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CA Datacom OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

What is CA Datacom?
CA Datacom enables the continuous availability of your business applications. Datacom, and its family of rDBMS products, provides you with a reliable database repository with enterprise-wide, high-volume workload and fault-tolerant capabilities.

CA Datacom was previously known as DATACOM.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Database Development and Management Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: April 2022

CA Datacom Customers
Blue Hill Data Services Inc.
CA Datacom Video

Archived CA Datacom Reviews (more than two years old)

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it_user489183 - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Admin at a logistics company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Scalability and the online maintainability of definitions are definite advantages for us
Pros and Cons
  • "Scalability is definitely one thing. The size of the database can grow without any issues. We've got one database table that's got over a billion rows in it; quite a bit of data, and it handles access like a champ."
  • "Nowadays, CA is doing a lot of improving as far as online maintainability of definitions, which is a huge improvement over the past. I'm able to do a lot of changes without any outage."
  • "For the "no-outage maintainability" of things, they are making improvements as we speak, but there is definitely still room for more of that."

What is our primary use case?

On the platform that I work on, it is the sole database package, and there's a whole lot of production going on every day: many transactions, many online users, batch, etc., accessing the database.

How has it helped my organization?

We've had it for so long, so it's status quo. But we've added all sorts of functionality to our applications and there are no issues with databases. Anything developers request, we're able to accomplish.

Also, we deal a lot with government regulation - and not to talk about what the company does - but anything that they require of us, because we transmit data back and forth with them, we're able to do that with no problems. And there have been a lot of changes over the past five years that our government dictated regarding what we actually end up doing. So, we're able to be extremely flexible with that.

What is most valuable?

Scalability is definitely one thing. The size of the database can grow without any issues. We've got one database table that's got over a billion rows in it; quite a bit of data, and it handles access like a champ.

Nowadays, CA is doing a lot of improving as far as online maintainability of definitions, which is a huge improvement over the past. I'm able to do a lot of changes without any outage.

What needs improvement?

There are still some things - and I know they are working on some of them - but for the "no-outage maintainability" of things, they are making improvements as we speak, but there is definitely still room for more of that.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is 9.5 out of 10. It's right up there, but it's definitely not perfect. We have had instances within the past year where we were able to attempt to do something and cause an outage.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is definitely 10 out of 10.

How is customer service and technical support?

We're in touch, we kind of know each other. It's definitely a 10 out of 10.

How was the initial setup?

We do the software upgrades, we're involved in one right now. And some of that is going back and forth with CA's tech support and finding some errors and addressing them. They are quick to respond. 

It's rather simple. Again, I've been doing it for a couple decades now, so I don't have to think too much about what I'm doing because it works. And they've definitely made improvements to the upgrade process over the years. It used to be more complex.

What other advice do I have?

Right now, we're pretty well locked in with this product. I know we are looking at a migration, which would potentially be off of the mainframe platform. Right now we're just using what we have, and whether anything will happen with that massive project or not, we have no idea, but it is being investigated. There's certainly no software or changes that will be going on for quite a while anyway.

Follow the instructions as given and you won't have any problems. If you have any questions, tech support is there, they're good. As I said, I've gotten to know a couple of those individuals just by going back and forth on different issues, and they are extremely easy to work with. 

There's a blog-type posting out there on their site, in what they call CA Community, where a lot of other long term users answer questions, have all kinds of suggestions, for anybody new getting in, which would be huge. You get tech support from other users, in effect.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user779310 - PeerSpot reviewer
Mainframe Systems Administrator at Total System Services, Inc.
Video Review
Real User
It is a stable product that cuts down on our support costs
Pros and Cons
  • "It definitely ​cuts down on our support costs. I do not get woken up in the middle of the night very often for a problem with Datacom."
  • "The initial setup is fairly straightforward for a mainframe product."
  • "It is a solid product."
  • "The only minor issue that we have had with Datacom is in the installation guide: Some of the sizings for the databases have not really worked out for us, so we had to go in and resize them."

How has it helped my organization?

It definitely cuts down on our support costs. I do not get woken up in the middle of the night very often for a problem with Datacom. So, it is a pretty solid solution.

What is most valuable?

We use Datacom as the database for our CA 7 and CA 11. It is a very stable product. I really don't have to do much with it. I don't have to worry about the product going down. It just works most of the time. That is what I like about it. 

What needs improvement?

This is a hard one. It has just been a really solid product. We have not had very many issues at all with it. The only minor issue that we have had with Datacom is in the installation guide: Some of the sizings for the databases have not really worked out for us, so we had to go in and resize them. Also, we would run out of space and things like that. Those are the only minor things.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is definitely scalable. It has done everything that we have needed it to do. I do not see any problem going forward with it.

How is customer service and technical support?

They are very responsive. They are always ready to meet. Any questions that we have or any needs that we have. We get very personal support; one-on-one support when we need it. Just top-notch service.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is fairly straightforward for a mainframe product. It is a pretty standard installation. I am actually getting ready to upgrade the product in the next few months, and I do not foresee any problems with it. 

What other advice do I have?

I would give it a nine out of 10. Just because, you never get a perfect 10. There is always room for improvement. There are minor things here and there, but I would say it is a solid product. 

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: 

  • Reputation, definitely. 
  • Support is really important to us being on the mainframe side. The support has to be really responsive when we need it: 24 hours a day, seven days a week, holidays, weekends, whenever. That is a really big deal. 
  • Stability is very important, obviously. 
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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it_user779310 - PeerSpot reviewer
Mainframe Systems Administrator at Total System Services, Inc.
Real User
​It is like a black box type of product. We just set it up and it runs.

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use DATACOM as a database product. We use it for CA7 and CA11 on our mainframe systems, and as the database for CA7 and CA11.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features, being a systems programmer, are the ease of use and stability.

How has it helped my organization?

It has cut down on our support. Though I do not know about support costs, but it has cut down on my support hours, after hours especially. 

It is a solid product. We do not often have issues with it. It just works most of the time.

What needs improvement?

More zip processing is always a good thing. The more that they can move to zip engines that would be better.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is like a black box type of product. We just set it up and it runs. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable. We have not had any issues with it.

How is customer service and technical support?

Great technical support. They are very responsive, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Whenever we need them, they are always available.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the initial setup. It was fairly straightforward. As mainframe products go, it was a pretty standard install.

What other advice do I have?

It has been a solid product. We are very happy with it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user778857 - PeerSpot reviewer
Database Administrator at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Processes very efficiently, using less and less of the CPU as we go

What is our primary use case?

We are using it as our database engine on our mainframe to store the data for various insurance systems.

It performs very well. It continues to get easier and easier to use and to maintain. They keep adding more support, more 24/7 support.

What is most valuable?

It processes very efficiently. I think that's it's most important feature. I also love the support that I get when I call their support team.

How has it helped my organization?

It just sits in the background. I don't know that it has a significant impact.

What needs improvement?

I'm working with them to add some new features to the current release. Features like security auditing of access to the data, and continuing to update the security and the product.

In general, they should just continue to modernize. Just keep up with the modernization.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable.

I had trouble with an upgrade once but, when I have trouble with the upgrade there's always someone there to support me and get me through it really quickly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is doing very well. We haven't had any trouble managing the scale of it. It keeps getting more and more efficient, using less and less of the CPU as we go.

How is customer service and technical support?

I'm happy with the technical support. Very satisfied with the response time, and the knowledge and ability to get me to the people that know what needs to be done.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup but I am involved in all the upgrades that happen. They are very straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

When our company is looking into a vendor, what's important to us are three main points:

  • that their product works well
  • efficient
  • cost.

I rate in a nine out of 10 because I think it's a wonderful product but I always think everything can keep getting better. I see that it keeps going in that direction.

I would tell a colleague it's very easy to use. It does its job very well. It's very efficient.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user755379 - PeerSpot reviewer
Datacom System Engineer at a venture capital & private equity firm with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Much easier to install than it once was and no issues with stability or scalability

What is most valuable?

Over the years, with the different releases, and for sure the upgrades, the installation process has gotten a lot easier because they use Cora Software Manager now to to install it. And the upgrade process, they use the new active upgrade process. Those features make everything a lot easier, a whole lot simpler than it used to be in the past.

What needs improvement?

There are a lot of features that come out with each upgrade, but our application that runs on it has been around for a long time; they sort of decommissioned this application. So they don't really take advantage of a lot of the new features that come out with the Datacom upgrades and new releases.

For how long have I used the solution?

Over 20 years, for CA products.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This product is very stable, compared to a lot of other DBMSs that run in our shop. When I was at Verizon and at IBM, we seldom had any problems with the stability of the product. It's very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No, no issues at all.

How are customer service and technical support?

I call them all the time and they're very good. They're very responsive to any problems that we may have with a new release.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I've always supported Datacom. I have been put on other projects that use other DBMSs; I did IDMS for a while, I did a little bit of ADABAS for a while, and I even did a little bit of DB2, but they were only on a cross-training basis. Datacom is really the only one that I have been the main support person for. The other ones I've kind of dabbled in them.

How was the initial setup?

It was very complex back in the day, but today because of the improvements that they've made by putting the software on Cora Software Manager, to be distributed to us, and because of the way that they do the upgrades now with the active upgrade, it's gotten a lot simpler and less time consuming to install.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I'm not in the position to choose. This product was at Verizon before I even started, so it was just something that I was asked to support. I didn't have a choice of saying, "Well, okay, do we want to put this application on DB2? Do we want to put it on ADABAS? Do we want to use Datacom?" It was already in place when I started.

What other advice do I have?

I would say to use it because of the stability. From what I've seen - because I've worked around other technicians that actually support the other products, the way that I support this - most of the time when we go to outage calls, because we review any outages that happen, most of the outages that happen are with the other products and not mine.

I gave it a nine out of 10 because I really believe in it. Again, it's back to the stability and the support that we receive from the vendor on it, and the fact that we don't have too many issues with it at all. It's very stable.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user489183 - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Admin at a logistics company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
The stability and capacity of the database engine are the most valuable aspects for us.

Valuable Features

The stability and capacity of the database engine are the most valuable aspects for us. We have rather high CIC transaction rates with a couple thousand concurrent users at times, and DATACOM handles the data flow and availability, along with significant updating, in a very timely fashion. The VSAM-Transparency option has allowed us to convert files into tables, so that unchanged and maintained VSAM coding, as well as use as a DATACOM table, are both available to our developers.

Improvements to My Organization

One of the things that I most appreciate is that functionality that is being added to the product. Things we are now able to accomplish without an outage, and were not able to do in prior releases, include data reorganization, file size growth and file moves. This has enabled us to shorten our planned outages and to be proactive in improving online response times and batch throughput.

Room for Improvement

There are other 24x7 capabilities that would be nice to have, and some of these are currently in development.

Use of Solution

We have been using DATACOM since, at least, 1991. My previous employer had begun to use the system a couple years before I joined them, which was early in 1988.

Stability Issues

Overall, the releases are much more stable at initial release than they were ‘back when’. We did have an issue with a user-defined procedure call, which apparently affected only us, after installing one of the patch sets.

Scalability Issues

The more tables we activate, and the more data that we have, it seems that the engine keeps performing at least as well as in the past. Much of that is due to the improved use of system hardware capabilities and the ability to use more memory buffering.

Customer Service and Technical Support

The technical support staff with whom I have dealt are truly top notch. They understand whatever issue or question we might have, and are able to supply quick and valid answers much of the time, or they fully engage in developing solutions when that is required.

Other Advice

DATACOM is a great database package, and the add-on features such as VSAM-Transparency and DL/1-Transparency, which I had at my former employer, really ease any transition.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
it_user349485 - PeerSpot reviewer
Systems Engineer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It has enabled us to manage all of the mainframe data easily, but they should develop integration with open distribution systems.

Valuable Features

It’s a database manager which has good performance for batch workloads and transactions.

Improvements to My Organization

Since we have been using this solution in the bank, it has enabled us to manage all of the mainframe data easily.

Room for Improvement

Something that we would like to see is for them to develop integration with open distribution systems.

Deployment Issues

We have no issues deploying it.

Stability Issues

It is stable, and we wouldn’t use it if it wasn’t.

Scalability Issues

It is very scalable and has proved this time and time again for us.

Customer Service and Technical Support

They provide the best support compared to other providers I have used previously. On the CA website, you can easily open an incident, and they call you by phone in good time and get the issue resolved.

Initial Setup

From my experience, and what others say, all CA products are easy to implement, very straightforward.

Other Advice

I’d highly recommend working with CA. Some products need to be developed, some have a limited number of users, but they are very good.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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