Hit Software's DBMoto 5.0 is a replication solution designed to help companies move and copy database objects easily between database platforms and touts improved performance, configuration, and manageability when compared with SQL Server 2005. Built on Microsoft .NET, DBMoto 5.0 is highly scalable middleware that has been architected for extensibility. And because it's not tightly coupled with SQL Server, it boasts extensive support for many heterogeneous platforms.
DBMoto 5.0 provides three types of replication: Refresh, Continuous Mirroring, and Synchronization, which are conceptually identical to SQL Server's Snapshot,Transactional, and Merge replication offerings, respectively. Native SQL Server provides a bevy of configuration, tuning, and performance settings and options. Because DBMoto 5.0 is built on its own replication engine, it offers a completely different set of configuration and tuning options, which can provide different flexibility points—this is the main differentiator between DBMoto 5.0 and native SQL Server replication.
Unlike SQL Server 2005, which relies on a publication and subscription metaphor, DBMoto 5.0 lets you set up replications on a table-by-table basis, as Figure 1 shows, rather than requiring you to build entire publications with individual articles.You use a wizard to specify source and destination tables, replication types, schedules, and other details.With the focus on tables rather than publications, DBMoto 5.0 lets you have easy access to options and properties for each replication object. The product also provides scripting functions that let you control data mappings between source and target tables by using VB.NET in much the same way that SQL Server uses VBScript for transformations within SQL Server 2000 DTS.
I did encounter some things I didn't like during my evaluation. DBMoto 5.0's error messages weren't user-friendly and are almost useless unless you're adept at wading through .NET stack trace details. This shortcoming made me deduct a star from my overall rating. I also didn't like being left completely on my own to find, install, and load providers and drivers for enabling replication to PostgreSQL and My-SQL. Although I understand the architectural and legal implications of providing drivers and providers for heterogeneous connectivity, I would have liked DBMoto to provide links,tips,or explanations about where to find connectivity components. Finally, although overall replication operations went smoothly, I couldn't get DBMoto's Mirrored Replication to replicate a database from SQL Server to MySQL.It seemed easy to set up and configure the replication task,but then the graphical management tool indicated that the replication task had failed.When I looked in the log file to diagnose the reason for failure, the file was filled with Microsoft .NET exceptions that referred to an IConvertable interface problem in .NET—hardly helpful for diagnosing my problem.
I enjoyed taking DBMoto 5.0 for a spin. The major problem with error reporting aside, DBMoto 5.0 was easy to install and use. The product supports Integrated Authentication and lets you specify elevated permissions when you deploy log-monitoring agents that help bypass the need to grant replication accounts too many privileges. DBMoto 5.0's overall performance was equivalent to standard replication tests. The product also provides excellent realtime metrics about its replication status and performance.
PROS: Robust Replication functionality; impressive array of supported heterogeneous connectivity; real-time monitoring; easy configuration.
CONS: Error messages typically require users to wade through .NET stack traces to glean information from exception details.
RATING: 4 1/2 out of 5
PRICE: Pricing starts at $1925.
RECOMMENDATION: DBMoto 5.0 is a viable option for serious replication.