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Dataset Comparator (August, 2011)

Article Summary:

The powerful new Dataset Comparator tool performs a quick and accurate comparison of two datasets, by scanning all the objects and links between objects in one dataset and matching them to the objects and links in the other dataset. It generates a comparison report presented with an intuitive interface for easy examination of the differences found between objects in one dataset and those same objects in the other dataset.

The Dataset Comparator works in three comparison modes:

The Datasets are related - use object timestamps mode is used to compare two successive versions of a dataset. This process searches first for the matching pairs of objects that have different timestamps, and then performs a comparison between the objects in each pair. Selection of the object for comparison with the same object in another dataset is done according to object type and name, regardless of object ID.

The Perform full comparison mode launches the process that finds all identical object types, calculates the number of objects of each type in both datasets and compares all matching objects. (This process takes longer than the comparison performed for the related datasets.)

Comparison results are presented with an interface that allows easy analysis and management of data differences. A dataset object type hierarchical structure appears on the left panel of the interface. By default, the focus is set on the hierarchy tree root (dataset) while the right panel presents a list of object types with the number of objects per type, the number of objects that are different and the number of those that are affected by the differences in the objects linked to them. The interface panels are synchronised. When the right panel displays object comparison results, the node that represents these object types on the left panel is highlighted. In case the compared objects belong to a specific module, the focus on the left panel will be placed on this module (underneath the object type node).

If the differences are to be traced and reconciled later, the "Send to file" menu option can save (to an Excel or PDF file) and print the displayed report immediately. However, you can further investigate reasons per discrepancy using the displayed report as a dynamic analysis tool, as follows:

  • Double-click the line that indicates differences between the objects belonging to the specific type. As a result, the panel content will be updated to show a list of corresponding objects (names and IDs) along with the names of datasets they were found in and the comparison status (i.e. equal, missing from either dataset, different, or affected by differences between the linked objects).
  • Select a line representing the objects that are marked as affected by differences in the linked objects. The comparison results interface will immediately list the matching pairs of lower level objects. Similar to the previous view, comparison status assigned to each pair will follow the object name and their ID in each dataset. The process of querying differences can have as many steps as there are levels of linked objects. At the end of this process the comparison report will present discrepant data which caused the original differences between the higher level objects.

You can navigate through the object levels by using the "Level" dropdown list. Select an object type on the datasets hierarchy tree (on the left panel). The report interface will be updated to show the corresponding object comparison results. Click the "Back" button to return to a previous level and subsequent comparison results interface.

The system provides you with yet another dataset comparison mode: Select the I will choose objects to compare option when you want to find differences between some specific objects only. The datasets Comparator will generate a list of matching object types. Select an object type and then select a pair of matching objects you want to compare. Similar to the discrepancy analysis process described above, you will be able to navigate through the objects hierarchy in search of a source of differences between the matching objects.

Please note that Result Types are not supported by the comparator.

For further information please see AXIS Help.




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