Treehouse Software’s Differentiator: We’ve Been Helping Enterprise Mainframe Sites Since 1982

by Joseph Brady, Director of Business Development / AWS and Cloud Alliance Lead at Treehouse Software, Inc. 

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This blog explores Treehouse Software‘s decades worth of experience in helping mainframe customers with innovative tools, services, and training. 

When Treehouse Software began in 1982, the business focused on software that was complementary to the Software AG mainframe product line (Adabas database management system and Natural programming language) in the areas of security, control, auditing, performance enhancement, etc.

In more recent years, Treehouse Software has become a global leader in providing solutions for real-time and bi-directional data replication between a variety of mainframe and non-mainframe sources, including (Mainframe): VSAM, IMS, Db2, CA Datacom, Adabas, and CA IDMS; and (Non-mainframe): Amazon Web Services (AWS), PostgreSQL, Oracle, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM Db2 LUW and Db2 BLU, IBM Informix, Kafka, MongoDB, Hadoop, SAP Hana, and many more. Here is our list of supported data sources and targets.

Decades Worth of Mainframe Knowledge…

When asked by prospective customers, “What are your primary differentiators?”, we can be tempted to first talk about superior product features and capabilities, but it is Treehouse Software’s depth of knowledge and experience in the mainframe world that is the real game changer.

Most mainframe users face critical data management challenges due to the complexity and proprietary nature of deeply entrenched databases on the platform. Our extensive experience, deep knowledge, and wide-ranging capabilities in mainframe technologies make the company a valued partner for third-party solution providers and a trusted advisor to customers.

Treehouse Software’s visionary leadership in this market has included pioneering Adabas-to-RDBMS ETL and CDC with tRelational/DPS in the mid-1990s.  Today, Treehouse Software stands alone in its product maturity, and capability, including expanded capabilities with the tcVISION product, which enables migration and synchronization of virtually any mainframe or non-mainframe database or data source.

Despite the rapid pace of change in the IT landscape, Treehouse Software’s customer base can be assured that there remains a strong commitment to providing continued support and upgrades for the product suite.

Treehouse Software provides tools and expertise for the riskiest and most-often overlooked parts of modernization and integration projects – data migration and integration.   Tapping into the vast experience of Treehouse’s technicians, and using proven products and services eliminates reliance on end-customer programming staff to write and maintain data extracts and middleware. Treehouse Software’s know-how reduces cost and mitigates risk in legacy modernization initiatives, where data migration and integration complexity is often underestimated, yet critical to success.

Our Mainframe Experts are Our Best Assets

We are fortunate to have a staff with a wealth of knowledge and skills that span not only Mainframe, but Cloud, LUW, and Open Systems technologies. Whether a customer wants to move data from their mainframe platform to other on-premises open systems or LUW databases, or to the Cloud (e.g., AWS, Azure, etc.), Treehouse Software has the technical expertise and support needed to ensure successful project completion.

Treehouse Software‘s technicians have installed products and trained end-users in some of the largest mainframe sites around the world.  Mature, robust, and reliable, these products are also backed by our highly-rated 24X7 technical support.

The Treehouse Team Approach

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Treehouse Software has proven its ability to partner and work effectively as part of a larger team to solve client problems.  AWS, Microsoft, Oracle, Accenture, and other large vendors have selected our technology, services, and training for their mainframe data migration and application modernization practices.


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Contact Treehouse Software for a Product Demo Today…

Just fill out the Treehouse Software Product Demonstration Request Form and a Treehouse representative will contact you to set up a time for your online product demonstration.

Treehouse Software TREETIP: Data Replication for a Mainframe Database that has no Primary Key, using tcVISION

by Joseph Brady, Director of Business Development / AWS and Cloud Alliance Lead at Treehouse Software, Inc. and Chris Rudolph, Senior Technical Representative at Treehouse Software, Inc.

This blog takes a look at tcVISION’s support for a mainframe database that has no primary key at the source (a mainframe primary key is a column, or set of columns that uniquely identifies one row of a table). 

In situations where the source database does not contain any unique values, Treehouse technicians discuss with the customer how the application currently works and their expectations for how the data should be treated when planning replication/migration to a new target environment. Depending on the application, Journal Replication or Data Warehouse Replication may be a better fit than a “normal” RDBMS table definition.

tcVISION‘s Key ID management can be used to create a column to use as the key on the target table. Another option would be to use a SQL Lookup to query another table. Either way, target column(s) that contain unique values will need to be identified. Once these columns are identified, they can be marked with the key identifier, using the tcVISION repository editor, or Key ID Management can be used to create a new unique column, then those columns are used within the wizard.

For example, this source table does not contain a primary key:

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Analysis of the target data shows the columns FIRST_NAME, LAST_NAME and MIDDLE_NAME together will provide a unique value. These fields can be marked in the tcVISION repository as being members of a key:

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As mentioned earlier, the tcVISION Key ID Management wizard can also be used to create a new unique target column:

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Specify the key name:

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Specify the key value creation:

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Various options are available: 

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Contact Treehouse Software for a Demo Today…

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No matter where you want your mainframe data to go – the cloud, open systems, or any LUW target – tcVISION from Treehouse Software is your answer.

Just fill out the Treehouse Software Product Demonstration Request Form and a Treehouse representative will contact you to set up a time for your online tcVISION demonstration.


Further reading: tcVISION Mainframe data replication is featured on the AWS Partner Network Blog…

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AWS recently published a blog about tcVISION’s Mainframe data replication capabilities, including a technical overview, security, high availability, scalability, and a step-by-step example of the creation of tcVISION metadata and scripts for replicating mainframe Db2 z/OS data to Amazon Aurora. Read the blog here: AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog: Real-Time Mainframe Data Replication to AWS with tcVISION from Treehouse Software.

Treehouse Software Customer Success: Data Replication from Mainframe Adabas to PostgreSQL using tcVISION

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The Bundesministerium der Finanzen (BMF) is Germany’s Ministry of Finance and establishes sustainable fiscal policy that ensures financial empowerment of the federal budget. From tax policy via development of federal budget, to regulation of national and international financial markets – for these and other fiscal and economic questions of principle, the BMF creates strategies and concepts, and implements them. The Federal Tax Administration is part of BMF, and controls not only the cross-border goods traffic, but acts against illegal employment and other crimes. The tax administration also imposes consumer taxes (e.g., energy and tobacco tax, car tax, etc.). Financial relations between federation, countries, and communities are also coordinated by BMF.

Department II (federal budget) is part of the German government in charge of establishing the budget and financial planning of the federation. Throughout the year, it monitors execution of the budget for eventual intervention (e.g., with a budget freeze, or supplementary budget). After closing the fiscal year, the budget and balance sheet will be presented. The budget is a supplement of the budget act, legally binding.

The central service organization of BMF is the Informationstechnikzentrum Bund – ITZBund (Information technic center).

BUSINESS BACKGROUND

Drawing up the budget is a yearly, highly time consuming, and formalized business process. All departments are involved in nearly every sub-process, and budgeting and financial planning is supported by the application, “Haushaltsaufstellung / Budgetgeneration”. Using the generated reports, various addressees/receivers are supported (e.g., German Federal Government, German Federal Parliament, Federal Council of Germany, finance department in BMF, the employees in the departments, and the public).

Technically, the budget plan of the federation is based on technologies, including the IBM Mainframe with z/OS running Adabas and Natural.

The challenge was to provide an environment for employees in all departments that enables them to do their work quickly, easily, and efficiently. In the BMF, users must have an editorless, end-user driven, and real-time creation of ready-to-print products.
An informative description of the workflow is shown on the website of the BMF.

The federal budget is available as download, or one can directly navigate through the data using the online application.

BUSINESS ISSUE

Some time ago, BMF decided to re-engineer the application for budget planning and port it to Open Source. To guarantee a seamless transition, the first step is propagation of data out of Adabas on z/OS to PostgreSQL, concluding with permanent synchronization.
The difficulties of this task are the complexities of setting up data definitions for the data structures in Natural and the propagation of data from Adabas on z/OS to PostgreSQL.

TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION: tcVISION

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After an analysis of the project, Treehouse Software proposed creating an extension to tcVISION’s change data capture (CDC) functionality for integration, so that tcVISION could enable BMF to continue using the implemented data definitions in a format suitable for the RDBMS.

The extension was developed within a few days, and a two-day on premise test demonstrated the solution fit the requirements of BMF.

BMF can now provide its data definitions from Natural LDA to the extension of tcVISION, and after the transformation, onto the PostgreSQL load process for processing. Another advantage of the tcVISION solution is that when needed, other targets can be integrated for propagation of data from the mainframe (e.g., Kafka, which BMF indicated is a future target environment).

Additionally, bi-directional propagation can be added in budget planning when BMF is ready.

Data structures are held in LDA, because this provides the advantages of higher flexibility in development and the adaption of new requirements to the data definitions. If definitions would have to be ported manually, in part, to PostGreSQL, it would have been a much bigger and error-prone effort.

Subsequent changes to Adabas structures can now use tcVISION’s newly developed extension to easily regenerate and load the correct definitions to the RDBMS, and tcVISION completely covers the customer’s requirements for special usage of *PEs and *MUs.

After thorough preparation and extensive testing, the solution was released to selected users first, then made available to all users.

* PEs and MUs are special Adabas formats for definition of tables. PE = Periodic Group, MU = Multiple Value Field.


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Contact Treehouse Software for a Demo Today…

No matter where you want your mainframe data to go – the cloud, open systems, or any LUW target – tcVISION from Treehouse Software is your answer.

Just fill out the Treehouse Software Product Demonstration Request Form and a Treehouse representative will contact you to set up a time for your online tcVISION demonstration.


Further reading: tcVISION Mainframe data replication is featured on the AWS Partner Network Blog…

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AWS recently published a blog about tcVISION’s Mainframe data replication capabilities, including a technical overview, security, high availability, scalability, and a step-by-step example of the creation of tcVISION metadata and scripts for replicating mainframe Db2 z/OS data to Amazon Aurora. Read the blog here: AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog: Real-Time Mainframe Data Replication to AWS with tcVISION from Treehouse Software.

A real-world example of how Treehouse Software is helping enterprises with their Mainframe-to-Cloud / LUW / Open Systems data migration and replication initiatives…

by Joseph Brady, Director of Business Development for Treehouse Software

Many medium to large size companies are still investing in new mainframe systems, because they have been relying on them for decades to handle mission critical data transaction processing. For these companies, their mainframes are deeply entrenched, and have been rock-solid reliable over the years, allowing many users and applications to simultaneously access the same data without interfering with each other. Mainframes also perform large-scale and extremely fast transaction processing (thousands of transactions per second). Chances are, most transactions for which you use your debit or credit cards have a mainframe processing the data in the background.

There have been countless predictions of the demise of the mainframe over the years, but they have been proven wrong every time, and there’s no sign of extinction any time soon. Mainframes remain a vital part of IT infrastructures used by companies spanning a variety of industries around the world, including banking, insurance, healthcare, government, aviation, and retail.

Today, most companies that have their enterprise data stored on a mainframe system are discovering the advantages of newer cloud and open systems databases and services, including instantaneous global database deployments (e.g., Amazon Aurora), economics to scale, high availability, elasticity, security, testing at scale, disaster recovery, etc. Consequently, these companies are looking for an automated solution that allows real-time data replication between the two environments, and many are turning to Treehouse Software.


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Customer Scenario: A Look at a Large Airline’s Mainframe Data Replication Project

Treehouse Software has a major airline customer that is a long-time user of Software AG’s Adabas database on their mainframe system. Their desire was to move their data to more modern applications off of the mainframe. However, their mainframe contains vital airline maintenance and parts data that must always be highly available, so rather than performing a complete migration from the mainframe, the customer decided to utilize a data warehouse with a requirement of real-time data replication. This allows the mainframe legacy teams to maintain existing applications, while the modernization team develops applications on the newly created RDBMS. All teams determined that tcVISION real-time mainframe data replication was the perfect fit for meeting their goals.

How tcVISION Addressed the Customer Needs...

The high-level environment for the airline customer using tcVISION for data replication looks like this…

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  • Adabas: Mainframe data source containing business critical information replicated to the RDBMS.
  • Oracle: Open Platform RDBMS chosen by customer as replication target for both data warehouse and modernization project. The tcVISION Manager also uses Oracle as a repository for the metadata (field mappings).
  • tcVISION Manager: Software component deployed on both source and target systems. It is responsible for provisioning resources for:
    • Processing scripts
    • Metadata import
    • Scheduling
  • tcSCRIPT: Software component deployed on both source and target systems. It works in conjunction with the tcVISION Manager to:
    • Perform initial load of Adabas into Oracle
    • Ongoing near realtime CDC (Change Data Capture) and replication from Adabas to Oracle
    • tcSCRIPT processes data from:
      • Direct from the DBMS (initial load) or from DBMS extracts
      • Adabas Protection log (PLOG)
  • tcVISION Control Board: Software component deployed on a Windows machine which provides graphical user interface for a single point of control to administer the tcVISION environment:
    • Metadata import, creates metadata rules governing relationship between mainframe and open platform data structures
    • Replication rule maintenance
    • DDL creation
    • Creation of ETL and replication processes
    • Start, stop, and schedule replication processes

Customer’s Technical Requirement for tcVISION

The airline requires that the replication solution must support online and batch Adabas transactions and provide data replication between Adabas and Oracle. Additionally, their large databases contain millions of rows (e.g., > 50 million) that must be supported, as well as support for database change audit requirements (datetime and type of operation), transaction management, and notification of exception events.

There must also be support for configuration management between development, QA, and production.

Finally, the solution must address hardware and software failures on the mainframe, Linux, and database nodes.

Customer Outcomes

All requirements were met by tcVISION, which led to a successful project implementation.  Here is a look at the customer outcomes and benefits:

Business Outcome Customer Benefit
Data warehouse is always in sync with Adabas using tcVISION data replication Improved timeliness and reliability of reporting data
Reduced usage of mainframe MIPS Reduced cost
All data required for modernization project was successfully replicated to target environment Increased business efficiently and agility

Many more mainframe data migration and replication customer case studies can be read on the Treehouse Software Website.


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Contact Treehouse Software for a Demo Today…

No matter where you want your mainframe data to go – the cloud, open systems, or any LUW target – tcVISION from Treehouse Software is your answer. 

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Just fill out the Treehouse Software Product Demonstration Request Form and a Treehouse representative will contact you to set up a time for your online tcVISION demonstration.


Further reading: AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog: Real-Time Mainframe Data Replication to AWS with tcVISION from Treehouse Software

Smart Solutions for “Data Source-to-Customer Experience” from Treehouse Software

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Treehouse Software provides world-class capabilities to acquire data from relevant structured sources–especially mainframe-based sources–across the enterprise, enabling solutions leveraging Cognistx technology to offer the most advanced interaction with your customers.

Retailers Adopting Cognitive Technology to Drive Business

Meet a new cognitive-powered app that’s changing the customer experience. Using the SmartCognitives Engine™, it harnesses the full power of customer data to create intelligent, individualized offers specifically designed for each customer. It’s how Cognistx is helping Mr. Tire reach their millions of customers as true individuals, drive incremental revenue, convert data into insights and lead the cognitive revolution in the automotive industry. Check out the video below to see it in action.

Turning data into insights, insights into customer actions, and those actions into revenue…

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Cognistx applies the latest in machine learning technology (AI) — including Big Data, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and natural language processing — to solve your business challenge. From app-based retail solutions to help desk chat interfaces, clickstream interceptors to call center systems and more, this technology helps solve your most pressing issues.

Smarter with each interaction

The SmartCognitives Recommendation Engine is always learning and automatically delivering smarter, more relevant offers so your marketing is faster, more accurate and more efficient. It can be integrated into your mobile apps, web sites, databases, POS systems and more — for smarter solutions right away.

Transforming consumers into Individuals

Imagine being able to target consumers as unique individuals and serving up exactly what they want exactly when they need it most. No one wants to be treated like a consumer — but people do want to be treated like individuals. That’s why Cognistx is here– to celebrate the power of the individual and transform the customer experience.

Engaging with the SmartCognitives Engine

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The Cognistx engine is technology-agnostic, so it can be easily integrated into apps, chatbots, clickstream interceptors, call center systems, decision support systems, or other custom applications.

The Treehouse Software / Cognistx Connection

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The Cognistx platform complements Treehouse Software’s tcVISION, the comprehensive product that can acquire data in bulk or via change data capture methods, including in real time, from virtually any IBM mainframe data source (Software AG Adabas, IBM DB2, IBM VSAM, IBM IMS/DB, CA IDMS, CA Datacom, even sequential files), and transform and deliver to virtually any target. In addition, the same product can extract and replicate data from a variety of non-mainframe sources, including Adabas LUW, Oracle Database, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2 LUW and DB2 BLU, IBM Informix and PostgreSQL.


Let’s talk…

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If this exciting new technology is of interest to you, we would be happy to have a conversation about your company’s needs, so do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions.  Meanwhile, please visit the Treehouse Software Cognistx Web Page for more information.

 

Treehouse Software Technology Partner, Cognistx Brings Cognitive Computing to Screens Around the World

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Cognistx is transforming the customer buying experience using cognitive computing, which it claims has the potential to become the most disruptive technology of the next 20 years. Wake Forest Innovation Quarter’s The Hub features the latest from Cognistx. Read the article here.


About the Treehouse Software / Cognistx Partnership

Since the mid-1990s, Treehouse Software has provided world-class enterprise data acquisition capabilities, and we now offer the Cognistx cognitive computing capabilities for the most advanced interaction with your customers.

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The Cognistx platform complements Treehouse Software’s tcVISION, the comprehensive product that can acquire data in bulk or via change data capture methods, including in real time, from virtually any IBM mainframe data source (Software AG Adabas, IBM DB2, IBM VSAM, IBM IMS/DB, CA IDMS, CA Datacom, even sequential files), and transform and deliver to virtually any target. In addition, the same product can extract and replicate data from a variety of non-mainframe sources, including Adabas LUW, Oracle Database, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2 LUW and DB2 BLU, IBM Informix and PostgreSQL.

If this exciting new technology is of interest to you, we would be happy to have a conversation about your company’s needs, so do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions.  Meanwhile, please visit the Treehouse Software Cognistx Web Page for more information.