Overview

Periscope is a software product that links distributed disparate data objects into the Oracle database. With Periscope, Business Data that is hosted across multiple database platforms and vendors can be linked virtually into the Oracle database.

Connections are “virtual”. Data remains distributed but can be accessed real-time from Oracle views. Periscope maps the internal Oracle database requests into a command stream understood by the disparate data source. As data is returned, Periscope transforms the data stream into a structure that Oracle understands. Any program or application that can access Oracle will be able to access a disparate data source with no special knowledge of the actual underlying data source. Business Data will behave as if it’s already loaded into the Oracle database.

       
 

Full Function Transparent Access

Periscope supports full-function Oracle database access. Basic database functions such as SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE are all supported. Periscope also supports more advanced features such as JOIN and COMMIT across disparate sources.

 
 

Periscope automatically handles data type transformations as well as substitutions for embedded functions and reserved words. In general, if you can do it against an Oracle table, you can do it against a Periscope driven Oracle View. Your applications will not be able to detect any functional difference.

       
 

Database Drivers

Periscope’s ability to map a disparate data source into Oracle requires a database driver for each disparate source you are connecting to. Periscope does not provide database drivers within the product. Instead, Periscope’s approach is to use common drivers (ie. JDBC & ODBC) that are most often supplied by the database manufacturers. Periscope encapsulates these drivers and invokes them to map disparate objects into the Oracle database. This approach ensures that Periscope connects to virtually all data sources and versions commonly found in the marketplace. This approach also frees the Periscope development team from the task of creating and supporting drivers for obscure platforms. Engineering efforts focus on product innovation and not on maintaining thousands of driver combinations. We leave specific database access to the database manufacturers who are the experts on their own platforms.

 
 

Driver installation and integration is straightforward and generally takes just a few minutes during the Periscope installation process. >>Supported Platforms

   
 

Platform Independent

Periscope is a JAVA based product that installs in the JVM within the Oracle engine. Periscope runs within Oracle version 9i and newer. Periscope runs across all power levels of Oracle, from the smallest Standard Edition desktop version through the largest Enterprise Edition version. Periscope will run inside of an existing copy of Oracle, so it does not require the purchase of a new Oracle license. Periscope’s implementation strategy allows it to run on any platform that Oracle will run on.

Enterprise Data Security

Periscope adds an additional layer of data security on top of the security model your business has already implemented. Because Periscope is a remote user of a database, Periscope will only be able to access databases and objects that Periscope has been granted permission to access. Once the remote object has been linked into Oracle, an additional Oracle security layer may be implemented to further refine data access permissions.

High Performance

Periscope is fast, adding very little CPU overhead per SQL request.

From an Oracle database perspective, Periscope will not have a negative performance impact on your Oracle database. Remote data access allows Oracle to suspend the thread and attend to other workload while the remote IO is outstanding.

From a remote database perspective, Periscope sends standard SQL requests. As long as the remote database is properly tuned to handle the expected workload, there should not be any special performance burden attributable to Periscope.

From a User Response Time perspective, response times are dependant upon network bandwidth. Data is blocked and larger data streams are presented as the data is received, all contributing to the fastest User response times possible for remote platform access.

Built In Data Transformations

To the Oracle database User, all remote objects appear as pure Oracle Views. Periscope automatically handles all database transformations. Users issue normal Oracle requests. Periscope maps Oracle to the proper remote syntax. Data transformations and function substitutions happen automatically. Returning data is automatically transformed into pure Oracle.

 

Periscope also offers a sophisticated data transformation engine. We call it On The Fly transformations.

With OTF, you can invoke any user supplied transformation function on each column of the table. Transformations can be applied going to and coming from a remote data source.

 
       
 

Standardized Exception Handling

Periscope allows any program that can access an Oracle database to access a remote data object. Programs simply work with Oracle Views. Periscope handles the virtual linkage “behind the scenes”. If errors occur in the remote database, or along the data path, they are returned to the application as typical Oracle or JAVA exceptions that a program would normally encounter and resolve.

 

Scalable Data Paths

Periscope implements a sophisticated Multi-Channel Data Path (MCDP) architecture.

 

MCDP allows the user to establish multiple data paths to a single remote data object. Periscope will load balance database requests across the available channels to minimize data channel delays.

 
 


 

MCDP also allows Periscope to establish multiple remote objects for a single Oracle View. Multiple remote data objects can be tied to a single Oracle table, further increasing Oracle database access performance.

 

MCDP is transparent to the Oracle database user. When a User accesses the Oracle/Periscope View, MCDP determines the best path to the remote data object.

 

Fault-Tolerant Database Access

Periscope’s Multi-Channel Data Paths (MCDP) architecture can be used to link multiple remote data objects into a single Oracle View. Multiple distributed data sources can be tied to a single Oracle View. MCDP ensures that when a remote data source goes “offline”, other active data channels will service the database request. This capability allows you to design data marts that are geographically distributed yet linked back to a single Oracle View. When the Oracle User accesses the Oracle/Periscope View, MCDP determines the best online path to satisfy the request. This capability can be key to establishing a true fault-tolerant data access strategy.

 

Easy to Install

Periscope can be downloaded from our FTP site and can be quickly installed for evaluation anywhere in the world. The product comes packaged with a self-installation procedure. Clients can also arrange for WhiteCap’s Database Experts to electronically assist with installations. Installations take just a few hours.

 

Configurable Remote Data Access

Once Periscope is installed within Oracle, and remote database drivers have been installed, you still have to select a remote database table and link it into a corresponding Oracle View. We call this process “data virtualization”. The process requires:

 

1. The setup of a gateway structure from Oracle to the remote database
2. Logging into the remote database
3. Examining the remote database schema
4. Selecting the appropriate remote table
5. Generating the embedded Oracle transformation JAVA code
6. Installing the new Oracle View into the Oracle database

   
 

Fortunately, Periscope is supplied with a browser based administrative tool that handles all of these steps for you. Data virtualization is as simple as selecting a database, selecting a table, and clicking a button. Periscope handles everything else for you. In just a few seconds your remote data object is linked into Oracle and ready for use by any application or program that can access Oracle and has been granted permission to use the object.

 
       
 

 

Non-Intrusive Database Access

Periscope does not require any modifications to the distributed data source or the programs that maintain the distributed source. Periscope acts as a remote user of the database. Periscope requires network access to the machine hosting the disparate data source, and a logon/password for data access. Even the drivers are typically loaded onto the Oracle platform. It’s rare that any software has to be loaded on a distributed platform.

 

Database Conversions

Periscope dramatically simplifies any database conversion task. Since all distributed data objects appear as local Oracle Views, it becomes a simple task of selecting data from one Oracle View and recording data into another Oracle View. Conversions between disparate databases are accomplished through a simple SELECT and INSERT.

 

Materialized Views

Periscope implements a modified version of a Materialized View. Periscope’s MV is a local Oracle View that is virtually connected to a remote data object, kept refreshed by a user definable method and time schedule. As Periscope configures the remote connection, the user can assign a refresh mechanism and timetable. Periscope works in the background to automatically maintain the refreshed table.

 

Online Demonstrations

Periscope can be demonstrated online in a WebEX presentation format. WhiteCap maintains a collection of the more popular relational databases, all linked into our demonstration platforms. Demonstrations take about 20 minutes and show detailed disparate access across multiple platforms. We also demonstrate the Virtualization setup process. Visitors can even “grab the keyboard” and experiment with the SQL tasks they are most interested in.

   
 

Invented by TUSC

Periscope was invented by the Oracle experts at TUSC (www.TUSC.com). TUSC conceived of Periscope while working with many Clients over many years. Periscope evolved at Client accounts until it was ready to be introduced as a software product.

TUSC partnered with WhiteCap Applications to bring Periscope to market. WhiteCap works with Channel Partners around the world to deliver Periscope to Clients.