Openedge Advanced Enterprise licence

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Openedge Advanced Enterprise licence

Post by Jacqueline » Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:31 pm

We have just just received a mailing re upgrading the Proclaim Openedge licence to advanced enterprise.

As a small firm with 10 users, and as I have no understanding of Progress/Openedge I'd appreciate any thoughts as to whether the benefits of the upgraded enterprise licence for Openedge is worth the additional cost?

It allows a slave copy but that would mean additional server space (at a time where we're considering going cloud since our server will need replacing imminently and is rather full) . Perhaps waiting til we go cloud is the best time but is it even worth it then. I await info on the additional cost from Eclipse.

Is the difference in security significant enough. If a hacker gained access to our server would it hinder them significantly?

Would this require additional work from our outside IT consultants who refuse to touch Proclaim?

Would it make Proclaim faster?

All thoughts/pointers appreciated.

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Re: Openedge Advanced Enterprise licence

Post by steve » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:00 am

As a smaller firm I wouldn't think it would be that useful to you, but this doesn't stop the advantages being attractive.
I haven't asked about pricing which might be make or break. I think the only features for a small firm that would be any benefit are Replication to slave copy, perhaps read-only access to slave copy.

Going through the features of Advanced Enterprise, here's my interpretation towards a smaller firm, which of course will differ firm-to-firm. I welcome a discussion:

Management Console.
For a small firm with no dedicated DB admin staff member - you're not going to be looking at this. Do you even use Progress Explorer/Proenv at the moment? If the answer is No then you're not going to gain anything from Management Console. If you have an issue running Proclaim your support pathway is just to call Eclipse. A larger firm DB admin may use it to set alerts for key DB metrics, practice DR scenarios etc, but general administration of databases (managing extents, copy databases, performance metric monitoring, buffer utilisation, index fragmentation etc) can be done with the standard Enterprise Explorer or command line utils.

Horizontal Table Partitioning.
Nothing for a small firm with small database here - perhaps one or two of the 'big' firms with some specific performance issue would ask Eclipse to partition a table (I'm guessing here -and the answer may well be 'no'!), but as end users of a pre-designed application (Proclaim), optimisation at table-level isn't a feature aimed at us.

As explained by an Openedge DB trainer, Encryption takes place on the disk of the storage areas, but of course your application decrypts the data and presents it to the user in clear text. If a copy of the DB is stolen on its own somehow (e.g. an offsite backup tape is lost) and it is encrypted AND SEPARATED from the encryption key, then yes it is more secure in this respect. If nothing else you can tick the regulatory box if you store backup data offsite/outside EU if that is the industry you are in. If a hacker gains access to your running DB server and has understanding of Progress, then regardless of encryption they will be able to access data using the application. Does it significantly hinder an attacker who has access to a live system? I think not. Might it tick some regulatory boxes regarding offsite backups? Yes. Might it cause you some headaches if you have to restore from an offsite backup and you have also lost your encryption key (because you didn't store them together, right? )? Yes.

Replication to slave copy
This used to be a separate licensed product. Certainly seems appealing to any sized firm as it allows you to create a second set of Proclaim databases and keep them in sync with the live one. Used for disaster recovery purposes (your main DB box dies, but you have an up-to-date DB sat ready and waiting to be migrated to your live environment) and/or to take reporting load off from a production database (when used in conjunction with the Read-only access feature below). Note that this will require extra licenses for the second copy - at a minimum some reduced-price per-user "DR" licenses if you keep a copy just for standby DR purposes (check this though with Eclipse as the license model may have changed with the introduction of Advanced Enterprise). If you want it as a failover target (two servers kept in sync, if one goes down then load transitions seamlessly to the standby server ) then there's more to it than just Advanced Enterprise- and more cost/maintenance etc.
Is it useful to a small firm? We say this to everyone of our clients: Do the maths of how much it will cost you to lose 1 min/1 hr/1 days worth of data,and how much the downtime will cost you whilst waiting for a backup to restore. You might find that the cost of one system crash will pay for the extra licensing costs many times over.
On the up-side, being a small firm means the licensing burden per-user is perhaps less, but the cost of growth per-user license wise may be a headache. Again - do the maths.

Read-only Access of a slave copy.
Useful if you have a large reporting/BI workload that would otherwise impact performance if it targeted your production DB through the day. For a small firm, probably not useful - just keep your database online 24/7 and use online backups (everyone should be doing this anyway, for performance reasons - and it's free), then schedule large daily reporting needs out of core business hours.

Change Data Capture.
Small firm running Proclaim on its own? Not going to be useful. A small firm that is part of a larger parent firm/group that perhaps doesn't use Proclaim may find this useful: say your head office runs an MSSQL backend and wants to collate data live from your Proclaim databases to add to their overall group BI. Instead of exporting a whole table from Proclaim on a schedule, or relying on the MIWH schedule to keep an external MSSQL database in sync, you can use CDC to keep track of all changes to a Progress table. Head office can then suck in those changes to their BI DB and keep their view of the data up-to-date without having to re-import the whole giant table, or just check for any changes before running a report on local data. Another Progress tool called "Pro2" (£) can help you sync Progress data to an external MSSQL database (or indeed another Progress DB) using this CDC feature to detect and manage changes to the source DB. It's a little like MIWH on steroids, but operates on the underlying Proclaim databases (so no pretty Options tables, iteration tables, or normalised case data tables to work with like you do through MIWH). On its own, CDC doesn't give you anything.

So, in answer to your questions, In my opinion (and I welcome the discussion):

Would it increase security if a hacker accessed your live server? Not significantly.
Would it require additional work from outside people? Yes to a certain degree - provisioning storage, ensuring efficient transfer of sync data from live to slave, monitoring the replication environment for capacity issues that might take your production DB offline etc, and of course implementing and practising a new DR procedure.
Would it make proclaim faster? Only if your DB is currently being bogged down by a large reporting/BI workload during the middle of a day, and that can't be fixed by better report design/scheduling. Otherwise it would theoretically slow it down (writing the records for replication - After Image transaction logs - theoretically has a performance hit, but in practice is not usually noticeable).

The one advantage to a firm of any size is the replication to slave DB feature,which might be worth the cost of upgrade on its own, but you would need to do the maths and get a price on the various licensing models/standalone products available to you.

Just my (rather long) 2p

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Re: Openedge Advanced Enterprise licence

Post by Jacqueline » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:43 pm

An exceptional response thank you Steve. I will reread it several times to assimilate all and report back to the powers that be.

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Re: Openedge Advanced Enterprise licence

Post by David P » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:40 pm

OK, they've quoted us £16k in hours, £19k out of hours and £7.50 per license monthly maintenance uplift.

That's simply not realistic for us at present. (We have 65 users, for reference).

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Re: Openedge Advanced Enterprise licence

Post by Enigma » Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:46 pm

Nearly fell off my chair reading that David.


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Re: Openedge Advanced Enterprise licence

Post by Peter » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:28 pm

I'm not sure how they think that £19k + £500 quid per month (in David's case) is going to be justified by the additional feature set offered.

Following up on Steve's excellent post, as noted this is really only potentially worth it for running a slave copy for DR purposes. Personally, in my environment the server running Proclaim is virtualised, and I already have the entire VM lock stock and barrel being replicated to another physical server for BCM/DR purposes anyway. Assuming that most people are doing something similar then it simply isin't worth anything like that.

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