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DataBee creates referentially correct cut-down databases.



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A summary of the DataBee software.

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A technical overview of how DataBee extracts and loads data subsets.



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A comprehensive survey of the techniques and issues you need to know about before you begin data subsetting.



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A 30 day, fully functional, evaluation copy of the DataBee software.



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A quick start to the DataBee software.

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Answers to frequently asked questions about the DataBee software.

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The hardware & software supported by DataBee.


DataBee Overview


DataBee consists of three applications - each of which is dedicated to a particular function. The division of the operational responsibilities between the three components (as opposed to using just one) makes the software easier to use.


Separating the DataBee software into several smaller modules rather than placing all of the functionality into a single larger application minimizes the number of decisions that you, the user, must make as the software is used. The architecture of the problem lends itself to such a solution. At any time in the process the requirement is either designing rules, extracting data or loading data. These are very separate actions and there is no need to have other functionality co-located in the same application. To do so would add complexity and present an array of irrelevant visual information. To put it bluntly, using separate applications reduces the learning curve because there are fewer decisions to be made. In any one DataBee application everything visible is always relevant to the task at hand.


The DataBee applications install on a Windows PC and connect to both the SQL Server source and target databases via the standard Microsoft SQL Server ADO technologies. The DataBee software acts as a manager for the extract and load process but the data operations always occur remotely. At no time does the data in the database travel from the source or target databases to the PC on which the DataBee applications are installed. It is possible for the source and target databases to be of different SQL Server versions.


The DataBee Applications:

FAQ IconSet Designer

In order to extract rows from the source database, the DataBee software needs rules which indicate how the tables are related to each other. When loading a target database with data the DataBee software needs to know which tables to load, and any possible column and data modifications which may be required. The Set Designer application contains tools to help build the collection of connection information, rules and table structure information required for an extract (called an Extraction Set) or for load operations (called a Loader Set). The Set Designer can discover and automatically add rules for object and relationships contained within the database as well as enable the manual addition, deletion and editing of rules.


FAQ IconSet Extractor

The Set Extractor application takes the Extraction Set created by the Set Designer and identifies the rows in the source SQL Server database which will be required to populate the target database. Essentially the Set Extractor is a ROW Hunter - all it does is identify the collection of rows (by primary or unique key) in the source database which form a referentially correct subset. The output of the Set Extractor is a list of these identifying values in a temporary table stored in the source database (or proxy database). Although the Set Extractor is installed on a Windows PC, the SQL Server database being extracted can be located in a remote SQL Server instance. All extraction operations take place on the remote database and the extracted row information is never transmitted to the PC running the Set Extractor application.


FAQ IconSet Loader

The Set Loader application uses a Loader Set (also created by the Set Designer application) and populates the target database. There are two methods of loading: load via linked servers and load via direct copy. When loading via linked servers, the target database can be located on any SQL Server instance. The data is pulled through a server link which runs directly from the target database into the source database. When loading in direct copy mode, the target database must be located in the same instance as the source database and it must have read permissions on the tables in the source database. In both cases, the Set Loader application reads the row identifier values placed in the source database temporary tables by the Set Extractor application. The data is always transferred by direct transfer between the source and target database and never travels down to the PC running the Set Loader application. Once the Set Loader has finished, the tables in the target database will be populated with a referentially correct subset of the data currently in the source database.


Further Information:

  • An overview of the subset extraction and load process.
  • A discussion of Extraction Sets.
  • A discussion of Loader Sets.
  • The DataBee Quick Start Training.