holistic Approach to Lower Mainframe TCO" at the IBM System z Expo in Orlando on Oct. 6 at 2:35 p.m. and again on Oct. 7 at 10:35 a.m. Product information and technology demonstrations will be available in the exhibition area at the Progress DataDirect booth #42.

About Progress Software Corporation

Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ: PRGS) is a global software company that enables enterprises to be operationally responsive to changing conditions and customer interactions as they occur -- to capitalize on new opportunities, drive greater efficiencies and reduce risk. The company offers a comprehensive portfolio of best-in-class infrastructure software spanning event-driven visibility and real-time response, open integration, data access and integration, and application development and deployment -- all supporting on-premises and SaaS/Cloud deployments. Progress maximizes the benefits of operational responsiveness while minimizing IT complexity and total cost of ownership. Progress can be reached at or +1-781-280-4000.

Progress, DataDirect, DataDirect Connect and Shadow are trademarks or registered trademarks of Progress Software Corporation or one of its affiliates or subsidiaries in the U.S. and other countries. All Java and Java-related marks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. Any other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

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