Using an RDBMS solution, meet customer expectations for application reliability and availability on distributed platforms and offer customers a choice of RDBMS vendors. ISI-Exeter needed a RDBMS solution which could be implemented with minimal application change.
ISI-Exeter delivers COBOL-based Exeter WMS (Warehouse Management System), an online, user-friendly system with a broad set of capabilities for planning, controlling, and monitoring distribution center activities. Initially this was developed as an IBM iSeries solution. Responding to customer demand, a re-hosting project delivered a UNIX version.
To maintain the reliability and availability of the application in a UNIX environment, ISIExeter realized relational database integration would be necessary. The WMS development division joined forces with the ISI-Exeter department which had developed a COBOL-based financial management system. FASBE Financial Accounting Solutions for Business and Education is a comprehensive collection of software subsystems designed to provide a complete, flexible, and straightforward financial management solution. FASBE was designed as a DEC VMS system and its customers were interested in integrating with a relational database – Microsoft SQL.
George Goulet, Director of Sales at ISI-Exeter, explains the difficulty: “With nearly three million lines of codes in the applications, and a small development team, rewriting the code bases to the new desired target database platforms would just have been a mammoth task. The solutions are mission-critical to our customers, many of whom are on a 24/7 support contract with us, and we just couldn’t risk any downtime. Our WMS product is also heavily customized for each customer, making it more complex to change the code base. We wanted to find a way to leverage the existing code to support different platforms and continue to extract value from our assets with minimal effort.”