Oracle BI and the Mainframe: A Case Study

I am very excited about the recent press release done by our partner, DataDirect.
Oracle Modernization recently worked with DataDirect and Md to integrate OBIEE with the legacy mainframe to IMS. This was a classic example of heterogeneous data sources that were giving reports 24 hours + old because you had to wait for the batch run, cram it into Excel, pull stuff from Oracle, Access and others. With Real Time data access, we were able to quickly stand up a great BI solution that was accessing mainframe data and integrate that with many (any) other data sources.

Here is the reprint of the PR.
State of Maryland Stays Ahead of Criminals with New Law Enforcement Dashboard from Oracle and DataDirect Technologies

BEDFORD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--DataDirect Technologies, the unparalleled leader in data connectivity and mainframe integration and an operating company of Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ: PRGS), today announced that the State of Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) and Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) is using DataDirect® Shadow® with Oracle® Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition as an essential technology solution behind its Law Enforcement Dashboard.

Commissioned by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, the Law Enforcement Dashboard is used by the State of Maryland’s law-enforcement personnel and agencies to lookup the criminal history of defendants and offenders. Prior to the creation of the Dashboard, the state had separate databases for its Division of Corrections, Division of Parole, State Police Gun Registry and Sex Offender Registry – each with its own sign-on requirements and search criteria for information retrieval. This made cross-referencing systems and confirming identification and criminal history information a complex and time consuming task. Recognizing the existing infrastructure hindered the state’s law enforcement activities, Governor O’Malley directed the GOCCP to collaborate with the DPSCS to create a single view of people’s criminal backgrounds.

Because the State of Maryland’s law enforcement data exists across multiple databases and platforms, DPSCS sought a tool that would simplify the data mining and querying of each database. They chose the Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition to provide the BI platform and Web portal for the Law Enforcement Dashboard. Secondly, they needed a middleware tool that could provide standards-based access to mainframe data in real-time as opposed to warehousing the data. DataDirect Shadow was selected because of its ability to provide direct SQL access to the data stored in legacy Information Management Systems (IMS) and Virtual Storage Access Method (VSAM) databases. DataDirect Shadow helped lower the latency time of the joint solution through its ability to transform non-relational mainframe data into a relational format compatible with the Oracle BI platform – thus eliminating the need for a data repository.

“We did not want to pull dedicated IT and development resources away from existing projects by requiring system owners to write interfaces or standard APIs for various applications,” said Ron Brothers, CIO of DPSCS’s Information Technology and Communications Division. “DataDirect Shadow allowed us to deal with multiple databases on multiple platforms in an easy and intuitive fashion. The low latency and high performance delivered by the Shadow product and the robust functionality of the Oracle BI platform helped reduce project costs and tap into the full potential of the information available.”

The foundation of the Law Enforcement Dashboard includes high performance, call-level interfaces to data on the mainframe and other databases that feed directly into the Oracle BI solution and Web portal. With DataDirect Shadow in place, the underlying mainframe-data mapping is transparent to the developer who simply codes standard SQL calls. Prior to the creation of the Law Enforcement Dashboard, response times for each queried database averaged upwards of six minutes. With the combined Oracle and DataDirect Technologies’ solution implemented, response time has dropped 90 percent, averaging just seconds, even though results are still coming from multiple databases across various state agencies and departments.

“By working together early in this project, Oracle and DataDirect Technologies were able to architect a solution that best met the State of Maryland’s business needs,” said Lance Knowlton, vice president of Oracle Modernization Solutions. “Data consolidation including real-time SQL access to mainframe assets using Oracle and DataDirect Shadow technology is a low-cost modernization solution with a quick time to market.”

“With the increasing role of IT in law enforcement and the considerable presence of mainframe systems in use, organizations are seeking innovative middleware technology to simplify the complexity of mainframe integration and make better use of existing assets,” said John Goodson, vice president and general manager of DataDirect Technologies. “The State of Maryland’s Law Enforcement Dashboard will undoubtedly be an example for other criminal justice organizations to follow. DataDirect is proud to have been involved with the project and in helping law enforcement analyze crime data in real-time to make better, informed decisions.”

DataDirect Technologies is a member of the Oracle PartnerNetwork, Oracle’s global business network of more than 20,000 companies who deliver innovative software solutions based on Oracle software.

About DataDirect Technologies

DataDirect Technologies is the software industry’s only comprehensive provider of software for connecting the world’s most critical business applications to data and services, running on any platform, using proven and emerging standards. Developers worldwide depend on DataDirect® products to connect their applications to an unparalleled range of data sources using standards-based interfaces such as ODBC, JDBC™ and ADO.NET, XQuery and SOAP. More than 300 leading independent software vendors and thousands of enterprises rely on DataDirect Technologies to simplify and streamline data connectivity for distributed systems and to reduce the complexity of mainframe integration. DataDirect Technologies is an operating company of Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ: PRGS). For more information, visit

DataDirect and Shadow are trademarks or registered trademarks of Progress Software Corporation or one of its subsidiaries or affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. Java and all Java based marks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates. Any other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.


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