A comprehensive review of NextForm


Data technology background, big data visualization. Image: Dmitry/Adobe Stock The information migration procedure for numerous companies is ongoing. Whether you are going through a job to update your systems, merging or combining with another business, or need to find a new house for your aging IT facilities, the process can be challenging to navigate without the right tools.

SEE: Checklist: PC and Mac migrations (TechRepublic Premium)

One tool designed to simplify this procedure is IRI’s NextForm, which permits you to move data, files and databases. This guide provides an introduction of the option to help you choose if this is the ideal tool for your needs.

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An introduction to NextForm

The IRI NextForm logo. Image: IRI NextForm by IRI, The CoSort Company, is an enterprise-grade database, data migration, replication and reformatting tool. It is built on Eclipse and offers a complete service

for legacy and modern databases. The software application offers various migration options– data, file and database– to match numerous needs. It’s developed to work well with structured/relational databases like Oracle and SQL Server as well as unstructured/non-relational files like XML and XLS.

This service allows you to transform or reproduce your database schema, information and file formats to brand-new applications, hardware platforms and database vendors. It also supports indexing and sequential files, Hadoop clusters and disorganized data.

SEE: 5 suggestions to improve information quality for unstructured data (TechRepublic)

The information migration process can be challenging for enterprises with large volumes of information spanning multiple generations and media types. IRI NextForm improves this process by streamlining the conversion or replication workflows and speeding up insights through federation. With the IRI NextForm architecture and reporting user interface, users can quickly integrate different information sources into one cohesive view while maintaining all metadata related to each source.

NextForm features

Built-in report generation

Built-in form generation in IRI NextForm Image: IRI NextForm includes an integrated report generation engine that permits you to migrate and expose details from multiple sources in custom-made display screens that are suitable for billing and analytics. These reports can be used throughout migration and post-migration, and they can also be used as standalone reports. With NextForm, users can create highly adjustable export reports and imagined views.

Cross-platform compatibility

NextForm can be used on Windows, Unix, Linux and macOS operating systems, and, normally, you can use it on any platform where you require to migrate information. Because you don’t need to produce numerous jobs that are essentially the exact same, it will conserve you time in the migration process.

SEE: Linux 101: What tech pros need to know (TechRepublic Premium)

There’s likewise no need to fret about distinctions in command-line arguments or different formats for job names. The exact same tasks defined or running on the platform can be modified or operated on any other.

Field design remapping

IRI NextForm can transform data and files from one database to another, or even from one type of file to another. It likewise supports pivot changes, reporting requirements and database repopulation with its flexible design change capabilities. IRI NextForm assists fix the difficulties dealt with throughout information transformation, reformatting and reporting on big data sets with its robust suite of software tools.

The SortCL program in the CoSort product offers formatting conversion, federation and report generation, along with flexible layouts for changing various kinds of information and declare any requirement. This functionality assists IT teams combine information transformation jobs– such as arranging, signing up with and aggregating– that would otherwise be done separately.

Interoperable metadata

IRI NextForm is a migration solution that streamlines information migrations and allows users to preserve metadata consistency between the source and target. It maintains consistency by recycling definitions for metadata throughout the tools.

For example, if you have an ID field in CoSort however not in FieldShield, you can define it as an ID in FieldShield using the mapping metadata produced by CoSort.


Creating a virtual federated view. Image: IRI NextForm IRI NextForm can be utilized to develop virtual sets or federated views of information that you do not need to shop. Linking to your sources is relatively uncomplicated with the Eclipse GUI that automatically defines the metadata for data sources. After linking, you can create tasks to blend and produce ad hoc database or file targets, including the GUI’s instant console views, utilizing stdout.

Remote database duplication

IRI NextForm makes replicating numerous relational databases and mainframe datasets quick and simple. With IRI Workbench IDE built on Eclipse, you can use IRI NextForm to reproduce data in real-time or batch. This software application can integrate heterogeneous information sources to use fresh copies for screening and reporting. IRI NextForm can run against most databases, including Sybase, Oracle and SQL Server.

With this tool, you can replicate several sources– such as relational or NoSQL tables– concurrently. You can also output to numerous schemas or other targets or carry out manipulations such as:

Legacy information type translation

IRI NextForm migrates data in existing formats to the most recent industry-standard formats. For example, it can transform a Microsoft Gain access to database to a SQL Server database. It can likewise transform a text file in comma-separated values format to an Excel spreadsheet. With its ability to perform legacy data type translation, NextForm transforms EBCDIC information files to ASCII.

SEE: Hiring package: Database engineer (TechRepublic Premium)

This tool supports various file formats, consisting of delimited text, fixed-position text, LDIF and micro-focus variable length. It likewise deals with zoned and PD fields without any difficulty. It is uncomplicated to establish these criteria when converting with NextForm, particularly since this software application has actually been optimized for speed and accuracy.

Disorganized data management

IRI NextForm makes it easy for users to organize information from unstructured sources. It is ideal for moving data from one database to another and drawing out data worths from different formats such as XML, PDF or DOCX.

It is best used in the following scenarios:

  • When the user needs to extract information worths from disorganized files
  • When the user needs to migrate data in between databases
  • When the user requires to structure unstructured information
  • When the user requires to expose associations for relational usage

Pros and cons of NextForm

Although this tool uses many advantages for individuals who require to move data from one system to another, it does have a couple of disadvantages.


  • Supports approximately 200 data sources, including legacy and modern databases
  • Cross-platform assistance for Unix, Windows and Linux
  • Eliminates supplier lock-in and lets you filter information to save storage and optimize I/O
  • Offered in various editions, including a totally free Lite variation for moving, duplicating, federating and reporting on flat and unstructured text files


Prices and trial details

IRI NextForm comes in 6 different editions. Rates depends on the edition you pick and the type of running system, databases and hardware platforms in question. When in doubt, talk with your internal group of data specialists to determine what edition works finest.

Edition Expenses
Lite Free
COBOL $3,500 for Windows
$4,500 x86 for Linux
$5,500 for Unix (AIX, Solaris, HP-UX, macOS)
DBMS $5,000-$25,000 (depends upon databases and hardware platforms)
Legacy Rates is figured out by information sources and hardware platforms
Modern Prices is determined by information sources and hardware platforms
Premium Rates is identified by data sources and hardware platforms

Check out next: Top cloud and application migration tools (TechRepublic)


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