CoSort Deep Dive


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CoSort Overview Features Technical Details GUI Platforms & Pricing Why It's Better Resources

The Sort Engine

For four decades, IRI CoSort has defined the state-of-the-art in big data sorting and related manipulation technology. From advanced algorithms to automatic memory management, and from multi-core exploitation to I/O optimization, there is no more proven performer for production data processing than CoSort.

CoSort was the first commercial sort package developed for open systems: CP/M in 1980, MS-DOS in 1982, Unix in 1985, and Windows in 1995. Repeatedly reported to be the fastest commercial-grade sort product for Unix. CoSort was also judged by PC Week to be the "top performing" sort on Windows.

Being the first and the fastest are just two reasons why CoSort is "The Open Systems Standard" in sorting technology. For more details on the power of the engine see:

Solutions > Data Transformation > Sort/Merge

To accelerate your current sort function, or convert from a legacy sort product like SyncSort to CoSort, see:

Products > CoSort > Sort Plugins

Solutions > Sort Migration

Data Transformation, Cleansing, and Reporting

For many CoSort users, speed is more than just how many gigabytes they can sort in a minute. It is also about how much data staging, security, and analytic work they can accomplish in the same place and pass through their data. CoSort uses and award-winning, open 4GL program for data definition and transformation called SortCL to perform and consolidate multiple activities.

It is because SortCL can also do all this work at once that it's the default manipulation and mapping program in the IRI Voracity ETL and data management platform.

For information on the combinable functions in CoSort, check out the SortCL function matrix, or enlarge this diagram:

CoSort Schematic

How many data sources can you transform -- while producing delta, detail, load, and report targets -- all in one job and I/O pass? Learn about the direct role of the CoSort SortCL program in:

This sounds like "super-fast ETL and more" on the cheap. Is it, and can it happen in one product, place, and pass?

Yes. And that's all accomplished in CoSort's Sort Control Language (SortCL) program, and optionally managed in its free IRI Workbench GUI, built on Eclipse™. SortCL is a self-documenting 4GL and program for data definition and manipulation that's called from the command line, in batch, the GUI, or your applications.

SortCL is a simpler coding and faster runtime alternative for data integration, staging, and reporting jobs in Perl, Python, and shell scripts, SQL procedures, legacy ETL and ELT tools, and programs written in C, Java, VB, etc.

BI/DW architects can call SortCL jobs into their existing ETL tool command tasks to offload and thus optimize transformations. But for those who also want to save time and money with a full ETL package exploiting SortCL's scalable performance and task consolidation, they can in the managed, visual ETL workflow environment of the IRI VoracityL (subscription) platform, powered by CoSort. See:

Accelerating Applications

CoSort is not only a standalone product for data manipulation and management, but also a "point solution" for speeding these database, DW ETL, and BI/analytic platforms:

Fast forward icon ETL Tools
Eye icon BI Tools
A bar graph Analytic Tools
a database icon Databases

ETL Tools

ETI Solution

IBM DataStage

Informatica PowerCenter

Microsoft SSIS

Oracle Data Integrator

Pentaho Kettle

Talend Open Studio

BI Tools







Power BI


Analytic Tools














SQL Server


as well as: offline database reorgs, SAS Proc Sort, Software AG Natural, and legacy COBOL programs -- wherever high-volume jobs need more sorting and data transformation speed.

You can also use CoSort plug-ins and API calls, or CoSort SortCL programs to prepare (blend) large data sets through selection, sorting, joining, and aggregation. The results of the CoSort operations routinely feed database load utilities, analytic engines, BI tools and cubes, Excel, and custom applications. See:

Included: Data Masking and Test Data Creation

For information security and compliance efforts, CoSort can de-identify sensitive data, and thus mitigate the security and governance risks that personally identifiable information (PII) presents. Powerful field-level data encryption and masking functions are built into SortCL.

Transform and protect PII at the same time and still allow access to your tables, files, and everything around them. Produce an audit trail to verify compliance with data privacy regulations.

SortCL metadata also works in IRI's fit-for-purpose data masking product, FieldShield, and test data generator, RowGen. See:

CoSort Package Contents

Here is what is inside every CoSort package:

Technical specifications for the product are delineated in a product overview booklet available on request. Installation, tuning, and implementation reference materials are extensive. The searchable CoSort product manual in PDF format is over 700 pages, half of which documents the functionality of, and syntax for, SortCL programs.

Job logging options are described on the SortCL page. If you have technical questions, call IRI or your local representative, use the live chat feature on this website, or complete the information request form below.

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