DBHawk is a web-based solution that provides centralized management of a broad range of database platforms, whether hosted on-premise or in the cloud. As it does not hamper production server performance, it is ideal for use in systems with many database end-users.
DBHawk features seamless integration with Okta and other single sign-on systems, and supports SSL, LDAP, SAML and other security protocols, including secure two-factor authentication. It uses Built-in Object Access control so that database users only get access to the data they need. DBHawk also logs all user activities, including user authentication and SQL-related activities. In this regard, it helps facilitate compliance with GDPR, HIPAA and SOX, among other government regulations.
Datasparc, the creator of DBHawk, offers its clients the opportunity to integrate the tool into their own systems. This case study showcases the integration of the web-based database software in a commercial student information system available in the Netherlands.
About the Client
Netherlands-based CACI bv prides itself for its expertise in higher education. The OSIRIS student information system (SIS) is the company’s flagship product. Outside of the education sector, CACI offers innovative solutions based on Open Source, JIRA, and Oracle to its customers in various industries.
OSIRIS is used by more than half of the higher institutions of learning in the Netherlands, making it the leading SIS in the country. First marketed in 2001, it is now used in 37 higher educational institutions with a combined population numbering more than 400,000 students. Traditionally available as an on-premise solution, CACI transitioned OSIRIS into a cloud-based platform in 2011.
With OSIRIS, school administrators and faculty members are better able to deliver essential educational services. At the same time, students use OSIRIS to learn about and assess their own performance.
CACI bv has more than 65 employees in the Netherlands. It is a subsidiary of London-based CACI Ltd., which in turn is a subsidiary of Arlington, VA-based and NYSE-listed CACI International Inc. CACI International had $4.35 billion in revenues and approximately 19,000 employees worldwide in 2017.
When OSIRIS was introduced to the market in 2001, it was a purely on-premise solution, like many other systems at that time. Also, it did not come with an integrated database management tool. Instead, CACI’s customers acquired third-party tools to manage and administer their OSIRIS databases. For customers with small IT support staff, this meant consulting CACI on what tools to use with OSIRIS. In some instances, customers expected CACI personnel to provide support on these third-party tools as well. This was not a problem when OSIRIS was new to the market, and even when more higher learning institutions acquired OSIRIS and the number of users started growing.
However, when OSIRIS transitioned from being an on-premise solution to one hosted on the cloud, the continuing lack of a database management tool common among its user base became a problem, particularly when it came to support calls related to issues in production databases.
In these cases, CACI recommended that customers run queries on a separate Oracle database server to ensure data integrity and prevent slow performance in production databases. This often meant asking the customer to provision server hardware where the additional database instance can be installed. A common customer complaint was that this so-called “query” server led to higher maintenance costs for the system.
As an internal initiative, CACI support staff tried out several tools that it hoped would allow users to connect to production databases and run queries without adversely affecting server performance. From among these tools, DBHawk met all of CACI’s requirements. The development team then reached out to Datasparc for assistance in integrating DBHawk into OSIRIS.
CEO of Datasparc, instructed the Datasparc team to proceed with the integration and provide CACI with all the support it needs to ensure a successful project.
The CACI and Datasparc teams worked closely together and eventually launched OSIRIS Query, which is essentially DBHawk packaged as OSIRIS’s own database management tool.
With OSIRIS Query, OSIRIS customers can now utilize a single, easy-to-administer and roll-out web-based tool for their Oracle production databases without fear of slowing down production servers and at the same time safeguarding database integrity in compliance with government regulations such as GDPR.
OSIRIS Query allows centralized user access management, enabling administrators to know which team members are working on specific instances and queries at a glance. It can also seamlessly integrate with the security infrastructure, e.g. LDAP and Okta, of OSIRIS customers, allowing users to connect to production databases and access data to which only they have access, preserving data security.
Even more convenient is the easy tracking of connections and queries run by users. This meant that support teams, whether CACI’s or the customer’s, can fix issues in production databases without the need to set up a separate ‘query’ database.
OSIRIS Query integrated all of DBHawk’s other features, including its powerful SQL editor, which can be used to create and save queries that can then be shared, facilitating troubleshooting of production issues.
With the completion of the project, CACI has started offering OSIRIS Query as part of OSIRIS. Thus, new and existing OSIRIS customers now have access to OSIRIS Query and can utilize it for their requirements.
Headquartered in San Diego, CA, Datasparc offers database management and data security solutions. Their goal is to be a leader in secure database management through providing innovative, easy-to-use tools for accessing, integrating, developing, and analyzing data. Datasparc has been named among the Top 20 Most Promising Enterprise Security Solutions Providers for 2019 by CIO Review.