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

BMF_Building

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

tcVISION_Overall_Diagram

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.

Treehouse Software Video Demonstration: Data Synchronization Between IMS/DB z/OS and PostgreSQL Using tcVISION

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

tcVISION supports a vast array of integration scenarios throughout the enterprise, providing easy and fast data migration for mainframe application modernization projects and enabling real-time and bi-directional data replication between mainframe, Cloud, Open Systems, Linux, Unix, and Windows platforms. We are regularly adding instructional video demonstrations on the Treehouse Software YouTube Channel. This video installment demonstrates an initial load and bi-directional synchronization of data between IMS/DB on the Mainframe and PostgreSQL on a Windows server…

Visit the Treehouse Software YouTube Channel for Other Videos.


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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. 

tcVISION_Overall_Diagram

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

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

Treehouse Software Customer Successes: Real-time, Bi-directional Data Synchronization Between Mainframe, Cloud, LUW, and Open Systems

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Treehouse Software’s customer base includes many large companies, universities, and government organizations located in the United States and worldwide. Read about some of our Data Integration and Replication Customer Case Studies (PDF Documents) using tcVISION from the following links:

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…

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.

Cloud Infrastructure Monitoring: Finding Issues and Solving Problems With Amazon CloudWatch

by Joseph Brady, Director of Business Development for Treehouse Software

At Treehouse Software, we specialize in helping customers’ legacy mainframe environment continue while replicating their data – in real time and bi-directionally – to an impressive variety of newer Cloud, LUW, and Open Systems databases. However, once “in the Cloud”, customers need the same visibility and understanding of what is happening with their data as they have in their on-premises data centers.

Unlike a traditional data center, with the AWS infrastructure environment, customers pay only for what they use, and the company is charged only for resource utilization.  Users can bring up EC2 virtual Windows or Linux instances for any length of time. For example, if the mainframe database bulk loads only take an hour to complete, the tcVISION EC2 instances can be brought up for the two hours needed, and shut down when the processing is finished.  AWS EC2 instances can be dynamically stopped and restarted while retaining its data on AWS Elastic Block Storage. This way, the business pays only for what is needed and the instance sizes (CPU, memory, and I/O bandwidth) can be optimized for the required mainframe data migration, or data replication process.

AWS resources, such as EC2 instances, storage, and databases can be rapidly provisioned and de-provisioned.  The allows customers to approach the architecture with an agile mind set.

Cloud Infrastructure Monitoring Made Easy…

This blog gives a high-level overview at Amazon CloudWatch, a Cloud infrastructure monitoring service that gives developers, system operators, site reliability engineers (SRE), and IT managers actionable insights to monitor applications, understand and respond to system-wide performance changes, optimize resource utilization, and obtain a unified view of operational health.

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CloudWatch collects monitoring and operational data in the form of logs, metrics, and events, providing you with a unified view of AWS resources, applications and services that run on AWS, and on-premises servers. You can use CloudWatch to set high resolution alarms, visualize logs and metrics side by side, take automated actions, troubleshoot issues, and discover insights to optimize your applications, and ensure they are running smoothly.

Some customers are satisfied with a basic monitoring that polls every five minutes, while others need more detailed monitoring and can choose polls that occur every minute.

Observing, Reporting, Alerting, and Acting

Amazon CloudWatch allows customers to record metrics for EC2 and other Amazon Cloud Services (e.g., EBS (Elastic Block Storage), S3 (Simple Service Storage), etc.) and display them in a graph on a monitoring dashboard. This provides visual notifications of what is going on, such as CPU per server, query time, number of transactions, and network usage.

Given the dynamic nature of AWS resources, proactive measures including the dynamic re-sizing of infrastructure resources can be automatically initiated. Amazon CloudWatch alarms can be sent to the customer, such as a warning that CPU usage is too high, and as a result, an auto scale trigger can be set up to launch another EC2 instance to address the load. Additionally, customers can set alarms to recover, reboot, or shut down EC2 instances if something out of the ordinary happens.

A shift from looking for failures, to finding answers…


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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? Do you want to move that data to the Cloud?

Read More About tcVISION on the AWS Partner Network Blog…

Read More: AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog, “Real-Time Mainframe Data Replication to AWS with tcVISION from Treehouse Software”

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 online tcVISION demonstration.