The Definition of Data Replication
As we get started, let’s define our term: Data replication is a process by which data is made available outside of the systems that are used to produce or maintain it.
Here’s how Oracle itself defines the term in their own documentation: “Replication is the process of copying and maintaining database objects, such as tables, in multiple databases that make up a distributed database system. Changes applied at one site are captured and stored locally before being forwarded and applied at each of the remote locations.”
The end result of data replication is that data is up to date in and accessible from distributed databases.
The Background on Oracle Databases
Now that we’ve clarified what data replication is, let’s turn our attention to what an Oracle database is – and what makes Oracle unique from other database management systems.
A little history is helpful here.
Oracle’s origins date back to 1977, when Larry Ellison, Bob Miner, and Ed Oates opened Software Development Laboratories, a consultancy that quickly became Relational Software, Inc. (RSI) in 1983 before finally adopting the name Oracle.
As suggested in the corporation’s second name (RSI), Oracle was a pioneer of the relational database management system (RDBMS); the company claims to have offered the first commercially available RDBMS.
Notably, via Oracle, “Oracle Version 3, released in 1983, was the first relational database to run on mainframes, minicomputers, and PCs. The database was written in C, enabling the database to be ported to multiple platforms.”
While mainframes and minicomputers are, by and large, becoming forgotten artifacts of the past, the original development of Oracle Database positioned the DBMS for use in what would today be called “Big Data” environments. In other words, unlike Microsoft’s SQL Server, Oracle Database grew from a framework that was designed to process large amounts of enterprise data.
Considerations When Replicating Oracle Data
Given Oracle’s origins, then, it’s no surprise that data replication for Oracle often involves processing vast loads of data. With that as a backdrop, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Oracle is well-suited for analytical and transactional applications.
In fact, Oracle is generally considered one of the gold standards for transactional applications. This is important to note if you’re replicating data to a heterogeneous environment and expecting to maintain the same functionality.
Oracle data types can be idiosyncratic.
For example, if a year is before the database’s origin date, it may be represented as a negative value. Additionally, Oracle uses January 1, 1000 to represent negative infinity as a comparison value. The takeaway: Be aware of the platform’s data idiosyncrasies, and if you’re replicating data to a heterogeneous location, you may need to reformat it for use.
Oracle will push you toward vendor lock-in.
Finally, Oracle is somewhat notorious for building their products in a way that incentivizes vendor lock-in. This reality can make heterogeneous replication more challenging – and more costly.
Options for Oracle Data Replication
Finally, as you consider Oracle data replication, let’s take a look at a few tools that can help you enact the process.
Yes, Oracle offers its own data replication tool. GoldenGate is a robust solution, and it’s even designed for heterogeneous replication – meaning that you can use it to replicate Oracle data to a non-Oracle environment.
This is an appealing option because it’s obviously designed to make Oracle replication easy. But it does have a big drawback: a high price tag.
Another option is our data replication tool: StarQuest Data Replicator (SQDR). SQDR also makes Oracle data replication easy. It monitors Oracle logs to bring data into a canonical system that sits between the source and destination databases. From there, data is moved into destination databases. SQDR is compatible with the leading modern database management systems, making heterogeneous replication seamless.
It’s robust, and it’s also extremely cost-efficient.
Ready to Replicate an Oracle Database?
Hopefully, the information above has helped you to understand what Oracle database replication means and what it entails.
If you’re ready to move forward with an Oracle replication solution, get in touch with us.
At StarQuest, we’re experts in data replication. Our powerful SQDR software can replicate Oracle in real-time to homogeneous or heterogeneous environments using a log-based approach.
And, importantly, our customer service team is regarded as some of the best in the business, with clients calling us “The best vendor support I have ever encountered.”
Get in touch with us to discuss your Oracle data replication needs. We can set you up with a no-charge trial of our software using Oracle and the destination DBMS of your choice, and help you take the first step toward a solution that will benefit your business.