Frequently Asked Questions


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Selected Questions and Answers

Important note: The FAQs below are not a comprehensive resource, and only address a fraction of the available capabilities in IRI software or questions people ask.

Please visit the IRI solutions and products sections to learn more. Also, do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, or need details on specific features or options applicable to your use case(s).

Since DarkShield can also mask PII in my flat files and relational databases, when/why is FieldShield still recommended ... what's the difference between them?



IRI FieldShield for structured data, connected via both ODBC and JDBC drivers per DB-specifc installation steps inked here


IRI DarkShield for structured data, plus what's in C/LOB columns, and connected only via JDBC

can find and mask sensitive data in relational databases, and are priced the same for them. Your use case should determine which one is a better fit. 

The principal differences between FieldShield and DarkShield are that: 

  1. DarkShield can search and mask separately or simultaneously, while FieldShield performs them separately; 
  2. DarkShield cannot as handily map masked results to different kinds of targets, while FieldShield can go to other structured DB, file, and report targets (even at the same time, ETL-style);
  3. Only DarkShield can also handle semi- and unstructured data source masking in case of you EDI files, raw text, documents, images, NoSQL, etc.;
  4. Conversely for purely structured sources, FieldShield masking jobs are metadata-compatible with subsetting, incremental masking, test data synthesis, cleansing, ETL, reporting/wrangling, etc. thanks to its use of the SortCL data definition and manipulation program; and,
  5. FieldShield is needed to support input phase filtering via SortCL include/omit or SQL query syntax -- as well as complex target field logic to address business needs, which may involve combined masking and string transformations, joins, conditional masking rules, reformatting, etc.

However, both DarkShield and FieldShield:

  1. run on premise by default, but can also run in the cloud, and support LAN, Sharepoint, and Azure, S3 and GCP buckets;
  2. use the same data classifications and masking functions to maintain structural and referential integrity in the target schema;
  3. share the same IRI Workbench graphical IDE, have callable APIs, can be integrated into DevOps pipelines, and can run in CLI jobs;
  4. are included components, along with IRI RowGen (for DB subsetting and synthesis) et al, in the IRI Voracity data management platform; and,
  5. are subject to similar considerations for licensing in DB environments, which are advised in this FAQ.

It is not uncommon to license both products in a discounted bundle or Voracity platform transaction to satisfy multiple use cases, including for database sources alone. Please email with details about your requirements and request an online meeting for a discussion and/or live demo so you can be fully informed.

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