Data integrity is one of Lozen’s significant advantages compared to legacy data access solutions. In this blog, we describe data integrity, why it is important, and Lozen’s out-of-the-box approach to data integrity.
What is Data Integrity and Why is it Important?
Data integrity is the overall accuracy, completeness, and consistency of data over its lifecycle. It is essential to every organization: for the accuracy and efficiency of business processes, as well as for decision making.
The importance of data integrity cannot be overstated, especially today when organizations are experiencing rapid growth in data access demands due to the increasing number of projects involving application migration, mainframe modernization, and digital transformation.
Data integrity is a key part of Lozen’s design. When creating Lozen™, we leveraged the proven and very robust data integrity options provided by VSAM on the mainframe.
VSAM files can be defined in a variety of ways depending on your needs. For example, there are ways to ensure serialization, so only a single application can process data at a time. There are also ways to ensure controlled sharing of the data, so multiple applications can process data at the same time.
When an application accesses mainframe files using Lozen, sharing depends on how the actual mainframe files have been defined:
- If the file type doesn’t support concurrent sharing (as with QSAM files) or the file has not been set up for sharing, then the file can typically be read by multiple applications, but only updated by a single application at a time. When a Lozen application tries to write the file, it requires exclusive control and fails if another application has that file open at that point in time.
- On the other hand, if the file is defined with VSAM SHAREOPTIONS or record level sharing (RLS), multiple applications can access the file concurrently, and the sharing is coordinated at a lower level within VSAM.
These data integrity capabilities are built into Lozen, making it safe for Lozen-managed applications to update records, in addition to reading and referencing mainframe data.
Lozen’s approach stands in stark contrast to other legacy data access methods that access a copy of the data created as part of a file transfer or ETL process (versus direct access to the file). With legacy approaches, when an application is accessing a remote copy of a file and needs to make changes, the application has no way of knowing that the same data is not being changed by another application running on the mainframe, rendering the local replicated copy of the file out-of-date.
Before Lozen, coordinating changes like this required customers to develop and implement costly and complex “change data capture” methods to maintain synchronization between the replicated data and the original data source.
With Lozen, you read and write the record directly — in real-time — eliminating the need for data replication, multiple data transfers, and change data capture for synchronization.
If you define your VSAM data to enable full sharing, you can be assured that nothing is going to interfere with your record update. This makes for a much more robust and high integrity approach, where you access the data directly, and you can safely and securely update it without all the risks, costs, and complexity.
Because Lozen provides real-time access to original master data sources with full data integrity and security, there is no need to replicate entire datasets to one or more target systems — and without data replication, there is no need for complex and costly change data capture processes. Plus, organizations can leverage Lozen’s unique capabilities to eliminate the skyrocketing costs of legacy data access methods like ETL.
Listen to our CTO, Vince Re, talk in more detail about our approach to data integrity.
To learn more about how to unlock the power of real-time, read-write IBM zSystems data access with Lozen:
- Try Lozen for free.
- Explore our demos page and YouTube channel.
- Watch webinars and read the blog.
- Still have questions? Contact us.