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.

U.S. Government Customers Can Now Use Treehouse Software’s tcVISION Mainframe Data Replication on the AWS GovCloud

Treehouse Software’s tcVISION Mainframe-to-AWS data replication product is now available in the AWS GovCloud (US) Region of the AWS Marketplace.

The AWS GovCloud (US) Region is designed to host sensitive data, regulated workloads, and address the most stringent U.S. government security and compliance requirements.

The AWS GovCloud (US) is available to government customers, organizations in government-regulated industries, and other private entities that meet AWS GovCloud (US) requirements.

AWS GovCloud (US) gives government customers and their partners the flexibility to architect secure cloud solutions that comply with: the FedRAMP High baseline, the DOJ’s Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) Security Policy, U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Export Administration Regulations (EAR), Department of Defense (DoD) Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide (SRG) for Impact Levels 2, 4 and 5, FIPS 140-2, IRS-1075, and other compliance regimes.

From Personally Identifiable Information (PII), sensitive patient medical records, and financial data to law enforcement data, export controlled data and other forms of CUI, AWS GovCloud (US) Regions can help customers address compliance at every stage of their cloud journey.


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The tcVISION Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) are available on the AWS Marketplace. A tcVISION AMI automatically sets up the product on the AWS Cloud and allows customers to use it with either backup/recovery mainframe files or Windows files, or to set up connectivity for real-time, on-premises mainframe data replication to AWS. An enterprise with mission critical data in a mainframe environment can rapidly deploy databases globally within minutes, and with minimal administration requirements. U.S Government sites can simply choose the region “AWS GovCloud (US)” under “Pricing Information” when choosing and AMI.

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There are three versions of the tcVISION AMI on the AWS Marketplace, and #1 and #3 require two-week trial license keys provide by Treehouse Software:

1. tcVISION Mainframe Batch Integration (MBI) for AWS – Bring Your Own License (Customers must contact Treehouse Software for license key to run the software): This AMI does not require an active connection to the mainframe, because the existing backup and recovery files from the mainframe, such as Db2 imagecopies, z/OS archive log files or IMS Unloads, Adabas unload, and PLOG files can be used.

2. tcVISION Distributed Database Integration (DDI) for AWS – Pay as You Go on AWS: This AMI license installation includes security keys for Amazon S3 access and a license to use one source (PostgreSQL, Oracle, MySQL, MariaDB; MSSQL on Windows OS only) and one target (AWS S3, AWS Aurora, RDS – PostgreSQL, Oracle, MySQL, MariaDB; MSSQL on Windows OS only).

3. tcVISION Enterprise Change Data Capture (CDC) Integration for AWS – Bring Your Own License (Customers must contact Treehouse Software for license key to run the software): This AMI allows transfer of mainframe data to AWS targets continuously and in real-time. Using this tcVISION AMI, a customer can deploy databases globally within minutes.


About the AWS Marketplace…

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The AWS Marketplace is an online software store that helps customers find, buy, and immediately start using the software and services that run on AWS.


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