TREETIP: Did You Know About tRelational’s Schema Auto-Generation Feature?

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

tRelational, the data analysis, modeling, and mapping component of Treehouse Software’s Adabas-to-RDBMS product set provides three options for developing RDBMS data models and mapping ADABAS fields to RDBMS columns:

Option 1: Auto-generation

Option 2: Importation of existing RDBMS schema elements

Option 3: Detailed definition and manipulation of schema and mapping elements using tRelational

The Auto-generation function can be an extremely useful productivity aid. By simply invoking this function and specifying an Adabas file structure, a fully-functional corresponding RDBMS schema (Tables, Columns, Primary Keys, Foreign Key relationships and constraints) and appropriate mappings are created virtually instantaneously. The table and column names, datatypes, lengths, and mappings/transformations are all automatically tailored specifically for the RDBMS product, platform, and version–the user need not be an expert in the RDBMS.

tRelational’s schema auto-generation simply requires specification of an Adabas file structure and associated options…

tRe_AutoGen

The auto-generated model can be immediately used to generate both RDBMS DDL and parameters for the Data Propagation System (DPS) component. Within minutes of identifying the desired Adabas file or files to tRelational, the physical RDBMS schema can be implemented on the target platform and DPS can begin materializing and propagating data to load into the tables.

It is important to note that these modeling options complement each other and can be used in combination to meet any requirements. Auto-generated schema elements can be completely customized “after the fact”, as can imported elements. Auto-generation can be used at the file level to generate complete tables and table contents at the field level, making it easy to then manually define and map one or more columns within a table, or even to denormalize MU/PE structures into a set of discrete columns.


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.

3270 Application Modernization Using OpenLegacy, Part 2: Creating the Trail File

by Frank Griffin, Senior Software Developer for Treehouse Software 

This is the second in a series of blog posts concerning the Treehouse partnership with OpenLegacy (See Part 1 here). As discussed last time, OpenLegacy is a way to wrap legacy mainframe applications for presentation to Java, Web, and Mobile clients.

We’ve already covered the conceptual workings of wrapping 3270 applications in general, so this time we’ll examine the first steps of wrapping an actual 3270 application in detail.

If you haven’t already downloaded OpenLegacy, you’ll need to do so in order to follow along in this Proof of Concept. Go to http://www.openlegacy.com and select Resources → Download. You’ll need to provide your name and an email address, which will get you a userid and password for the download site at ftp://ftp.openlegacy.org .

CICS is one of the bulwarks of legacy 3270 applications. These days, it also supports a variety of other communications protocols, but for 3270 it acts very much like a Windows/DOS/Unix command line. You type a transaction name followed by optional arguments, and hit ENTER. CICS looks up the transaction name in a table to find the application program associated with it, and runs that program. The program writes to the terminal, either in line mode or using formatted 3270 screens, and may request further input from the user and provide additional terminal output.

CICS provides a number of utility transaction names with the product. We’ll be looking at two of them today: CESN (sign on to CICS as a known user), and CEMT (general multi-purpose transaction for querying and controlling aspects of CICS). We’ll construct a demo application by connecting to CICS, signing on with the CESN transaction and issuing the transaction CEMT INQUIRE PROG(xxxxxxxx) to obtain information about a specific CICS transaction program. The input to the application will be a userid, password, and application program name. The output will be some of the data associated with that program.

Open the OpenLegacy IDE, and choose New → OpenLegacy Project. Select “Screens” as the backend solution type, “Integration Web” for the frontend solution type, “Mainframe” for the host type, and supply your host’s name or IP address:

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Now, we need to run an emulation session to “teach” OpenLegacy how to navigate. Right-click on the project and select OpenLegacy → run-emulation. This will set several things in motion. It will start an internal web server within the IDE on port 1512 and launch an instance of your default browser with a URL of http://localhost:1512. When the browser connects to the web server, it will execute a servlet that will use the open-source s3270 scripting emulator to connect to your mainframe and report the 3270 datastream to the servlet, which will convert the screen to HTML and send it to the browser.

The result is that your browser instance will appear to be a 3270 screen, and you’ll be able to interact with it as if it were a real terminal or terminal emulator. As you do, the servlet is sitting in the middle, logging all terminal activity between you and the mainframe. On our mainframe, the first screen you’ll see is the standard VTAM Logon screen:

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We logon to CICS (the VTAM logon screen and the command you use may differ at your site), and depending on how CICS is configured, you may need to type “CESN” explicitly, or CESN may be started for you automatically:

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Fill in a valid Userid and Password, and hit ENTER:

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Clear the screen (ESC key in the browser emulator), as CICS transactions have to be invoked from a clear screen, type “CEMT INQUIRE PROG(DFHZNEP)” (DFHZNEP is a dummy network error program supplied with CICS), and hit ENTER:

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The CEMT transaction has displayed all sorts of information about the DFHZNEP program, which is what we wanted.

At this point, we could continue with 3270 navigation to exit and signoff from CICS, but for simplicity in this example, we’ll just cut off the emulation here. This will cause OpenLegacy to disconnect the TN3270 session, which will cut us loose from CICS; if this were TSO, we’d have to follow through or risk leaving disconnected TSO sessions active.

Note that depending on the size of your browser window you may have to scroll down to make the “Logoff | Flip” links visible. Now click on “Logoff”, which will disconnect the terminal, shut down the emulator, and create the trail file which describes everything you’ve done:

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The trail file is an XML document which describes in detail your interactions with the mainframe. It will be the input to the next phase of generating the application, which will be the subject of the next post.

Request a Free, Online Demo of Treehouse Software’s Mainframe Real-Time and Bidirectional Data Replication / Integration Products

Did you know that Treehouse Software offers online demonstrations of the most complete and flexible portfolio of solutions available anywhere for real-time, bidirectional data replication and integration between mainframe and LUW data sources?

You can see how Treehouse Software’s popular tcACCESS and tcVISION products efficiently and cost-effectively use ETL, CDC, SQL, XML, and SOA technologies for data replication / integration, in an interactive demonstration with our skilled technical experts.

Integrate mainframe data and applications with LUW data sources…

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. A proven platform that facilitates SQL-based integration of mainframe data sources and programs into LUW applications, tcACCESS uses 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.

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tcACCESS is a modular software solution. It consists of a base system that can either be implemented as a CICS transaction or as a VTAM application. The base system provides its own communication modules. The heart of the system is the tcACCESS SQL Engine which allows access to mainframe data sources using SQL statements. tcACCESS offers Listener components on the mainframe and on the client, as well as scheduling and security functions. Batch processors automate the information exchange processes between distributed applications.

Enable ETL and bi-directional data replication between mainframe and LUW platforms…

tcVISION allows the exchange of data between heterogeneous databases, from legacy non-relational mainframe sources to standard RDBMSs, in batch or real-time, via CDC (change data capture). With tcVISION, complex replication scenarios can be implemented with ease–including bi-directional “master/master” replication requirements.

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tcVISION considerably simplifies mainframe data exchange processes. The structure of the existing mainframe data is analyzed by tcVISION processors, then automatically and natively mapped to the target. The data mapping information is presented in a user-friendly and transparent format – even for users with no mainframe knowledge.

See for yourself, right at your desk…

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Tell us about your challenges. If you have a project where our mainframe data replication and integration products could be of assistance, our skilled sales and technical staff would be happy to set up a free, online demo. Simply fill out our short Treehouse Software Demo Request Form.

Treehouse Software Customer Case Studies Available Online

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Read about real world application of Treehouse Software products on our Customer Case Studies web page.

Here, you’ll find out how tcACCESS and tcVISION Data Integration and Replication; and tRelational / DPS and DPSync ADABAS-to-RDBMS Data Migration have been implemented and are being used in some of the largest enterprise sites in the world.

To learn more about how to become another Treehouse Software customer success, contact us today!

A Data Replication Solution that Hits theTarget (and Source)

by Chris Rudolph, Senior Technical Representative for Treehouse Software and Joseph Brady, Marketing and Documentation Manager for Treehouse Software

Today’s IT organization is dealing with any number of challenges, including heterogeneous environments, legacy applications, high-availability information systems, data silos, increasing data volumes, and escalating costs. These factors make it imperative that IT departments find cost-effective solutions for enterprise-wide data management, preferably using intelligent data integration and efficient data synchronization.

Data exchange in a heterogeneous IT infrastructure means harmonization of different data formats and data models for data exchange solutions. Very often, this data exchange is a complex and tedious task that represents a major cost factor. Data exchange is also time-sensitive and critical, hence reliability and auditability of all data movements is important.

Since the mid-1990s, Treehouse Software has dominated the ADABAS-to-RDBMS data migration and integration market, with its proven and powerful ETL, CDC, and real-time replication solutions. The addition of two mainframe integration products: tcACCESS and tcVISION, enable the migration of virtually any mainframe database or data source in a cost-effective manner.

Enterprise data integration with tcACCESS provides a powerful integration platform (mainframe software, workstation software, middleware) for IBM mainframes, enabling transparent integration of mainframe data sources and programs into open-systems applications using industry standards like SQL, ODBC, JDBC, and .NET. A modular software solution, tcACCESS, comprises a base system that can either be implemented as a CICS transaction or as a VTAM application, and provides its own communication modules. The heart of the system is the tcACCESS SQL Engine, which allows access to mainframe data sources using SQL statements, and features:

  • Bi-directional data-exchange across heterogeneous systems
  • Direct data access across heterogeneous systems
  • Data transformation for data analysis and exchange
  • Relational access to legacy data and applications
  • Data federation – heterogeneous data views
  • Integration of mainframe files and DBMS structures
  • Data federation between mainframe and Windows/Open Systems data

CDC Replication with tcVISION

tcVISION supports data exchange between mainframe-based systems like IMS/DB and DB2, between mainframe and open-systems servers like DB2 and Oracle, as well as within an open-systems environment (e.g., DB2 LUW to SQL Server or Oracle).

tcVISION’s unmatched array of CDC methods includes “Loopback Suppression” for bi-directional updates, ensuring data integrity and replication efficiency between the data sources and targets so that changes received from a source system and applied to the target are not unintentionally propagated back.

The Problems:

  • Different data formats
  • Different data models
  • Large data volumes
  • Limited batch window
  • Extract programs are costly to run in a chargeback environment
  • Requirement for up-to-date information

The Solution:

Moving/replicating data…

  • as much as needed
  • as little as possible
  • as transparent as possible
  • as flexible as possible
  • as secure as possible
  • using as little mainframe CPU as possible with tcVISION

tcVISION is a flexible data replication product that focuses on changed data from virtually any mainframe data source and transfers information between mainframe and workstations or open systems–in bulk, either through batch Changed Data Capture (CDC) or in real time. Mainframe data exchange processes are considerably simplified using tcVISION. The structure of the existing mainframe data is analyzed by special processors, and the data mapping information is presented in a user-friendly and transparent format – even for users with no mainframe knowledge–and captured in a metadata repository.

tcVISION’s unique “stage processing” architecture allows for most (and in some cases ALL) of the ETL  and CDC processing to be performed on a Windows, UNIX, or Linux platform. This is an especially attractive feature for  sites that are already at 100% utilization of their mainframe CPU, or have a chargeback system in place.

tcVISION’s Windows-based Control Board provides an easy-to-use facility to configure and administer the data flow. tcVISION provides a variety of interfaces to allow seamless integration with ETL or EAI solutions.

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Case in Point: Mainframe Data Synchronization at Blum

Blum manufactures high-quality fittings systems for kitchens and home furnishings with production plants in Austria, Poland, Brazil and the USA.  Their myriad replication challenges included continuous and bi-directional data replication between headquarters and subsidiaries, uni-directional replications between the mainframe and the Oracle Data Warehouse.

The Problem:

  • Phase-in of new applications required parallel processing

The Solution:

  • Bidirectional, real-time synchronization of DB2 and DL/I databases across LPARs using tcVISION DBMS Extension
  • Results:
  • Applications can coexist indefinitely
  • Projects gain needed flexibility
  • Record types easily handled

To learn more about tcACCESS and tcVISION or read additional Case Studies here.