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DemandCaster Data Integration Overview and Options

The life blood of DemandCaster is data. To that end, DemandCaster is built with an integrated data management service that securely extracts, transforms, and loads data from virtually any ERP system or data source to the DemandCaster application located on our secure servers.

DemandCaster Data Management Components

  1. Data Connector: Connects to any application or data source.
  2. Data Hub: Data transformation and load into DemandCaster and when applicable load data back to on-premise or cloud application.
  3. API: Allows us to connect, retrieve, and post data to and from a multitude of sources.
  4. Manual Upload: User uploads data manually as needed.

How is the Data Provided?

There are 6 data integration methods that our clients employ depending on their needs and capabilities:

  1. Data Hub - from ERP database: This is the most direct and cleanest method. The data connector securely queries this database and pushes the data directly to the DemandCaster Data Hub for transformation and load.
  2. Data Hub - from Database: In this method the client ports all the required data, including data from other sources into a database of their choosing on a scheduled basis. The data connector queries this database and pushes the data directly to the DemandCaster Data Hub for transformation and load. This method is often employed by larger companies with complex systems such as SAP and Oracle or companies that would prefer to have all data in a single managed location. Setting Up the Data Connector is provided here.
  3. Post to FTP: In this method the client pushes all the required data, including data from other sources into an FTP folder that DemandCaster hosts. From there DemandCaster's Data Hub transforms and loads the data into the clients DemandCaster instance. Setting up an FTP integration is provided here.
  4. Plex Manufacturing Cloud: In this method a pre-configured integration is enabled via API.
  5. Netsuite: In this method a pre-configured DemandCaster Netsuite data connector connects to Netsuite via their API. The information needed to configure the NetSuite integration is provided here.
  6. API: This process eliminates the data connector in favor of moving data via API. 
  7. Manual Upload: The user chooses to upload the data manually. The most time consuming process that tends to create errors if the files are not created properly. The steps to manually upload data is provided here.
  8. Combination: The data connector pulls data from both an ERP as well as a database or flat file and pushes the data directly to DemandCaster for transformation and load.

DemandCaster Data Connector Overview

Most on-premise applications are typically kept behind a firewall, with no direct access via the Internet. To handle this requirement, the DemandCaster Data Connector is a lightweight 75 MB package which consists of a Java Virtual Machine, various JDBC drivers, a JDBC-ODBC bridge driver, and the actual Java based Data Connector application. It runs as a windows service on a workstation or your server and serves as the communication link between your application and DemandCaster. No changes to the firewall are required. The Data Connector supports a full bi-directional movement of data in a normalized XML format between your data sources and DemandCaster.

Prior to installing the Data Connector, your IT personal or our support staff enters the integration related information into the DemandCaster Data Hub. Once entered, your passwords are invisible and encrypted to everyone including our authorized support staff. The Data Connector is then downloaded to the location where it will reside, installed, and started.

Upon completion of the Data Connector installation, our support staff is only able to work through the data connector via SQL queries that are written and stored in the Data Hub. We will not be able to log into your server or gain access to your network without the assistance from your personnel. 

As a further security measure, you can limit the Data Connector to read only and provide it access to only certain data tables. This can be controlled via the database login credentials you provide. Blackout periods may also be included to prevent the Data Connector from communicating with the Data Hub during certain times when maintenance processes are running for example.

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