Avoid the Hassle of Accessing DB2 Data from .NET Applications

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HiT Software's snappy Ritmo/i middleware makes accessing the IBM i a pleasure, say loyal customers.


If you're a .NET programmer developing applications that need to access data in DB2 for i, you might be concerned that the middleware you're using to reach that data will slow things up so much that performance will suffer.


Several products out there work faster than ODBC or JDBC in accessing DB2 data from .NET applications, and this writer has featured them in the past.


HiT Software offers Ritmo/i, its solution for accessing data on the IBM i from .NET applications. Categorized as a ".NET managed provider," Ritmo comes in two editions: developer and runtime. The former contains powerful design tools, code wizards, and a command editor. It has a C# Toolkit with source code examples. The runtime edition is said to be suitable for users of .NET applications who need to access DB2 data in real time. If you have a business intelligence solution, ERP application, e-business application, or Web application that needs to access IBM i and DB2, Ritmo/i will get you there.


HiT Software was delighted with a couple of recent user tales of how two separate companies employed Ritmo to test and manage DB2 data connections required of their .NET applications. Luis Barahona, senior programmer at Seaboard Marine LTD, uses Ritmo's C# Toolkit to reduce development time, says HiT software.


"We have been able to test and manage DB2 data connections required by our .NET applications through the help of Ritmo C# Toolkit...," says Barahona. "This toolkit has significantly helped reduce the amount of time and effort required to develop our .NET applications, debug, and manage them," he says. "Going through those steps could take a programmer a lot of effort; with the C# Toolkit, we can do it in minutes."


The Toolkit provides an easy way to create and maintain data sources and tools for diagnostics. Debug and trace features can identify problems and tune for performance. The Toolkit integrates with Microsoft's SQL Server Reporting Services, from where users can choose Ritmo as a data source to connect to DB2 and to generate reports, according to the company. The Toolbox provides an easy way to create and maintain data sources and tools for diagnostics.


"Our customers selected Ritmo and its C# Toolkit for the unique ability to ensure timely, cost-effective .NET application integration to critical data, often found in IBM i production systems," says Giacomo Lorenzin, president and CEO of HiT Software.


Lorenzin was as thrilled as the rest of the employees at the company when another customer, Morgan Corp., the nation's largest manufacturer of Class 3-to-7 dry freight and refrigerated truck bodies, reported recently that it was highly pleased with Ritmo in its role to speed up performance between the company's IBM i data and a Windows server that support an enterprise-wide "business-critical" information portal. The systems integrator for Morgan Corp., Michael Gilbert, CEO of Tavilo, Inc., a leading provider of business intelligence and performance management solutions for North American manufacturers, said it's all about the speed.


"I have yet to find faster .NET middleware for the IBM i," says Gilbert. "Ritmo worked right out of the box and was simple to OEM," he says. Tavilo is one of a number of HiT Software's solution partners and value-added resellers that offer the company's products as part of their solutions and services. Others include RapidDecision (an out-of-the-box data warehouse solution for JD Edwards ERP environments), Blue Diamond Data Management, Tallega Software, Kazer Corp., jnetDirect, cforia, INOVATEC Consulting, and more.


Solution providers like Ritmo for its speed and also because it doesn't require any additional DB2 server software. It connects to DB2 through the Ritmo .NET provider and provides toolbar buttons to connect and disconnect data sources, run catalog queries, create and drop tables, and run SQL queries, among other functions. It even runs IBM i commands and stored procedures. Users can view and modify table contents using the Toolkit's data grid. The company says developers like the drop-down menus and point-and-click functionality.


There are times when administrators want to replicate and synchronize data between IBM i and SQL Server. At other times, they'll want to access DB2 data directly, and then, the mighty i is serving in the role as a satellite database. If the application that needs to access data is based on the .NET framework, it helps to use a pure.NET managed provider like Ritmo/i.