HFR: CDC Tool for Real-Time Ops

HFR Fribourg is a major public hospital located in Fribourg, Switzerland that provides healthcare services to more than 150,000 patients per year. 

Technical Use Case: Change Data Capture (CDC) replication

Business Use Case: Real-time operations + analytics

Sources/Targets: Oracle > SQL Server – via ultra-fast Oracle Binary Log Parser (OBLP) 

The Challenge

The hospital’s data team was faced with the challenge of providing critical operational and financial data to the hospital’s management in a timely manner, allowing them to evaluate the situation at the hospital day-to-day and respond to events/trends quickly. The data included how many patients were arriving at the ER, total number of admitted patients, as well as financial and HR data needed by the finance department and BI Team. In addition, HFR needed data streaming for regulatory compliance and benchmarking with other hospitals. 

Their biggest obstacle was extracting the data from their sources, since they were stored on legacy systems with limited capacity. “Before Equalum, we had to alternate data sources each night, because of the load on our infrastructure,” said Alexis Legrand, Application Owner at HFR. “We weren’t able to get data at the frequency we needed to the data warehouse.”

The Solution

HFR needed a real-time data streaming solution, and decided that a change data capture (CDC) tool was their best option because of minimal impact on the source. After researching and testing several CDC tools, they chose Equalum.

“We chose Equalum because its CDC tool was easier to use and we were able to build streams rapidly and get the data in the shape that we wanted,” said Alexis Legrand. “We liked the process and the support, and it was easier to get data quickly. The learning curve was steeper with some of the other CDC tools.”  

The Result

Thanks to Equalum’s industry-leading CDC solution featuring Oracle Binary Log Parsing (OBLP), HFR is now able to stream critical operational and business data to their warehouse in real-time, powering dashboards that help the hospital run smoothly and ensure that it always has the capacity to provide critical patient care.  

Surgere: Real-time ETL for Real-time Analytics

Surgere is a technology company leveraging IoT to revolutionize the supply chain. They provide software and hardware to the world’s leading industries to give them expanded visibility into their physical supply chain and help them overcome transportation, logistics, and storage challenges.

Technical Use Case: Change Data Capture (CDC) Replication + Streaming ETL

Business Use Case: Real-time analytics (consolidate multiple database sources to a single target reporting database)

Sources/Targets: MS SQL & Microsoft Azure SQL to MS SQL

The Challenge

Surgere was faced with the challenge of having all of their clients’ data on different databases, making reporting and analytics difficult. “We didn’t have an easy mechanism to look at all of our clients’ data in one place,” said Thomas Strain, VP of Technology & Product Management. 

Surgere wanted to bring the reportable data from all of their different clients into one data warehouse in real-time, where it could be analyzed with Power BI and other tools. Strain added: “In order to simplify data models and look to the future to do machine learning, we needed to bring all the data into one database vs 20+ databases.”

The Solution

Surgere decided that the ideal solution was an advanced ETL tool to move the data to one central warehouse. Ease of use was a key consideration. “We were looking for a no or low-code solution.” said Strain, “We wanted easy configuration. And we wanted real-time. After trying several real-time ETL tools, we chose Equalum.”

“The ease-of-use was very compelling,” said Strain. “We also appreciated Equalum’s high availability and automatic failover.” 

During the POC, they were also impressed by platform features like automatic initial capture to streaming CDC (Change Data Capture), in-memory lookup-tables to reduce the complexity of the data, and the wide range of robust transformations. “We were doing a lot of transformations, so this was critical,” he said.

The Result

“Now we can look across all of our customers and model for one set of behaviors,” said Strain. With all of their clients’ data now flowing to one data warehouse in real-time, Surgere has been able to implement advanced learning and modeling for all of our customers. “It definitely reduces the burden for Power BI development, making it very transferable and improving performance on the back end.”

Equalum’s customer service has also made the process easier and more efficient. “The support provided by Equalum has been very strong,” said Strain.

Finally, Equalum’s enterprise-grade platform has helped improve productivity.

“It’s a solid, intuitive interface,” said Strain. “The platform is well-designed, it just works the way it’s supposed to work.”

Surgere plans to integrate additional client databases in the future, and with real-time data powered by Equalum, to achieve greater scalability to pursue machine learning and other use cases. 

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