Treehouse Software Eases the Challenges for Mainframe-to-Modern Platform Transformation Programs for Systems Integrators

Unlock Your Customers’ Business Value Faster with Frequent Production Deliveries, Using Agile Methods

Treehouse Software’s product, tcVISION has proven to be vital for the ease and success of many mainframe modernization initiatives.

A big problem for a Systems Integrator (SI), or any mainframe modernization vendor, is the myriad of dependencies between mainframe and open systems data and components. As part of a mainframe modernization project, these vendors need to determine the ordering of phases or waves of applications to be migrated. There are often shared databases that can make it very difficult to move one set of applications without moving others. This can result in the conclusion that they must go with a “big bang” approach, which can lead to a bid for a program with one large delivery at the end with all of the integrated components in place. This is very unappealing to customers as they are paying out big dollars without the corresponding business value of a production deployment. This approach also significantly increases the project risk.

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With Treehouse Software’s bi-directional replication product, tcVISION, a subset of applications can be migrated, and tcVISION’s data synchronization capabilities can be used to bridge specific shared legacy mainframe databases to the modern database versions on open systems. This allows them to deliver in phases, thus getting modernized modules in production faster. In addition, it decreases risk as issues can be found much faster with the more frequent production deployments. When the last modules are deployed to production, they would no longer need the synchronization.

As an example, a large Treehouse customer is currently involved in gradually modernizing and replacing a set of applications, and is using a similar approach. The customer will be using their mainframe Adabas database synced with Oracle on Linux, while in the process of modernizing the applications. Treehouse Software’s experts and tcVISION product are making sure the customer’s transition goes smoothly and seamlessly.


Enterprise ETL and Real-Time Data Replication Between Virtually Any Source and Target

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, 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, Hadoop/HDFS, MongoDB, Oracle Database, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2 LUW and DB2 BLU, IBM Informix, PostgreSQL, etc.


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

tRelational / DPS Adabas-to-Oracle Success in South Africa

by Hans-Peter Will, Senior Technical Representative and Joseph Brady, Manager of Marketing and Technical Documentation at Treehouse Software, Inc.

Recently, Hans-Peter Will, Senior Technical Representative for Treehouse Software, traveled to South Africa to assist our partner Bateleur Software (pty) Ltd. with setting up a large public-sector customer’s data replication implementation using our Adabas-to-RDBMS tool set, tRelational / DPS (Data Propagation System).

Arriving in Johannesburg, Peter met with representatives from Bateleur and the IT Organization, where the key players discussed how tRelational / DPS was going to be used in the project. The customer initially wanted to populate sample data into Oracle, so Peter configured tRelational / DPS to process one of the smaller Adabas files to generate some data. He also recommended running an analysis with tRelational to determine whether the file contained a unique key. Peter took this opportunity to show the customer what other benefits they could realize out of the analysis information. Interestingly, they used a personnel file for analysis, and Peter was immediately able to show that 23 of the records had no gender entry and 180 of records had no surname. The customer was very pleased to see these revelations in the first analysis, and looked forward to identifying other data quality issues before commencing data replication.

Customer Replication Scenario with Treehouse Software Product Set…

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The next step was to build the target structure in accordance with the Oracle DBA’s requirements. The DBA had specified that all columns were to be defined as VARCHAR2, except the date information. After the first model was completed, DDL and DPS parameters were generated and a quick materialization of data accomplished the desired result.

At the subsequent kickoff meeting, Peter provided a complete tRelational / DPS overview and discussed the target structure with the attendees and the Oracle DBA. The rest of the day was spent doing Adabas file implementations, analysis and modeling.

Setup was then completed for transferring extracted and transformed Adabas data into the customer’s Windows environment. Adabas Vista is used, so that one logical Adabas file was actually split into two files stored on different Adabas databases, and the customer wanted to combine them into the same target table in Oracle. While there was no unique descriptor, it was discovered that three fields in combination would make a unique key, enabling the model to be created to combine data from the separate physical files into a single Oracle table.

The team proceeded with file implementation, modeling, mapping, DPS executions, and resolving data issues. Various issues that were encountered, like invalid tab characters within the data, negative personnel numbers, duplicates in unique keys (maintained by the application) and the need to add an extra column to the output. These issues were resolved quickly by the customer’s staff.

Within a day, all the files were materialized and the PLOG copy process was modified so that from that point forward, every PLOG copy would automatically be processed through DPS Propagation to update the RDBMS on the target Windows machine.

The next day, Peter was asked by the customer, “How many of the files have been processed so far?”. Peter was pleased to report that every file was processed and was propagating successfully. The happy customer remarked that they never had a project that was completed this far ahead of the deadline.

Throughout the project, Peter never personally laid hands on a customer keyboard, but instead sat with staff, effectively training them and handing over comprehensive knowledge of tRelational / DPS. The customer was very excited to learn that their personnel can now easily use the product set to do any remaining work on their own.

A few days later, we received an e-mail from Bateleur:

“I had a very pleasant meeting with the customer today. They used tRelational to reject the non-unique keys, reran the Materialization, and reran DPS plus update into Oracle. The month-end update of Oracle that was taking nearly three days to complete, now takes five Minutes! Everyone delighted!”

Bjørn (Sam) Selmer-Olsen, Managing Director, Bateleur Software (pty) Ltd


About Treehouse Software’s tRelational / DPS Product Set

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tRelational / DPS is a robust product set that provides modeling and data transfer of legacy Adabas data into modern RDBMS-based platforms for Internet/Intranet/Business Intelligence applications. Treehouse Software designed these products to meet the demands of large, complex environments requiring product maturity, productivity, feature-richness, efficiency and high performance.

The tRelational component provides complete analysis, modeling and mapping of Adabas files and data elements to the target RDBMS tables and columns. DPS (Data Propagation System) performs Extract, Transformation, and Load (ETL) functions for the initial bulk RDBMS load and incremental Change Data Capture (CDC) batch processing to synchronize Adabas updates with the target RDBMS.

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

TREETIP: tcVISION Supports Data Replication to MongoDB

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The tcVISION cross-system integration platform is a robust, proven, and mature solution that is constantly under development to meet the requirements of new technologies, including support for MongoDB.

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MongoDB is among the leading NoSQL databases in the market and has been developed for the needs of today’s information technology. MongoDB supports a data model with dynamic schemata and is especially suitable to store large amounts of data using GridFS. It contains automatic failure protection using an integrated replication. MongoDB also offers native, idiomatic drivers for nearly all programming languages and frameworks.

Find out more about MongoDB here: https://www.mongodb.com

In addition to support for MongoDB, tcVISION features connectivity to other output targets, such as Hadoop (see previous blog about Hadoop support), Adabas LUW, DB2 BLU, and EXASOL. 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.

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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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 Adabas LUW, Oracle Database, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2 LUW and DB2 BLU, IBM Informix and PostgreSQL.


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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.

Customer Success: tcVISION / Hadoop Integration

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BAWAG P.S.K. is one of the largest and most profitable banks of Austria with more than 1.6 million private and business customers and a well known brand in the country. The business strategy is oriented towards low risk and high efficiency. Business segments are Retail Banking and Small Business, Corporate Lending and Investments and Treasury Services and Markets. The center of the BAWAG P.S.K. business strategy is the offering of easy to understand, transparent and first-rate products and services which meet the requirements of the customers.

The BAWAG P.S.K. Bank für Arbeit und Wirtschaft and Österreichische Postsparkasse Aktiengesellschaft ” (P.S.K.), Vienna, operates their IT on the z/OS operating system. The corporate data is stored in DB2 databases. ORACLE is the database platform for the Open System environments. In relationship with another project P.S.K already had a client component of tcVISION installed. Magister Markus Lechner, Head IT Applications: “tcVISION was already in use and we had good experiences as far as functionally and support is concerned. Because we were in the planning process for the implementation of another project, we included tcVISION in the list of software solutions. The goal of this project has been the reduction of the load on the IBM mainframe and as a result the reduction of costs. The intention was to offload data from our core database system to a less expensive system in real-time and to provide read access from that system to the new infrastructure. The reasons for this were constantly increasing CPU costs on the mainframe because of the growing transaction load of the Online Banking, Mobile Banking, and Self Service devices. A large percentage of the load was caused by Read-Only-Transactions.” Markus Lechner: “After the tcVISION presentation, we arranged a Proof Of Concept. The important aspects of the POC were not only the functionality of tcVISION within the project but we also wanted to see whether our expectations would be met related to performance and CPU consumption on the mainframe. In addition to tcVISION, we also evaluated another product. All of our expectations have been met to our full satisfaction during the POC and we made the decision to go ahead with tcVISION.”

After a short implementation period, the project is now in production for one year. Markus Lechner describes the project: “The primary objective of the project with tcVISION was the reduction of CPU load on the mainframe to reduce our costs. Our intention was to offload data from our core database system to a less expensive system in real-time and to provide read access from that system to the new infrastructure.

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We use tcVISION for the realtime replication and we use Apache Hadoop as a cost efficient system for the storage of the data. In addition to the primary usage scenario we have the benefit to also cover additional use cases. This includes Real-time-EventHandling & Stream Processing, Analytics based upon real-time data as well as the possibility to report and analyze structured and unstructured data with excellent performance. The system can be inexpensively operated on Commodity Hardware and has no scalability limitations. Compared to the savings the costs of replication (CPU consumption) of tcVISION are very low. The support provided  was excellent during the implementation phase and also during the production phase. Inquiries by telephone or E-mail cause prompt reactions. Problems that came up during this period were solved as soon as possible even when the tcVISION software had to be extended.” There are additional plans to extend the use of tcVISION in the future. One is to implement real-time replication from ORACLE into the data lake.

Magister Markus Lechner draws a conclusion: “tcVISION enables us to significantly reduce our mainframe cost through a real-time replication to a less expensive environment. tcVISION performs a very economical log file based replication. In addition we are now in a position to implement numerous application cases based upon the replicated data which would have been too expensive and resource intensive on the mainframe. Realtime-Event-handling, Realtime-Analytics, Realtime-Fraud Prevention are only a few of the use cases that we currently cover.”


tcVISION

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tcVISION enables bidirectional replication for DB2, Oracle, and SQL Server running on Linux/Unix/Windows, and synchronizes each data source, first by doing a bulk load from source(s) to target and then by replicating only changes— only committed changes—from source(s) to target. So there can never be ambiguity as to whether a query against the target database involves uncommitted data.

Read other tcVISON customer success stories here.


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

TREETIP: tcVISION Supports Hadoop

by Joseph Brady, Manager of Marketing and Technical Documentation at Treehouse Software, Inc.

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Hadoop and Big Data are revolutionizing data processing, and because of the increasing digitalization, the Internet, the rising importance of Social Media, and the presence of “Internet of Things”, the data diversity is growing in dimensions that did not exist before.

To process and maintain large and diverse data sets in a meaningful way, new technologies (such as Hadoop) have been developed. What is Hadoop? Hadoop is a free, Java-based programming framework that supports the processing of large data sets in a distributed computing environment. It is part of the Apache project sponsored by the Apache Software Foundation.

Enterprises with heterogenous IT infrastructures, especially larger corporation of all industry sectors and public institutions, very often include mainframe technology. These enterprises are now facing the challenge to integrate existing mainframe data into a Hadoop platform – in real-time.

Data integration technology also has experienced great evolution over the past decades. Today, a standard ETL solution is not sufficient, and the understanding of data integration must now include the entire data exchange process in terms of replication and synchronization. Data exchange is now a time critical process. Near real-time is more and more the only accepted method to meet the high, up-to-date requirements in an increasing co-existence of mainframe and Hadoop technologies.

The tcVISION Solution

An important part of the added value of modern IT systems is the latency-free data- and process-integration of transactional and analytical areas. The cross-system integration platform from Treehouse Software, tcVISION, is unique, efficient, and reliable. With tcVISION, mainframe data can quickly and easily be integrated in near real-time into Hadoop-based operative applications or Business Intelligence and Analytics.

The tcVISION solution is proven and mature, and is constantly under development to meet the requirements of new technologies, including support for Hadoop in Version 6.

The main focus of the tcVISION integration platform is to allow real-time synchronization to integrate mainframe data into Hadoop based solutions.

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The tcVISION Technology Components

The tcVISION integration platform consists of a variety of state-of-the-art technology components, which cover much more than simply an ETL process.

  1. Data exchange in the sense of a real-time synchronization becomes a single step operation with tcVISION.
  2. No additional middleware is required.
  3. Modern Change Data Capture Technologies allow an efficient selection of the required data from the source system with focus on the changed data. The data exchange process is reduced to the necessary minimum which results in lower costs for the cross-system data integration.
  4. tcVISION also supports the fast and efficient load of large volumes of mainframe data into Hadoop. In this context the processor costs of the mainframe are low and negligible.
  5. An integrated Data Repository guarantees an overall cross-platform and transparent data management. Mainframe knowledge is not required.
  6. tcVISION include a rule-engine to transform data into a target compliant format or allows user-specific processing via supplied APIs.
  7. The integrated staging concept supports the offload of changed data in “Raw Format” to less expensive processor systems. This reduces mainframe processor resources to a minimum. The preparation of the data for the target system can be performed on a less expensive platform (Linux, UNIX or MS-Windows).
  8. The transfer to and feeding of data into Hadoop is part of the tcVISION data exchange process. No intermediate files are required.
  9. The exchange of large volumes of data between a production mainframe environment and Hadoop can run in parallel processes to reduce latencies to a minimum.
  10. The tcVISION integration platform contains comprehensive control mechanisms and monitoring functions for an automated data exchange.
  11. tcVISION has been designed in a way that Hadoop-based projects can be deployed with total project autonomy and maximum reduction of mainframe resources.

With tcVISION, data synchronization between mainframe and Hadoop pays off

  • Near real-time replication of mainframe data to Hadoop allows actual real-time analytics, or the relocation of mainframe applications (i.e., Internet applications like Online-Banking, e-Government, etc.) to Hadoop with synchronous data on both platforms.
  • Because of the concentration on changed data, the costs of the data exchange are greatly reduced.
  • The utilization of mainframe resources is reduced to a level that minimizes costs for mainframe know how and mainframe MIPS.
  • Data exchange processes can be deployed and maintained with tcVISION without mainframe knowledge, hence costs can be saved and Hadoop projects can be faster developed and put into production.
  • The near real-time replication of tcVISION from mainframe to Hadoop allows the relocation of BI reporting and analytic applications to the more cost efficient and – for these applications – more powerful Hadoop platform.

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

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: tcACCESS

Transparent integration of mainframe data sources and mainframe programs into LUW applications

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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 LUW applications using industry standards such as SQL, ODBC, JDBC, and .NET. SQL queries to access mainframe data can be easily created using drag and drop techniques — no programming required. Read More


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