It is our mission to provide Strategic IT Consulting services for investment protection with focus in adding value to Legacy Systems, from here on to incorporating applications data and streamlining business operation to achieve the highest return on investment from every dollar they spent on the Information Technology. We have a team of highly responsive technical people who help enterprises resolving their problem at the area of:
Company A is a corporate with 30 outlets around the region. Their core application is built on IBM mainframe platform and distributed to remote offices through public leased circuit. A SNA gateway is installed at each office to consolidate communication between client PCs and the host. The leased circuit, SDLC adapter and SNA gateway are all duplicated to provide secured resilience. As their business growth, the company implemented high-speed WAN connection between to support other business application like corporate email, portal, RDBMS access. With the new network infrastructure in place, the company is looking for alternative to replace their existing SNA network for the reason of:
- Multiple protocols are required to support both legacy mainframe access and other business applications.
- The SNA hardware and software are outdated where sourcing for spare part for maintenance is next to impossible. The new SDLC hardware doesn’t¡¦t support their existing SNA gateway.
- Recurrent cost to keep the private leased circuit and IBM¡¦s communication controller is costly.
Corporations running mission-critical legacy applications as backend may find their business growth hindered since these applications is not able to catch up with growing business need for a few reasons:
- The legacy applications are hard to maintain
- New staffs do not have knowledge to modify the legacy systems
- Long learning-curve
- Long latency to get the work done at legacy system
- In certain cases, customer does not own the ip right of the application source code and they need to pay for very high cost for modification
Legacy modernization can be achieved by multiple levels of implementation. Critical factors to be considered are:
- Project Scope – just revamping the green-screen interface or rejuvenating all legacy applications
- Budget availability
- Time Schedule – how fast customer wants the solution to be available
- Technical knowhow available in-house
- Support from top management
- Resources availability. e.g. source code
From the simplest to the most comprehensive, web-to-host offers uses available tool that makes legacy green screen (TN3270/TN5250/VT) “Windows” like and customer will be able to re-arrange the screen layout to cater for business requirement. e.g. remove un-necessary fields, grouping of fields by functions, or join multiple pages to make them presents in a more organized format. There are other tools that can navigate host application screens, build automatic navigation map, and then retrieve host application screens’ data and pass them to other applications for further process. This method offers advantages of:
- No host application development knowledge is required, in most cases these tools are running on Visual Basic, Java, or .NET platform
- Do not need host source code to integrate with other application
- Do not re-invent the wheel since data captured from host screen are proceeded according to business logic built-in to the host applications
- Faster time to market
- Do not have host component that needs to be installed at the legacy boxes
Relocation of data entry center
For the sake of controlling cost, the bank considered to relocate the data entry center to ShenZhen in mid 2000. With the complicated IT system structure, the bank encountered problems on implementing the relocation. Two major problems are:
- Communication link the bandwidth of the communication link between the two offices may not be able to handle so many users to log in many different systems at the same time. Training it is time consuming to train the data entry staffs in ShenZhen for so many different systems. Besides, the anticipated high error rate is another problem.
- Attachmate was employed as the solution provider for tackling these problems in mid 2000. With Attachmate e-Vantage Enterprise Access Objects, a simple single interface for integrating all the dispersed systems was developed (Figure 2c). Consider the change of customer address transaction again (Figure 2a). Data entry staffs in ShenZhen office can enter the new customer address through a GUI interface once. The transaction can then be posted to the different systems, in real time or batch basis.
As connection is only be established during posting, the bandwidth demand is greatly reduced. The GUI interface contains only those fields necessary. The screens are much simpler and more understandable. The training time is much reduced.
Do you need real-time analytic data or afford to have it delay for a day?
With Hit DBMoto, customer has an option to replicate their business data to a dedicated RDBMS box and leave their legacy system running mission-critical applications. This architecture offers customer with the advantageous of:
- Preserve more expensive resources to business
- Use a less expensive resource to serve data analysis / reporting purpose
- Move data closer to business user
- Offer business user a choice of near real-time data
- Help releasing WAN link’s loading in the case where customer have their legacy box and B.I. applications segregated at different locations because only changed data is replicated at defined interval
- Reduced solution development time
- Shortened overall project schedule
- Excellent technical support services
- Data interface & replication setup using DBMoto is significantly faster than programming the data interface using standards such as JDBC / ODBC in house.
A traditional green-screen application running at AS/400 or mainframe generates reports that often lack the level of graphical interfaces to appeal to user’s favor. The monotonic interface may be good for system log printing. Management reports for busy managers today requires highly summarized graphical information where any alert scenarios can be identified from the report. User is able to drilled down into details of particular transaction should there be any abnormal situation surfaced. In case of AS/400 iSeries user, Clover can be a very good solution for sophisticated report generation where the dashboard function provide an intuitive interface to executives. The tool offer the level of graphical user interface where end-user can design their own ad-hoc reports. Information Technology department’s staff can be released to more critical tasks by then.
A server based SQL middleware is suggested to tackle this situation. The benefit is that concurrent user access can be controlled by the server from exceeding the pre-set value allowed. A server based SQL middleware also provides performance enabling features like “sessions pooling” to preserve re-usable resources for better performance.
An ultimate solution is to replicate data from AS/400 to other RDBMS, say, MySQL using DBMoto where all user access can be redirected to a less costly RDBMS and leave the precious backend system for running your company’s core applications.