Introducing FairCom c-treeACE No+SQL Database

FairCom’s c-treeACE is an advanced database that supports multiple relational and non-relational interfaces. This unique multimodel architecture facilitates high-performance NoSQL and industry-standard SQL access within the same application, over the same data. We call this architecture “No+SQL”.  FairCom uses Micro Focus Vibe internally and we have been investigating how to configure c-treeACE as the database backend for it.  However the purpose of this article is to provide a background to the features of c-treeACE itself.

Founded in 1979, FairCom has built upon a solid, NoSQL (ISAM) foundation to develop the robust c-treeACE® database solution. Well suited for a broad range of transactional applications, our scalability and high availability combined with our long history of innovation have been noted in the industry.

With over 35 years of development and use by mission-critical and “too-big-to-fail” systems, FairCom has a proven track record supporting enterprise applications.  High-performance and solid stability with mission critical applications makes c-treeACE the preferred database technology for thousands of ISVs and enterprise organisations. Forty-three percent of the Fortune 100 companies, including Federal Express, Microsoft, NASA, and Visa use FairCom today.

A True Multimodel Database

FairCom’s No+SQL technology provides flexibility with your data architecture by allowing data of any type to be stored within your record structure, without pre-defined schemas. It supports industry-standard SQL (relational) interfaces and high-performance NoSQL (non-relational) interfaces to the same data at the same time.

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Figure 1: c-treeACE has SQL and Non-relational features

c-treeACE is an ANSI-compliant SQL database with support for everything you expect from an RDBMS including stored procedures, triggers, user-defined functions, ODBC, JDBC, and a wealth of standard interfaces. c-treeACE provides simultaneous access to the same data via NoSQL interfaces for the ultimate in performance.

By offering both data models in a single database you can choose which data model is right for the application. Blending both data models into one database allows you to build something more powerful than before. You are empowered to utilise both NoSQL and SQL methodologies within the same application, or multiple applications, over the same single instance of your data.

With No+SQL you maintain the incredible performance, control, and reliability of NoSQL, while blending the standards, ease-of-integration, and easy ad-hoc query support of SQL.

The secret to our seamless multimodel integration of NoSQL and SQL is our layered API design. With many database fundamentals—such as ACID-compliant transactions, record locking, and more—implemented in the lowest level, the NoSQL core engine, you can mix and match any combination of interfaces, all over the same single instance of your data without fear of interference. You aren’t constrained by a single interface or framework—with c-treeACE, you can safely mix and match (figure 2).

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Figure 2: Mix and match multiple APIs to talk to c-treeACE

Data Integrity with ACID Transactions

Data integrity is an important requirement for online transaction processing (OLTP). IT professionals expect OLTP capabilities from any enterprise RDBMS, including transaction control with full ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) support.

ACID transaction processing is the reason major enterprises rely upon c-treeACE for their mission-critical systems. ACID properties imply that a transaction will be reflected consistently throughout the system. The requirement that data cannot be allowed to remain inconsistent for any length of time, however short, is referred to as “immediate consistency.”

FairCom’s c-treeACE is an advanced, ACID-compliant database built on our traditional NoSQL core. What makes our technology unique is the ability to offer industrial quality on-line transaction processing features all the way down to the NoSQL level. This guarantees full ACID compliance on all transactions. Multiple save/restore points are supported, ensuring maximum flexibility and integrity of your data.

Availability and Reliability

c-treeACE provides a long a list of enterprise-class features that ensure your system will keep performing day in and day out. The result is that data integrity is maintained over extended periods of operation—some customers measure uptime in years.

Keenly focused on data integrity, c-treeACE takes every precaution to protect your data. Still, accidents can happen: a disk may crash; a power failure may halt your system; lightning may strike. c-treeACE backup and recovery features protect you from data loss to provide maximum data availability.

Dynamic Dumps provide real-time backups so users do not have to stop work during backups. Automatic recovery restores the system to the last known good state in case of an emergency. Full-featured restore includes roll forward for the ultimate in data safety.

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Figure 3: Dyanmic dumps provide real-time backups and protection from data loss

FairCom offers an option called the Replication Agent, which provides peace of mind by maintaining up-to-date copies of your data across multiple systems. Its efficient design allows multiple nodes to be updated almost immediately, allowing near real-time synchronisation. Even nodes at remote locations can be synchronised. Replication can provide an up-to-date parallel environment for backups and other purposes.

In-Memory Performance with On-Disk Persistence

An effective method of assuring superior performance is to minimise the number of times data is written to and read from disk. c-treeACE uses sophisticated caching for both data and index files to minimise the amount of data actually transferred to and from physical storage (figure 4).

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Figure 4: Caching is one method of providing superior performance

Using the granular cache-level support provided by c-treeACE, you can store your entire database in cache thereby providing the performance of a pure memory database, while persisting your data to disk. This results in nearly “in-memory” performance with the data integrity you get by storing data to disk.

If you don’t need to store your data to disk, use c-treeACE memory file support, which is a pure memory database implementation. c-treeACE memory files are as easy to use as a standard, disk-based database.

Rather than persisting to disk, these files reside entirely in memory. Memory files are ideal for read-only data that needs to be accessed frequently, temporary files, in-memory list management, or other cases where guaranteed recoverability is not required. The performance is stellar, clocking operations in the hundreds of thousands of transactions per second—or faster.

c-treeRTG:  Ready-to-Go Solutions For Legacy Systems

A significant number of businesses rely on legacy systems based on COBOL and Btrieve. FairCom has created a way to enhance these applications with little or no development. Our “ready-to-go” c-treeRTG® solutions are dedicated to the VAR, ISV, or end-user who wants to update an existing application without touching the code. They easily update existing applications to the latest technology, enhancing performance, improving data integrity, and providing access from other applications.

c-treeRTG is built on the c-treeACE Server. As such, c-treeRTG offers the same mission-critical performance as c-treeACE. c-treeACE is designed as a database for developers who are building mission-critical, enterprise scale applications. c-treeRTG is specialised for businesses who already have legacy applications they need to upgrade.

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Figure 5: c-treeRTG can upgrade legacy applications

Convert the Data, Not the Application

Many IT departments are facing pressure to update legacy applications. They often turn to solutions that involve migrating their code to a newer language. Then they are faced with the reality of starting over—completely rewriting, re-testing, and re-learning applications that have taken years to evolve. FairCom has a better answer: Convert the data, not the application.

By simply importing your legacy data into c-treeRTG, you add the benefits of the FairCom technology—including SQL access—without affecting your original application (figure 5).

Because the c-treeRTG products are designed as direct replacements for your native file systems, they require little or no modifications to your application. c-treeRTG brings many of the benefits of c-treeACE to your legacy applications: ACID transactions, real-time backups, and automatic recovery improve the performance, reliability, and data integrity of your application.

SQL Access to Legacy Data

Customers cite many reasons for their loyalty to c-treeRTG. They often find the most valuable feature is its ability to provide seamless SQL access to your COBOL and Btrieve data.

With industry-standard SQL interfaces, c-treeRTG makes your legacy data available to the industry’s latest business intelligence, analytical, and reporting tools. It provides full read/write access through SQL and other relational interfaces—without affecting read/write access to the same data by your legacy application.

FairCom Adopts Vibe

FairCom has been using Vibe internally as part of a project to modernise our storage of company records. We have been consolidating archives of paper records, documents stored in early workflow products, and data saved in a variety of online sources.

With Vibe, we are able to centralise our business records in a single, searchable location. Future phases of our rollout plan include upgrading existing workflow products to use Vibe.

Because our business has a strong global presence, with offices in USA, Italy, and Brazil, we need to store and access documents in a variety of formats and languages. Vibe brings our information together in one secure place that allows collaboration across multiple platforms, devices, and multiple offices.

FairCom Brings out Vibe’s Full Potential

As a high-performance, enterprise database, c-treeACE is ideal for integration with Vibe. c-treeACE brings scalability and mission-critical performance to Vibe with a very low cost of ownership and minimum administration.

Early this year, our developers launched a very successful project integrating c-treeACE with Vibe. They had no trouble connecting our c-treeACE database to Vibe using standard interfaces. In the case of Vibe, our Java support made it easy to connect to Vibe using a JCA Resource Adapter.

The c-treeACE Java Connector allows any Enterprise Java Bean to access c-tree Java APIs. Our team has also experimented with Shibboleth integration, which allows web-based Single Sign-On (SSO) in environments supporting this open standard. The result is a powerful backend for Vibe that gives you enterprise-class performance and data integrity.

When compared to the databases currently being used with Vibe, a nice benefit is that c-treeACE is not only a higher-performance solution, but its pricing is far friendlier for ISVs and third-parties creating integrated Vibe solutions.

For further information on FairCom and its products please visit  www.faircom.com.

 

This article was first published in OHM35, 2016/4, p29-32

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