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Sorting has been a fundamental operation in data processing since the days of punched cards. Some of the more important applications of sorting are:

  • ranking or ordering data
  • arranging data so that it can be efficiently searched
  • bringing together records with the same key

Nsort is the fastest, single-system sort program in the world. Nsort can help any application that needs to sort large files of data quickly. Nsort is used today by customers in diverse applications. If you have a time-critical sort application, Nsort can help improve your application performance.

Database and Data Warehouse

A large portion of the world's data is stored in databases or data warehouses. Nsort can help preprocess data for loading into a database or data warehouse, so that the data is loaded as quickly as possible. Nsort is currently being used by a well-known internet service provider to prepare load data and compute aggregates for their data warehouse system.

Nsort can help you use your load window more efficiently. Presorting your data in advance of the load window can reduce the amount of work your database or data warehouse system needs to do during the load window. By letting Nsort presort your load data, you can reduce the overall time that it takes to perform your data loads.

Nsort can also help make more efficient use of your hardware. With Nsort, you can get your data loaded more quickly without having to purchase more processors or memory.

Filtering

Incoming load data can contain bad records or data that is not germane to your application. Nsort can help by selecting just those records you want to load into your database. Nsort can perform range checking and make sure that required fields are present. Nsort can even provide default values for fields that are absent or out-of-range. Nsort can check for data integrity, isolating the records that fail integrity constraints into reject files. Nsort can also reformat records to add, remove,or rearrange fields.

With Nsort's help, you can streamline the load process by making sure that your RDBMS never sees bad or irrelevant records.

Aggregating

Aggregated data forms the basis for most data warehouse systems. As Dr. Ralph Kimball stresses in The Data Warehouse Toolkit : "The use of prestored summaries (aggregates) is the single most effective tool the data warehouse designer has to control performance."

Prestored aggregates of a fact table can either be computed by the data warehouse, or externally computed and loaded into the data warehouse. Nsort's summarize feature allows aggregates to be quickly computed during the course of a sort. Nsort's extremely fast speed makes for a quicker overall process of generating prestored aggregates.

Nsort can also help you create fact table records that represent aggregated totals. For example the fact table records might represent the total sales of a given product in a store on a particular day. Nsort can summarize records containing individual sales transactions to produce the total sales by each unique product, store, day combination.