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Auditing Database Changes with UniVerse Indexing Subroutines


Summary

The UniVerse database has supported file triggers for some time, not just on UniVerse SQL tables. They are fully compliant with the standard SQL model for triggers — before and after insert, update, and delete events; referential integrity; cascading; the ability to modify or terminate an update; and so forth. Obviously, supporting all this functionality involves a noticeable amount of overhead. But in the Real World, our traditional MultiValue applications manage all of this themselves. The primary use of file triggers I have seen is as a way to capture database change events in order to log them as part of IT governance auditing (SOX, HIPPA, etc.).

In UniVerse release 11.1, Rocket Software has provided us a way of using indexing subroutines to capture changes to a file. To completely understand how this new technique works, let's first review the normal use of indexing subroutines.

The purpose of an indexing subroutine is to derive the index value that is to be cross referenced with the record key. For example, say that we had a need to be able to quickly retrieve all of the purchase orders entered by a particular employee for a given accounting period. Accounting periods do not always follow calendar months. So for our particular industry, in order to determine the accounting period of a particular date, we might have to look up the information in a period table. We could have a subroutine whose job it was to take the purchase order date out of the record, look it up in the period table, and catenate the period with the user login ID. We then create an I-type descriptor in the dictionary that calls this subroutine then build an index on that I-type. Anytime we add, change, or delete a record, UniVerse is going to want to update that index appropriately.

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