Centerfield Launches IBM i Auditing Tools
April 26, 2011 Alex Woodie
Centerfield Technology is best known for its IBM i performance tools. But this spring, the Rochester, Minnesota, company is turning over a new leaf with the launch of two data auditing tools for IBM i, called dataCapture and dataAlert. The new offerings–developed in partnership with Centerfield’s new partner, Databeam–are designed to keep managers abreast of changes to data on the IBM i servers, which could indicate anything from a security risk to new customer activity.
DataCapture is a Windows-based power tool designed to simplify the task of querying the IBM i audit journal, since raw journal data can be difficult to navigate and understand. The software collects journal data into its own repository, and allows users to create graphical reports based on that data.
Centerfield says dataCapture, which it is offering for free, is useful for answering specific questions about the use of IBM i files. Examples of such questions include: “Who modified this order?” “When was it last modified?” and “How many orders have we had in the last two days?”
The other new tool, dataAlert, builds off the core capabilities of dataCapture to provide managers and customers with instant notification of IBM i events. For example, dataAlert can be setup so that a manager receives an email alert whenever an important customer opens a support ticket in a CRM system, or to automatically email the purchasing department when inventory for a certain product drops below a threshold.
While Centerfield has supported the audit journal in some products before, the launch of dataCapture and dataAlert does represent a change in direction for the company, says Aaron Hasley, senior developer at Centerfield.
“We believe that improvements in hardware price/performance and advances in query optimization, while not eliminating the need for our tools, have addressed problems that were very common a few years ago,” Hasley tells IT Jungle. As a result, the company is looking for growth in new areas outside of DB2/400 query performance optimization, hence the launch of dataAlert and dataCapture.rn rn”The query and reporting space is very saturated, so we’ve decided to provide value a different way–through business event monitoring,” he says. “The idea is to monitor key business events that are represented by changes to DB2 and deliver small, personalized packets of information.”
The new tools address different needs than traditional reporting, but can excel at spotting and alerting events of high business value when time is of the essence. “With broad applicability both inside IT and to business in general, we believe the market will be very interested in these simple but useful tools,” Hasley says.
Centerfield is offering free downloads of dataCapture; technical support can be obtained for a fee. A license for DataAlert costs $5,300 with the first year of maintenance included, or $2,575 per year with a subscription. For more information, see www.centerfieldtechnology.com.