Posted by on Jan 23, 2014 in Case Studies |

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Summary

For MacLean Power, migrating from the HP/3000 to open systems, Windows/ SQL Server, proved to be a smooth process using Taurus Software’s BridgeWare extraction, transformation and load software.

A leading utility supply manufacturer, MacLean wanted to migrate off of the HP3000. They wanted to do a staged migration so they could take their time porting their home grown applications over to a Windows platform. They also wanted to create a data warehouse in SQL Server from their HP data for reporting to aid in the migration.

BridgeWare proved to be an excellent solution not only for HP/3000 MPE data migration, but also for its ease of use.

 

Situation

MacLean Power Systems, a leading manufacturer of products for building transmission and distribution lines as well as substations for utility companies, found itself in a position where its HP3000 hardware platform was being retired by the vendor. Their HP3000 contained many homegrown applications that had been built specifically for distribution and reporting. These applications needed to be ported to run on the new hardware and database platform they had chosen, Windows SQLServer.

ODS2To ease the transition to the new platform, and to ensure the they had access to historical data post migration, MacLean decided to create an operational data store (ODS) that would contain real time data from the HP3000 in a normalized data form. Having a real time “replica” of production data in the ODS would allow MacLean to port reports from MPE to the Windows platform. It also would allow their staff to clean and parse their MPE data in preparation for their migration to a new application database. The ODS would be a long term source for data feeds to interface to other applications, and for reporting and data mining. Post application migration, Maclean planned to add their new open systems’ application data to the ODS real time – to continue its use as a centralized reporting repository.

 

Solution, Approach and Implementation

MacLean recognized that with a new hardware platform and database engine, the process would take some time for the transition, and thus determined to take a three-year phased approach. They set out to find software that had the capabilities to support and accurately transfer the data from Turbo/Image, MPE KSAM and flat files in an efficient manner to Windows. Luckily, Faisal Khan the Director of IT for MacLean, had become familiar with Taurus Software and its products through a previous software discovery search and knew that their BridgeWare software had the capabilities MacLean required.

BridgeWare is a graphical product specifically created for bi-directional data replication. It moves data in real time to allow synchronization of applications across platforms and the building and updating of data warehouses with real time or delta feeds. It was created as a result of Taurus’ twenty – seven years of experience solving data movement problems between MPE, Unix, Windows, Linux and OS/400 environments.

BridgeWare consists of three key components that allow users to deliver current information to and from anywhere within the enterprise without the programming efforts other software programs typically require. These components include:

 

1.  Studio—a graphical workbench that automates key data movement processes to map data from source to target, to build target database tables and to define logic to move data by transaction or in bulk;

 

2. Extraction Transformation Load—bi-directional data movement to read or write to any file in near real-time

 

3. Change Capture – which has the power to detect and store record changes to enable almost immediate exchange of data.

 

At the onset of the project, MacLean and Taurus discussed several of the challenges MacLean faced with a migration project of this size and how Taurus and Bridgeware would address those challenges.

 

• The data stored in their Turbo/Image databases was not self-describing. Their application programs re-formatted and parsed the data via copy libraries. To prepare for the re-writing of their application on open systems, MacLean knew they needed to normalize their data, to parse out all the compound data and convert it to standard SQL data types.

 

• MacLean knew that they would not be migrating all of their historical data to the new open system applications, but they wanted to ensure access to their MPE historic information once they migrated.

 

• MacLean wanted to take advantage of open systems reporting tools, and the user friendly interfaces they offer. These tools could not be used against their MPE production databases and files because of data contention and the “un query friendly” database column formats.

 

To address all of these issues, Maclean decided to create a real time online data store (ODS) of their MPE data that was cleaned and normalized. It would be used to make mapping data for the migration easy, to act as a historic repository, and then would continue to be a data warehouse for ad-hoc user analysis using state of the art query tools.

Taurus worked with MacLean to inventory the databases and files they wanted to migrate and house in the ODS. They prioritized the order of data delivery and worked together to train MacLean resources to create the target ODS environment and map the MPE data to it using BridgeWare’s Graphic User Development environment.

BridgeWare’s mapping engine was used to re-format and transform data as it moved from MPE to Windows, arriving in native SQL Server data types and query friendly formats. BridgeWare’s ability to import and use copy libraries and Qshow output to re-format datasets sped up the mapping effort.

MacLean did not have in-house SQL Server experts- this was a new platform for them. BridgeWare’s ability to easily transform MPE data into SQL Server data and to call out any data issues allowed less technical resources to still successfully conduct the mapping exercise.

After the data maps were defined – BridgeWare automatically generated scripts to move the data. These scripts were used to schedule and run the real time data feeds to the new ODS – a drag and drop process.

 

Results

In the Intermediary stage, using the ODS for reporting pre-migration, MacLean is already realizing the benefits of BridgeWare. They are getting more access to centralized data, than they ever had before. This allows them to utilize and maximize data in ways they never imagined.

With the ability to have query friendly access to real-time data as well as the ability look at information gathered over a number of years in one place, MacLean “actually has the time to analyze data rather than spending time building up reports every time we want an update,” said Faisal Khan, IT Director.

Khan continued, “The ODS we built with BridgeWare allowed us to automate a lot of reports. It gives us the ability to look at data across multiple set-ups which was not possible on MPE. Plus, it puts numbers in front of more users than ever before so that more people can understand and see in real-time what is happening. The ability to create algorithms using true dates and true numbers, which was enormously time consuming before, has transformed the way we look at our data.”

Kahn summarized his experience with, “perhaps the biggest result of the project has been the ease of use of the software.” The intuitive interface can quickly output scripts executed by the software’s data movement engine. All the movements and transformations are handled according to the developer’s defined logic for an almost instant exchange of data. The ease at which this is done, combined with the reliability of information gained, makes BridgeWare an extremely valuable tool for the organization before, during and after the migration.

 

 

About Taurus Software

At Taurus Software, making data liquid means helping turn data into business intelligence, smart decisions, and competitive advantages – the lifeblood of your company. Taurus products include a variety of applications developed to help clients get more from their data by allowing them to Move, Map, Measure, and Manage data regardless of where it resides within business systems.

 

To learn more about Taurus Software or products designed for other data platforms and applications, call 650-482-2022 ext. 1, or fill out our contact form.