Tools crowd database migration
New offerings send HP 3000 data packing
Data used to be the last anchor that lashed companies
to HP 3000s and applications. A few years ago the problem of
migrating data kept HP 3000 customers from considering a migration
away from the computer platform. But with the blood in the
markets water after HPs decision to end its support of
the system, tools suppliers are feeding on the opportunity of a
customer base in transition by launching three new products at HP
World this month.
Speedware, MB Foster and iMaxsoft a group of
companies with long records of service to the HP 3000 customer
will all demonstrate new products to migrate TurboIMAGE and IMAGE/SQL
data at this months HP user conference. The tools hope to prove
that data wont keep a company from leaving the HP
Speedware will be showing off DBmotion, Windows
98/NT/2000/XP-based software that replicates TurboIMAGE databases
into target database environments on Unix and Windows. Phase 1 of the
product creates an identical copy of the current IMAGE database
structure, and also works with non-self-describing KSAM and flat
files. Target environments are Oracle9i, 8i and 8.04, and SQL Server
7 and 2000. DBmotion also supports DISCs Omnidex, enabling
sites using DISCs indexing tool to move to DISCs
OmniAccess, the indexing product for Oracle databases.
A database Connection Wizard helps administrators
queue up HP 3000 databases for transformation, and another wizard
transforms logical aspects like names and physical attributes such as
data types using a search and replace engine. Zoned or packed decimal
items, specific to IMAGE, are converted to SQL-based data types, and
arrays can be split into columns. Speedwares Product Marketing
Manager Nicolas Fortin said the company built the product from the
experience of its Professional Services group.
We helped many customers to port their data
sources to Oracle, SQL Server, Informix and others, Fortin
said. We took a lot of experience and molded it into the
DBmotion can also take a first pass at migration
using the experience from Speedwares data migration
engagements, so customers dont have to make choices in the
wizards to get started.
Using a default, for example, could create one column
in the target database for each array occurrence in HP 3000 data.
Weve incorporated these best practices that weve
seen into our product, Fortin said. A help engine also warns
when an administrator might try to change a character field to an
integer, a switch that doesnt make much sense.
Customers can purchase the product outright for
$10,000, or lease it for $3,000 per month; a special purchase price
at HP World of $7,500 is also available. The company says its
solution is unique among IMAGE migration tools, because it
doesnt require any additional services engagement or training
fees. Its all point and click, and theres extensive
online help, Fortin said.
Speedware plans to make a full release of the first phase
of the product by the end of October. A demo version with a limit to
the number of records processed will also available at the Speedware
Web site, www.speedware.com.
Data access experts MB Foster are also entering the
waters of IMAGE migration, offering a new facility for transferring
databases and converting the data on HP e3000s. MBF-UDACentral is
taking its place in the MB Foster suite of migration services. The
software accesses major corporate databases across multiple
enterprise platforms, then delivers data to strategic destinations.
MB Fosters founder Birket Foster said the
product routes data from the HP 3000 toward other destination
databases. It gives migration projects the centralized
switchyard for replacing data securely while preserving its
integrity, he said.
MBF-UDACentral will be deployed by MB Fosters
Platinum Migration Partner team, working alongside a customers
IT group. The softwares GUI interface, running on Windows,
Unix/Linux, or browser-based desktops, enables connectivity to
databases for data exploration and cleanup, query building on either
local or distributed databases, conversion of IMAGE/SQL and attribute
examination of JDBC drivers.
MBF-UDACentral connects to Oracle, SQL Server, DB2,
Allbase, Eloquence and IMAGE databases on HP e3000s, Unix, Linux, Sun
Solaris and NT and Windows 2000 servers. Data administrators can
point and click to generate DDL for new databases and build SQL
queries. Data returned can be exported as CSV, XML, HTML and SQL
formats, and can be delivered directly through methods like e-mail
and FTP directly from MBF-UDACentral. The software exports the
results of queries across multiple databases.
An SQL Wizard component of MBF-UDACentral previews
the SQL which database administrators create through a graphical
interface. Database administrators can enter SQL commands directly,
and automated logging can be tuned to speed the creation of multiple
versions of queries such as WHERE clauses for JOINs and conditions.
Complex SQL statements for distributed databases can be captured and
saved for reuse.
MBF-UDACentrals Explorer features streamline
the data maintenance essential to successful database transfer.
This helps people do cleanup of their data without having to
write custom programs, said Foster. We used the data
exchange power of UDALink, and put it to work in handling a wide
variety of data formats.
MBF-UDACentral maintains the security levels offered
through the facilities of enterprise databases. Oracle tables are
created with the same security used by a customers database
administrator. As part of a migration, MB Fosters professional
services organization will help a customer do an initial export of
data, build a plan for cleanup, then do a final conversion.
In its initial stages this is a big boost for
people doing migrations, said Foster, but its scope goes
well beyond that kind of project. As people grow to know
MBF-UDACentral, theyll take advantage of its other uses in
iMaxsoft, known for years as
LeeTech while the company provided HP 3000 database tools, has
already pressed its OpenTurbo product into the field to convert
databases at the Southeastern Data Cooperative (SEDC). The HP 3000
site runs several hundred HP 3000 systems to handle billing for
utilities around the US, and OpenTurbo is playing a role in getting
the organizations home-grown applications and data onto HP 9000
Ron Camp, SEDCs CEO, delivered a testimonial
about how the iMaxSoft product worked to prove the concept of sending
IMAGE data on its way to work in the HP-UX environment, inside Oracle
OpenTurbo seemed almost too good to be
true, Camp said. It promised to automatically design and
create an Oracle database from our existing TurboIMAGE database,
convert all of the data and populate the Oracle tables. Then, via
their IMAGE emulator, we would be able to run our existing COBOL
programs, re-compiled under MicroFocus, against the Oracle database
on the HP 9000, using the existing TurboIMAGE intrinsics, unchanged.
SEDC agreed to a proof-of-concept test using its most
complex database and two of its most complicated COBOL programs. The
company had to resolve code differences between HPs COBOL and
MicroFocus to use OpenTurbo, but The database conversion went
without a hitch, and we were impressed and amazed when the COBOL
programs ran correctly on the first try, Camp said.
SEDC is preparing several thousand COBOL programs for
MicroFocus on HP-UX, then will use OpenTurbo to move the data.
We will be entirely on the HP-UX platform, Camp said,
and can then begin to assess and refine our databases and COBOL
for the pure SQL environment. One cannot minimize the huge amount of
effort involved in migrating from the HP 3000, but it would be hard
for us to imagine a less painless path than that provided for us with
Suppliers like iMaxSoft, MB Foster and Speedware all
say theyre responding to customers requests for help in
moving 3000 databases. While some plan to sell products at new price
points for IMAGE-ready data migration tools, and others tie tools to
migration engagements, all see an opportunity to leverage their 3000
experience against the new opportunity of a transition.
We have been approached by different people
contemplating HP 3000 database migration. They want to start this
year, because it will be a lengthy process, Speedwares
Fortin said. We feel there is a market for this right now, and
people will want to use it to test drive at first.