Why NextForm Is Better

Consider Key Advantages and Differentiators

Learn why IRI NextForm is the smarter alternative to off-the-shelf data migration and replication products and to in-house solutions:


IRI NextForm uses the IRI CoSort engine for big data movement and manipulation. The same fast input and output routines, as well as data manipulation and formatting algorithms, are inside. This means that NextForm users can convert massive file and table data fast, and scale performance linearly in volume.

NextForm also supports concurrency for unstructured data. Multiple sources can be read together across multiple threads.


NextForm is supported in IRI Workbench, the graphical IDE built on Eclipse that includes simple-to-use metadata discovery and format conversion wizards that quickly step you through data and re-format definitions. But at the end of the process, the GUI only creates a text script you could have written yourself and can easily modify. You can run or schedule your single-task or multi-task batch scripts in the GUI or from any command line where NextForm is licensed.

Nextform Control Language (NCL) job scripts are in the same simple 4GL syntax as the popular Sort Control Language (SCL) program found in CoSort. They use the same Data Definition File (DDF) format for the field layouts. All the data and commands are therefore explicit, self-documenting, and shareable, making it easy to upgrade to big data transformations, protections, and reports after the data are in their new formats and definitions.


NextForm handles file, record, and layout changes for structured RDB tables and files. Every JDBC- and ODBC-connected database source with a SQL layer is supported, as are more than a dozen flat-file formats, 84 proprietary (legacy) files, plus some NoSQL DBs and semi- and unstructured files in local and URL-based sources (including HTTP/S, FTP/S, HDFS, and S3. More than a hundred data types are supported for profiling and data extraction (and either direct or indirect) conversion purposes. 

You can also use NextForm to change table and flat-file layouts in terms of field positions and sizes, produce custom reports, and target new applications and federated views. The NextForm DBMS edition also supports the creation and population of new tables in your target database while also reading and remapping data from your source database.


How much money and effort go into writing custom conversion programs? How much time does it take to manage migration service providers? What ist he cost of other commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software that performs conversions? ETL packages with built-in data migration capabilities are not only expensive, but they also have steep learning curves and performance limits.

For either nothing (the lite version is free) or under 15.000€, you can own NextForm for present and future data conversion needs. Ramp-up and upgrade costs are nominal, and IRI Professional Services are reasonable.