Notrix bridges gap between Notes and SAP

Lotus Notes applications and SAP data often exist as islands of information, but a new version of Percussion Software Inc.’s Notrix offers to bridge the two.

Because of the difficulty that typically surrounds the integration of SAP data, Percussion has written a native driver for Notrix 5.2, offering access through SAP transactions and communication with the Remote Function Call (RFC) interface.

“Most of the other ERP systems we can get to with native drivers to the databases, but SAP is quite different…what we’ve done is written a native driver that will allow customers to integrate that ERP system into the Notes application,” said Debra Murphy, director of marketing at Stoneham, Mass.-based Percussion Software.

Data can be transferred bi-directionally between Domino and SAP systems or accessed in real-time, allowing high-volume data stores to be accessed using a Domino application.

According to Mark Levitt, an analyst with Framingham, Mass.-based International Data Corp, this is important because “instead of trying to convert or transform the Domino Notes system into something else, you’re basically just passing information through the Domino Notes system to users, to an internal or external Web site, but you’re letting the data reside on those other systems.”

Version 5.2, which will be available in April, also offers real-time flexible query capability. This feature not only gives Lotus Notes users the ability to select data based on Wildcard keys, but offers users increased power when building applications, Murphy said.

“That gives the developer the ability to build an application where users can request data on the fly. We’ll build the SQL statement on the fly to go out to the back-end database, pick up the data and bring it back to the application.”

Notrix allows all parts of the real-time query to be flexible at run time, as well as the ability to exclude or add custom clauses based on field values. Additionally, it can meter usage by limiting the maximum number of rows that can be returned for a given query.

“That’s a powerful capability because the queries that are the easiest to ask and most valuable to get answered are often the ones that will go tromping through your database looking for that magic summary,” said Ken Harvey, president of CSP by Ken Harvey Inc. in Thornhill, Ont.

In addition to the Notrix upgrade, Percussion Software has also enhanced its ServerAdmin Plus with version 6.0, a client-based tool that provides additional analysis capabilities for complex areas of Notrix administration by focusing on security, database management, user and group management and server monitoring. New features include a replication analyzer, user analyzer, NSF Search and restrictions analyzer.

Murphy said these options provide ServerAdmin Plus 6.0 with far more extensive analysis capabilities.

“We’ve always built the product around being able to analyse your Domino…the focus of the tool is to be proactive and to be able to set up policies so that the administrators can then automate their security through a set of rules so that you don’t have to go in and constantly be checking to make sure things are OK, but you can do a periodic on it and make sure things are in control,” she said.

Notrix 5.2, including six relational database drivers, ODBC Level 3, flat file driver and a year of support and upgrades sells for US$10,250 per server. The real-time option sells for US$3,750 and the Notrix SAP Driver is priced at US$10,000. The ServerAdmin Plus sells for US$1,000 per server.

Percussion Software in Stoneham, Mass., is at (781) 438-9900.