Treehouse Software is Helping Higher Education Customers Modernize Long-standing Mainframe Data on the Cloud

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

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The Business Issue

Many higher education institutions have large volumes of mission critical and historical data stored in legacy mainframe databases (Db2, Adabas, IMS, IDMS, Datacom, VSAM, etc.). The cost to maintain these databases is high and they lack the features required for modernizing the data architecture. Additionally, the data is utilized by an extensive number of interlinked programs dependent on this legacy data.

Colleges and universities are searching for a solution that allows them to unlock their mainframe data within a Cloud-based data store, such as Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), where they can use a wide array of analytics and machine learning services for easy access to all relevant data, without compromising security or governance.

Once mainframe data is on AWS, an institution can innovate quickly by creating new functions with Cloud speed, such as mobile users via Amazon API Gateway, or voice devices such as Amazon Alexa.

Additionally, data security is one of the biggest challenges facing most higher education organizations. Beyond the certifications and best practices that are part of having data reside on the AWS Cloud platform, there are also many security features and services designed to help an organization stay compliant with industry best practices and regulations.

The Solution: Mainframe-to-Cloud Data Replication 

Treehouse Software recently helped a large university with a requirement for a solution that allows their legacy mainframe database to continue while replicating data in real time on AWS. By using Treehouse Software’s tcVISION Mainframe-to-Cloud data replication product, the university was able to immediately utilize some of the most advanced Cloud tools and services in the world.

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tcVISION enables the university to synchronize mainframe data to Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL. Furthermore, bi-directional, real-time data synchronization will enable changes on either platform to be reflected on the other platform (e.g., a change to a PostgreSQL table is reflected back on the mainframe database). This allows the university to modernize the application on PostgreSQL without disrupting the existing critical work on the legacy system, and modern tools can now be used in the PostgreSQL environment, greatly enhancing business agility.

Moving Forward…

Having on-demand, Cloud-based services available can now help IT teams build secure environments for mission-critical applications for the University, freeing them to focus on student success and plan for growth or increased seasonal demand.

tcVISION provides the quality of service required by enterprise data workloads for security, availability, and scalability, and university staff and students can look forward to quickly and affordably accessing Cloud compute, storage, and application services.

Replicating mainframe data on the Cloud can happen within days during a tcVISION Proof of Concept (POC)…

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An online tcVISION POC is approximately 5-10 business days, with the customer providing use case and goals for the POC. A Treehouse Software consultant will assist in downloading and installing tcVISION and conducting a limited-scope implementation of a tcVISION application. This application uses customer data and executes on customer facilities, usually in a non-production environment. A document is provided beforehand that outlines the requirements and agenda for the POC.

By the end of the 10-day POC, customers can begin replicating mainframe data to their Cloud target database.  It can happen that fast!

Further Reading…

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Treehouse Software is an AWS technology partner, and the AWS Partner Network published a blog about tcVISION, our Mainframe-to-Cloud data replication product, which describes how tcVISION allows legacy mainframe environments to continue, while replicating data on highly available and secure Cloud platforms:

https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/apn/real-time-mainframe-data-replication-to-aws-with-tcvision-from-treehouse-software/


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Contact Treehouse Software for a tcVISION Demo Today…

Simply fill out our Product Demonstration Request Form and a Treehouse representative will be contacting you to set up a time for your requested demonstration.

Customers are discovering that they can quickly begin replicating their mainframe data to the Cloud during tcVISION Proof of Concepts (POCs)

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

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Modernizing long-standing mainframe systems has become a strategic imperative at many government, education, healthcare, financial, and retail organizations. As a result, these organizations are looking for solutions that allow their legacy environments to continue, while replicating data, in real time, on Cloud-based platforms, such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, etc. This “data first” approach allows organizations to quickly take advantage of advanced Cloud technologies, such as big data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), rapid global database deployments, high-level security, etc., while keeping the mainframe and Cloud sides synchronized.

With new IT modernization initiatives in the forefront, Treehouse Software is seeing a significant upswing in requests for online demonstrations and POCs of tcVISION, our Mainframe-to-Cloud data replication product.

You can start moving your mainframe data to the Cloud within days during a tcVISION POC…

tcVISION_Overall_Diagram_General_Cloud

An online tcVISION POC is approximately 5-10 business days, with the customer providing use case and goals for the POC. A Treehouse Software consultant will assist in downloading and installing tcVISION, and conduct a limited-scope implementation of a tcVISION application. This application uses customer data and executes on customer facilities, usually in a non-production environment. A document is provided beforehand that outlines the requirements and agenda for the POC.

By the end of the 10-day POC, customers can begin replicating mainframe data to their Cloud target database.  It can happen that fast!


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Contact Treehouse Software for a tcVISION Demo Today…

Simply fill out our Product Demonstration Request Form and a Treehouse representative will be contacting you to set up a time for your requested demonstration.

High Availability Requirements for Mainframe Data Modernization — Running tcVISION in Global Availability Zones

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

Many customers embarking on Mainframe-to-Cloud data replication projects with Treehouse Software are looking at high availability (HA) as a key consideration in the planning process. The goal with HA is to ensure that systems are always functioning and accessible, with deployments located in various Availability Zones (AZs) worldwide. Having an HA architecture in place protects against data center, availability zone, server, network, and storage subsystem failures to keep businesses running without downtime or human intervention.

In this blog, we will give a high-level overview of tcVISION HA Architecture, using AWS as an example. However, HA basic principles are essentially the same across all Cloud platforms.

Example of the tcVISON HA Architecture on AWS

During tcVISION’s Change Data Capture (CDC) processing for Mainframe-to-Cloud data replication, HA must be maintained in the AWS environment. The Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), which contains the tcVISION Manager, is part of an Auto Scaling Group that is spread across AZs with Amazon EC2 instance(s).

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Upon failure, the replacement Amazon EC2 instance tcVISION Manager is launched and communicates its IP address to the mainframe tcVISION Manager. The mainframe tcVISION Manager then starts communication with the replacement Amazon EC2 tcVISION Manager.

Once the Amazon EC2 tcVISION Manager is restarted, it continues processing at its next logical restart point, using a combination of the LUW and Restart files. LUW files contain committed data transactions not yet applied to the target database. Restart files contain a pointer to the last captured and committed transaction and queued uncommitted CDC data. Both file types are stored on a highly available data store, such as Amazon Elastic File System (EFS).

For production workloads, Treehouse Software recommends turning on Multi-AZ target and metadata databases.

To keep all the dynamic data in an HA architecture, tcVISION uses EFS, which provides a simple, scalable, fully managed elastic file system for use with AWS Cloud services and on-premises resources. It is built to scale on-demand to petabytes without disrupting applications, growing and shrinking automatically as you add and remove files, eliminating the need to provision and manage capacity to accommodate growth.


Treehouse Software can help organizations immediately start moving their mainframe data to the Cloud and take advantage of the most advanced, scalable, secure, and highly available technologies in the world with tcVISION

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tcVISION supports a vast array of integration scenarios throughout the enterprise, providing easy and fast data migration for mainframe application modernization projects and enabling bi-directional data replication between mainframe, Cloud, Open Systems, Linux, Unix, and Windows platforms.

View the Unequalled List of Environments Supported by tcVISION Here


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Contact Treehouse Software for a 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 tcVISION demonstration. This will be a live, on-line demonstration that shows tcVISION replicating data from the mainframe to a Cloud target database.

Now, more than ever, enterprises with mainframes are looking to modernize their legacy systems

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

Rapidly changing global health, economic, and political conditions are making fast access to the most current information more important than ever for official agencies and the public.  As a result, modernizing information systems is taking center stage and top priority, especially for organizations with critical mainframe data residing on a variety of long-standing databases, often still updated by COBOL applications! These databases include Db2, VSAM, IMS/DB, Adabas, IDMS, Datacom, or even sequential files. Unlocking the value of this important data can be difficult, because the data can be utilized by numerous interlinked and dependent programs that have been in place for many years, and sometimes decades.

Many organizations are now looking for modernization solutions that allow their legacy mainframe environments to continue, while replicating data in real time on highly available Cloud-based platforms (AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, etc.). With a “data-first” approach, immediate data replication to the Cloud is enabling government, healthcare, supply chain, financial, and a variety of public service organizations to meet spikes in demand for vital information, especially in times of crisis.

Treehouse Software can help organizations immediately start moving their mainframe data to the Cloud and take advantage of the most advanced technologies in the world with tcVISION

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Whether an enterprise needs to take advantage of the latest Cloud services, such as big data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), rapid global database deployments, high-level security, etc., or move data to a variety of newer Cloud or Open Systems databases, the transition doesn’t have to be a sudden big bang.

A Phased Approach

Treehouse Software has extensive mainframe experience and subject matter experts to help organizations incrementally replicate their mainframe data to the Cloud and other modern systems, while keeping both sides synchronized.

Treehouse Software’s expert technical representatives help customers develop a phased plan that includes installation and implementation of the tcVISION mainframe data modernization product, script customization, data replication mapping, high availability, security, monitoring, training, etc..

After defining the architecture, the production deployment phase begins with incremental sprint-like deployments. Additional files are then deployed into production regularly.

This phased plan enables tcVISION to synchronize critical mainframe data to a Cloud / Open Systems database. Bi-directional, real-time data synchronization allows changes on either platform to be reflected on the other platform (e.g., a change to a PostgreSQL table is reflected back on mainframe). The customer can then modernize their application on the cloud, open systems, etc. without disrupting the existing critical work on the legacy system.

Additionally, tcVISION customers see drastically reduced mainframe MIPS costs, and increased ability to quickly respond to business environment changes.

Enterprise ETL and Real-time and Bi-directional Data Replication Through Change Data Capture with tcVISION

tcVISION uses an intuitive Windows GUI interface for administration, mapping and modeling, script generation, and monitoring. The product focuses on changed data capture (CDC) when transferring information between mainframe data sources and modern databases and applications. Through an innovative technology, changes occurring in any mainframe application data are tracked and captured, and then published to a variety of targets.

tcVISION – Supported Sources and Targets

tcVISION supports a vast array of integration scenarios throughout the enterprise, providing easy and fast data migration for mainframe application modernization projects and enabling bi-directional data replication between mainframe, Cloud, Open Systems, Linux, Unix, and Windows platforms.

View the Unequalled List of Environments Supported by tcVISION Here


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Contact Treehouse Software for a 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 tcVISION demonstration. This will be a live, on-line demonstration that shows tcVISION replicating data from the mainframe to a Cloud target database.

STAY AND GO… AT THE SAME TIME! Incrementally Replicate Your Mainframe Data to the Cloud and Other Modern Systems While Keeping Both Sides Synchronized

Is your mission critical mainframe data residing on IBM Db2, IBM VSAM, IBM IMS/DB, Software AG Adabas, CA IDMS, CA Datacom, or even sequential files? Are you looking for a solution that allows your legacy mainframe environment to continue while replicating data – in real time and bi-directionally – on a variety of newer Cloud, LUW, or Open Systems databases? Whether your enterprise wants to take advantage of the latest cloud services, such as analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), etc., or move your data to a variety of newer Cloud, LUW, or Open Systems databases, the transition doesn’t have to be a sudden big bang.

tcVISION_Overall_Diagram

tcVISION: Enterprise ETL and Real-time and Bi-directional Data Replication Through Change Data Capture

The globalization of markets, the increase of data volumes, 24×7 operations, changing business conditions and high demand for up-to-date information require new data transfer and exchange solutions for heterogeneous IT architectures.

The tcVISION solution focuses on changed data capture (CDC) when transferring information between mainframe data sources and modern databases and applications. Through an innovative technology, changes occurring in any mainframe application data are tracked and captured, and then published to a variety of targets.

tcVISION allows bi-directional, real-time data synchronization of changes on either platform to be reflected on the other platform (e.g., a change to a PostgreSQL table is reflected back on mainframe). The customer can then modernize their application on the cloud, open systems, etc. without disrupting the existing critical work on the legacy system.

tcVISION – Supported Sources and Targets

tcVISION supports a vast array of integration scenarios throughout the enterprise, providing easy and fast data migration for mainframe application modernization projects and enabling bi-directional data replication between mainframe, Cloud, Linux, Unix, and Windows platforms. This innovative technology offers comprehensive abilities to identify and capture changes occurring in mainframe and relational databases, then publish the required information to an impressive variety of targets, both on-premise and Cloud-based.

View the Unequalled List of Environments Supported by tcVISION Here


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Contact Treehouse Software for a 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 tcVISION demonstration. This will be a live, on-line demonstration that shows tcVISION replicating data from the mainframe to a Cloud target database.

Treehouse Software’s tcVISION on the AWS Marketplace… AWS Architectural Considerations and Challenges

Andy Jones, Senior Technical Representative for Treehouse Software recently gave a presentation at the Pittsburgh AWS User Group Meetup that explores our experiences in bringing the tcVISION Mainframe-to-AWS Data Replication Solution to the AWS Marketplace.  Andy discussed issues that had to be addressed, such as High Availability and AWS Availability Zones, Autoscaling, Security, creating the tcVISON AMIs, etc. Here is his presentation:

Additionally, Treehouse Software’s tcVISION is Featured on the AWS Partner Network Blog. Read the Blog Here.


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Treehouse Software is an AWS Technology Partner and a global leader in providing real-time and bi-directional data replication between a variety of mainframe and non-mainframe sources, including (Mainframe – z/OS and VSE): VSAM, IMS, Db2 z/OS, Adabas, CA Datacom, and CA IDMS; and (Non-mainframe): AWS, Microsoft Azure, PostgreSQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM Db2 LUW and Db2 BLU, IBM Informix, Kafka, MongoDB, Hadoop, SAP Hana, and more.

Contact us today to discuss your project!

Treehouse Software Customer Success: Element Fleet Management Corp. Real-time, Bi-directional Synchronization Between IBM Mainframe Datacom and PostgreSQL

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As a leading global fleet management company, Element provides a comprehensive range of fleet services that span the total fleet lifecycle, helping customers optimize their strategies at every stage – from acquisition and financing to program management and vehicle remarketing. These services, together with exceptional tools, technologies and consulting, empower customers to realize extraordinary results.

Business Background

Element Fleet Management has over one million vehicles under management, and serves more than 2,800 customers. The company employs over 2,700 staff members across 12 offices. Transaction sizes range from $500,000 to $40 million. 50 countries are served through the Element-Arval Global Alliance. Top industries served by Element Fleet Management are agriculture, business services, chemical, construction, consumer products, education and non-profit, energy, food and beverage, insurance, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and healthcare, professional services, telecommunications, transportation, and utilities.

Business Issue

Much of Element’s mission critical mainframe data is stored in a legacy IBM mainframe database. The cost to maintain these legacy databases is high and they lack the features required for modernizing the data architecture. The data is utilized by an extensive number of interlinked programs dependent on this legacy data. Element required a solution that would allow the legacy environment to continue while having real time replicated data on a modern database/platform. This enables them to utilize modern programing and data tools to be competitive in their market.

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Technology Solution

Treehouse software and the customer developed a phased plan to prove out and implement tcVISION. This started with a proof-of-concept to prove out the technology’s effectiveness and technical suitability. This was proceeded by architectural phase to define the architectural solution including, configuration management, environments and promotion, high availability, security, disaster recovery, monitoring, operations procedures, script customization, data replication mapping and training plans. After defining the architecture, the production deployment phase started with incremental sprint-like deployments. Additional files were deployed into production every few weeks.

This project enabled the tcVISION product to synchronize mission critical financial IBM mainframe Datacom data to a modern PostgreSQL database. Bi-directional, real-time data synchronization enables changes on either platform to be reflected on the other platform (e.g., a change to a PostgreSQL table is reflected on mainframe Datacom). This allows their business to modernize the application on PostgreSQL without disrupting the existing critical work on the legacy system.

NOTE: Many modern tools are using the PostgreSQL database, which greatly enhances business agility (e.g., other divisions within Element are already using Amazon Web Services (AWS), so having tcVISION in place now makes mainframe data delivery to the AWS cloud an easy option). See a step-by-step video of Mainframe-to-PostgreSQL on AWS here. 

Successful, real-time mainframe data replication to an open systems application allows web and mobile access and updates. Element indicated their satisfaction with the results and the solution, especially reduced mainframe MIPS costs, and enhanced business ability to respond to business environment changes.


Find out more about tcVISION — Enterprise ETL and Real-Time Data Replication Through Change Data Capture

tcVISION supports a vast array of integration scenarios throughout the enterprise, providing easy and fast data migration for mainframe application modernization projects and enabling bi-directional data replication between mainframe, Linux, Unix and Windows platforms. This innovative technology offers comprehensive abilities to identify and capture changes occurring in mainframe and relational databases, then publish the required information to an impressive variety of targets, both on-premise and Cloud-based.

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tcVISION acquires 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 PostgreSQL, Adabas LUW, Oracle Database, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM Db2 LUW and Db2 BLU, and IBM Informix.


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Visit the Treehouse Software website for more information on tcVISION, or contact us to discuss your needs.

 

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: tcVISION v6 Overview and Updates

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Several exciting new features and updates are now in tcVISION v6, including new output targets Adabas LUW, DB2 BLU, EXASOL, Hadoop,and MongoDB. Additionally, new input sources include z/OS VSAM Logstream (CICS and Coupling Facility / Shared VSAM),z/OS VSAM Batch Extension, z/OS DBMS to Logstream, CA IDMS v17, CA Datacom CDC, IMS Active Log and SMF data.

Another feature recently announced is the tcVISION “Direct Loader” for BULK_LOAD processing. The function does not require output to a sequential file, and the loader utility for the target DBMS is called via API with data passed directly. Direct loader supports PostGreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server and DB2 LUW / DB2 BLU. The advantage of using the Direct Loader is the elimination of disk access in writing and reading the sequential loader data file. File output is still supported (e.g., where loader data is to be distributed to other machines).

Finally, as mentioned in a previous Treehouse Blog, with tcVISION v6 comes the newly enhanced web statistics functionality and web server. Any standard web browser can access this server (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari, etc.)

This valuable feature enables users to view data from the tcVISION Manager Monitor, and statistical and operational information from the tcVISION Manager network.


Find out more about tcVISION — Enterprise ETL and Real-Time Data Replication Through Change Data Capture

tcVISION provides easy and fast data migration for mainframe application modernization projects and enables bi-directional data replication between mainframe, Linux, Unix and Windows platforms.

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Visit the Treehouse Software website for more information on tcVISION, or contact us to discuss your needs.

tcVISION TREETIP: Navigating The Repository Editor

When modeling and mapping a new metadata structure, tcVISION’s powerful Repository Editor is used to define and modify Input and Output Objects. The rich features within the Editor allow users to:

  • import new objects
  • copy or create new objects
  • import metadata for input and/or output objects
  • define target DBMSs
  • specify input and/or output objects for import
  • define DMBS-specific options
  • define target object names
  • replace/supersede existing object metadata

To assist new and even experienced tcVISION users, we’ve put together the following screen shots to give a quick overview of the Repository Editor’s functionality buttons / icons used for setting up modeling and mapping of sources and targets.

Here is an example of what the tcVISION Repository Editor looks like:

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Repository Editor icon definitions: Input objects

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Repository Editor icon definitions: Output objects

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Repository editor right click menu options

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Repository editor extended output target options

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Enterprise ETL and Real-Time Data Replication Through Change Data Capture

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tcVISION provides real-time data replication through change data capture, and allows easy and fast data migration for mainframe application modernization projects. Enterprises looking for a product that enables bi-directional heterogeneous data replication between mainframe, Linux, Unix, and Windows platforms need look no further than to tcVISION from Treehouse Software.

To learn more about tcVISION, or to request a demonstration, contact Treehouse Software today.

Modern Approach to Migration of Disparate Enterprise Data

Brewed in Percolator

by Joseph Brady, Marketing and Documentation Manager for Treehouse Software

I came across an article recently in the Data Migration Pro Journal, “Is it R.I.P for the Big-Bang Data Migration?” Given this site’s deep dive into data migration matters, I was intrigued with not only the title, but its resounding message being so closely connected to what Treehouse Software has been preaching for years: The traditional strategy of parallel migration between the host and the target may be failsafe (you can always go back to the original system) but with the vast amounts of data that are usually involved and myriad complications that can potentially delay or completely disrupt the operation, the endeavor usually risks a failed migration project.

Since the mid-1990s, Treehouse has dominated the ADABAS-to-RDBMS data migration and integration market, with its proven and powerful ETL, CDC, and real-time replication solutions. More recently, the addition of expanded capabilities enables migration and integration of virtually any mainframe database or data source. In short, we can connect your enterprise—from anything to anything.

The combined power of our technology resources and know-how reduces cost and mitigates risk in mainframe IT project initiatives, where data migration and integration complexity is often underestimated, yet critical to success.

Efficient, standards-based, and automated approaches such as those provided by Treehouse’s products can be implemented in a fraction of the time of, and much more cost-effectively and reliably than, manual efforts. Treehouse Software’s data migration, replication and integration solutions are intended for customers needing to access, integrate, replicate, and migrate data from Software AG’s ADABAS and other mainframe data sources. Such data sources often require migration or replication to relational database systems such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM’s DB2, Teradata, and Sybase.

To extend its reach to mainframe data sources such as VSAM, IMS, CA-IDMS, CA-Datacom, DL/I, DB2, and even sequential files, Treehouse teams with B.O.S. Software Service und Vertrieb GmbH of Haar, Germany, to distribute and support B.O.S.’s tcVISION and tcACCESS, mainframe data replication and data access products. These offerings provide the ability to deliver anywhere-to-anywhere data replication and integration, as well as direct SQL-based access to non-relational mainframe data structures.

tcACCESS is a comprehensive software solution that enables two-way integration between IBM mainframe systems and client/server, Web and SOA technologies–without the need for mainframe knowledge or programming effort. tcACCESS is a proven platform that facilitates SQL-based integration of mainframe data sources and programs into open-systems and Windows applications using industry standards such as SQL, ODBC, JDBC, and .NET. SQL queries that access mainframe data can be easily created using drag and drop techniques—no programming required. The results of queries can be immediately presented and viewed (i.e., in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, etc.). Direct ODBC or JDBC access to mainframe data from any client/server or Web application can be easily implemented; it is necessary only to assign the tcACCESS driver to the application.

The tcVISION solution focuses on CDC when transferring information between mainframe data sources and Windows or open-systems databases and applications. Through an innovative technology, changes occurring in any mainframe application data are tracked and captured, and then published to a variety of RDBMSs and other targets. tcVISION’s capture facilities detect changes in mainframe data sources without programming effort, and reduce the amount of data that must be transferred between systems to an absolute minimum. tcVISION guarantees transparent, efficient and auditable data transfer between sources and targets, and provides powerful routines to perform efficient, reliable bulk transfers of data with great success.

Treehouse can help your organization with tools and expertise for the riskiest and most-often overlooked parts of mainframe modernization and integration projects—the data migration and integration. Leveraging our products and services will eliminate reliance on your programming staff to write and maintain data extracts and middleware and enable deployment of powerful, robust and secure data migration and replication implementations.

Read our case studies and let us know how we can help you make your next migration project a sure-fire success.