Progress DataDirect Now Supports Non-Relational Data with zIIP Offload

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Progress Data Direct, a division of Progress Software Corporation, announced the latest release of its Progress DataDirect Shadow mainframe integration platform, which includes an enhanced engine for relational to non-relational data processing on IBM's System z Integrated Information Processor (zIIP). The new release addresses the issue of cost-effective access to mainframe data that continues to be a key requirement for organizations and technology providers that rely on, or integrate with, legacy data stores.

The DataDirect Shadow platform provides ANSI SQL-92 data access that leverages technology for zIIP exploitation. Release 7.2.1 of the DataDirect Shadow platform enables 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's licensed MIPs capacity.

"What is unique about this release is the ability to use ANSI SQL-92 dialect against VSAM CICS, as well as IMS DB data, but we are also coupling that access with the ability to offload up to 99% of the DataDirect Shadow-specific processing required to provide that SQL access to that non-relational data," Jeff Overton, product marketing manager, Data Direct, tells 5 Minute Briefing. "That combination is what is truly unique."

This is potentially a game-changer for customers, says Overton, because "when you are accessing non-relational data, you are going to have to do some transformations. You are going to produce, if you will, a virtual table from something that is non-relational and that can be computationally intensive regardless of the product that is doing that work."

With DataDirect Shadow Release 7.2.1, the majority of computationally intensive work can be moved over to the zIIP specialty engine, thereby enabling the benefits of interoperability, both from a programming skills perspective as well as a development tools and applications perspective. Additionally, Overton notes, there is the runtime efficiency that moving that work from the GPP over to the zIIP processor brings. "What we are seeing is that this can potentially allow customers to look at data integration in a new way."

The approach to zIIP exploitation used by Progress DataDirect was developed in partnership with IBM and does not cause IBM or any other third-party code to become zIIP-enabled. According to Data Direct, 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 BI or 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.

For more details on the new release, go here.