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Message Posted: Thu, 06 Feb 2003 @ 22:56:08 GMT

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Subj:   Re: Perl with Teradata Solution (Free Ware issue)
From:   John Adams

  -------Original Message-------  

  In one of the Teradata folders we found PERL components. We are planning to use this as a scripting language to access Data to and from from Teradata utilizing Flat files.  

  1) Is there any formal agreement of PERL with Teradata since PERL is a free ware that will justify our using this on the Production servers?  

I don't believe so.

On the other hand, there are Teradata utilities which (at the time when I used them two years ago, on UNIX), were written by NCR in Perl. Further, all NCR UNIX boxes ship with Perl, and (the last time I looked), NCR provided a pkgadd version of Perl, again, for UNIX -- enlightenment on Perl with Win2K boxes shipped from NCR would be gratefully received by me. Granted, that version was 5.5.3, which was a development track version, but it was still pretty darn good (though you _want_ 5.6.1).

If I were you, I would consider that close enough and forget about it.

Tim O'Reilly once told me, in reference to this very sort of question, that it's better to ask forgiveness than to beg permission. On the whole, I think he's right, though it's also good to establish explicit permission through policy change.

  Our companies policy is not to allow any free ware on Production boxes.  

There are good reasons to be careful what software you install on any machine. However, blanket policies such as this one are just not very intelligent. If you were running UNIX without any so-called "free ware", you would have a crippled machine.

Consider: The PUT utility on NCR Teradata (under UNIX, when I last used it, which was some time ago--if I'm out of date, someone please tell me) uses both Perl and Apache, two of the most reliable UNIX tools available.

Now, on Win2K, I'm not sure I'd install Apache on a production server -- the last windows version I put on a machine at home was specified as not being production ready. On the other hand, I'd put Perl 5.6.1 on any machine whatsoever used with Teradata.

Coping with blanket policies like these are a matter of company politics--quite often, you will discover that the underlying reasons for them can be satisfied while using tools apparently forbidden by them.

In the case of Perl (and Apache, for that matter), there are commercial versions and commercial support contracts available.

That's the most common objection to the use of Perl. This resolves it. A product for which one can buy support is not percieved as "free ware". (I hate that term, 'cause it ain't really free. Everything has a cost--this cost is non-monetary.)

(If you are in a multi-platform environment, you might also consider pointing out that *r*cl* officially blesses Perl, more or less, and they are a good manufacturer of small, non-scalable OTLP database systems.)

  2) Also, Even if PERL is allowed, is it a good tool to Edit and validate text files 5GB(22m records) in size to be finally inserted into teradata tables.  

Yes, although if you have other tools at hand that will do the job, you should consider them, too.

  Basically is PERL-Teradata a viable tested IT solution?  


If you're interested in more on this subject, let me suggest a couple of resources:

There is a mailing list hosted at perl.org on Perl advocacy. It's very useful--consider joining it, or at least skimming its archives. Also, depending on where you live, you may have an active local PerlMongers group.

General Perl success stories are probably beyond the scope of this list, but they _are_ out there, and I'll be glad to point you to them. Most of them are on commercial sites, so I don't post them here. Drop me a note if you'd like more information.


John A
see me fulminate at www.jzip.org

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