Software

Product Spotlight: KnowledgeSync data management tool

Derek Schauland shares his experience working with the business data management tool KnowledgeSync. It provides monitoring, alerts, and reporting functionality.

Have you ever been in a situation in which you were notified about some piece of business data that would help you or someone in your business perform better? For example, suppose you are on a sales team and you rely on accounting to record data to a sales-friendly front end in a timely fashion each month. Receiving notification of when this data is updated allows the sales team to be more proactive in analyzing their performance and getting a jump on future opportunities.

This is where KnowledgeSync fits in. This tool provides alerting and data management capabilities throughout an organization and across multiple data stores, freeing up valuable resources and increasing the productivity of IT and other departments.

Specifications

Supported operating systems:
  • Windows NT
  • Windows 2000
  • Windows XP
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Server 2008
Hardware requirements:

KnowledgeSync requires 128MB Ram and a Pentium 290 processor. It also requires 64MB of disk space for installation and 32MB of disk space for the application itself.

Who's it for?

IT departments or business units that need to share information on a timely schedule will find this application useful.

What problem does it solve?

  • KnowledgeSync allows reports to be generated based on a schedule and/or queries to be executed with the results e-mailed to individuals or teams. You can also perform routine actions to update certain records based on a scheduled query. Many of the routine items I would have needed to do by hand in the past, KnowledgeSync handles now.
  • The application can also be used to monitor a mailbox for incoming messages and create records in a database — for ticketing or returning a requested report to the sender if licensed to do so.

Standout features

  • Automation of reporting and routine tasks performed on data stores including updates, inserts, and deletes.
  • Completing actions against record sets that meet a custom-built query, but not running against every record (unless the query tells it to do so).
  • E-mail notification of events happening against data. When a job is configured to take an action against a record set, KnowledgeSync can also e-mail people in your organization when the job is complete. If needed, the e-mail can contain results or just a message alerting the user that an action has been taken.
  • Preconfigured event packs for popular applications: some of the larger ERP and CRM applications in use today may have event packs for KnowledgeSync that are prebuilt and can save time when getting ready to use the application in your environment.
  • Ability to schedule the population of tables in one application's database with data from another application's database with very little coding.

What's wrong?

  • In some cases, the KnowledgeSync service gets stuck when processing a task. This requires the service to be stopped and restarted to get the ball rolling again. Usually doing this will complete the tasks that are trying to execute.
  • When not using the service and running the desktop application of KnowledgeSync, you will need to monitor the application for occasional reboots.
  • The only way to be notified that something has not completed due to service issues is to include yourself on the subscriber list and pay attention to e-mail. If you do not receive the e-mail containing the content you are expecting, the service may need to be restarted.

Competitive products

  • Microsoft SQL Server's SQL Mail functionality
  • Crystal Reports Enterprise Server

Bottom line for business

KnowledgeSync is a great tool for managing automated data across multiple data sources and will be useful for working with regular reports or record updates that may need to be automated. It can also be used to create help desk tickets in conjunction with a mailbox that receives help requests from users.

About Derek Schauland

Derek Schauland has been tinkering with Windows systems since 1997. He has supported Windows NT 4, worked phone support for an ISP, and is currently the IT Manager for a manufacturing company in Wisconsin.

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