If you have a network of Campbell Scientific dataloggers, you have data. And if you have data, you may be looking for a way to manage those data. Users often turn to databases when looking for a data management solution.
Databases have a lot to offer. All of your data are in one place. The consistency of the data is increased, while redundancy is reduced. Managing large amounts of data is accomplished more efficiently in a database than in a file-based system. Databases don't come without their challenges, however. They can be complex and difficult to design. If a database becomes damaged or corrupted, all data and applications dependent upon that database are affected. There are also the costs of user training and of moving your data from a file-based system to a database-backed system.
As a Campbell Scientific customer, you know our products are flexible and we often offer more than one way to get something done. Databases are no exception. If you have weighed the pros and cons and have decided that a database system is for you, you'll want to explore the options here.
LNDB is a new LoggerNet client application that copies data from the LoggerNet server's data cache into a database. LoggerNet's data cache is updated by enabling scheduled data collection with the dataloggers in the network. The LNDB engine then populates the database with the data collected from the dataloggers. The LNDB engine runs as a service. If you employ LoggerNet Admin running as a service, the operation can run unattended without the need for a user to log on to the computer system for the database to be updated. The first release of LNDB includes tools to port the datalogger data to a database, view the database table structure, import or export data, and archive the data.
(See the full LNDB article for more information.)
Data Export is a client application that is installed with LoggerNet Admin. It provides a way to export data collected by LoggerNet to another application via TCP/IP. Data Export opens a socket and begins listening on that socket for a request from an application to send data. When a request is received, data from the LoggerNet data cache are exported in an ASCII format. (Our older RTMS format is also supported.) The receiving application handles importing the data into the database or storing the data to a file. This option requires development of the application that will request data from Data Export.
LoggerNet supports storing data in a variety of file formats, including comma separated values and XML. Depending upon the database being used, ASCII or XML data can be inserted into a table using an Insert, BulkInsert, LoadInto, BulkLoad, or a similar command. This option requires significant database programming skills.
VisualWeather is an application that was designed to support our preconfigured weather stations (custom weather stations are also supported). Using a setup wizard, the weather stations are defined and scheduled data collection is set up. Collected data are saved as a file and are also stored in a database. The database can then be queried using a variety of predefined and custom reports that take advantage of the features offered by the flexibility of having your data in a database. The database used in VisualWeather is not accessible by other database tools.
Third Party Tools
In addition to the products offered by Campbell Scientific, some third parties offer database products that support our dataloggers. Two of these options are listed below.*
Brochures and manuals for our products can be found on our website. If you have questions about LNDB, VisualWeather, or LoggerNet, contact Campbell Scientific.
* Other third party options may be available.