Extend the Mainframe with Business Intelligence (BI)

Happy New Year.
Hope all is well with you and yours. I've not written for a bit, but life has been a bit hectic recovering from OpenWorld and the end of year rush of projects.

I wanted to talk a bit about some cool things that I've been working on and seeing with respect to Legacy Modernization. As you know, there are nine ways to Sunday to "Modernization" a legacy platform. From a full replacement of the mainframe to SOA enablement.

Legacy Modernization and Business Intelligence
I'm seeing an increase of a particular implementation of SOA Services and Adapters to help extend the mainframe in the short term, while the organizations plan for larger modernizations. 

As you know, reporting and intelligence is such an important aspect of any organization. Some problems that I'm seeing a lot these days is the pain of reporting from the mainframe.
I hear managers saying that mainframe reporting is tough because:
  • The batch window is about full and new reports are almost impossible to deliver (The lack of agility problem)
  • I don't like burning up MIPS costs running reports, there has to be a better way.
  • A lot of these reports are old, and I'm not sure if we need them.
  • They are not real time, and 24 and sometime 48 hours stale. I need information now.
Oracle's BI + SOA Legacy Adapters is a great answer to these problems, and is a great first step in the larger modernization story.

I've recently been on two projects, one connecting Oracle BI to AS/400 DB data to do real time change data capture from the midrange and bringing that data into a single data store for Reporting.

Another, perhaps more technically interesting, is another company that had all of the problems mentioned above, but also needed to collect data from many data stores, IMS, VSAM, Access and Oracle.

We were able to bring in one of our Modernization Alliance Partners (www.oracle.com/goto/modernization) along to do the adapters and then using Oracle ETL tools bring that into an Oracle Reporting Engine using Oracle BI.

These projects can be done in a very very short time, and provide value very quickly.  In many legacy applications, this even helped reduce MIPS (and thus save costs).

In conclusion, this can be done with pretty much any datasource you can think of, DataCom, Adabas, VSAM, DB2...whatever. Get away from MIPS intensive and old stale reports, to dynamic, near real time reporting....and you didn't migrate one line of Cobol (or Natural) code in the process

Good Stuff.

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