After Malta founders on rocks, Ratingen rolls
Migration partners report at well-attended German
By Alan Yeo
After the cancellation of the European HP Migration
Meeting in Malta last month, the European HP team led by Horst Kanert
and Jurgen Probst bounced back and organized at short notice a
Migration Partner Meeting at the HP Response Centre in Ratingen,
Germany. Unlike Malta that failed to attract sufficient vendors and
customers, Ratingen attracted more attendees than anticipated. With
only a couple of days to go, the venue was moved to a local Holiday
Inn to accommodate the meeting.
Ratingen, just outside Dusseldorf, isnt exactly
the best place to try and get to for an early morning registration if
youre flying in from around Europe especially for me, as
I had chosen to drive from the UK and fill the truck up with wine in
France en-route. So Horst and his colleagues, realizing a lot of us
were booked into local hotels the night before, organized an
impromptu dinner in a local woodland restaurant for the attendees. I
think this probably made it one of the first HP 3000 World Wide Wake
events, as a collection of names and faces familiar within the HP
3000 vendor community in Europe over the last couple of decades
gathered together to eat and drink.
The conversations ranged over subjects like Do
you remember? and Whatever happened to? However,
there were more serious conversations about the prospects for
migrating this or that software, and the experiences people had had
so far on their respective migration paths.
The morning of Oct. 23 dawned bright, if a trifle too
early for me. The wine had been good, the night late, somewhat
extended as a couple of us had had a night-time tour of Ratingen in
the Dark. The Eloquence development team from Marxmeier Software,
whose offices are located about 20 minutes away from Ratingen, had
kindly offered to ferry us. Now I wouldnt say we were lost, but
after passing the Vodaphone Tower for the third time it took a
helpful all-night garage before we got back to the Holiday Inn for
the first drop off, before we headed out of town to the Marxmeier
base camp in Wuppertal.
The format for the day was a series of Update
Sessions from HP and various Migration Partners on progress to-date.
Horst opened the meeting, giving everyone an update on those items
that will remain on the HP Price List for a further 12 months, but
reminding the vendors present that there were only six working days
left to process new HP 3000 orders. He also mused if anyone was into
gambling by ordering an N-Class system for stock as surely
someone over the next year or so was going to suddenly need
additional processing power.
Olaf Schipper from HP then gave us an overview of
HPs Migration Centres experiences in evaluating different
Migration Tools. The Migration Centre had taken an internal Response
Centre HP 3000 application written using COBOL, IMAGE and VPlus, and
utilizing all the tools they could lay their hands on, attempted the
migration of the application to a variety of hardware and operating
Even I was surprised at the combinations theyd
had success with especially as they had successfully migrated
the VPlus components using my own companys ScreenJet product
without us knowing, to platforms even we havent yet tried. An
unusual way, to say the least, to find out more about your own
The other HP update of the day from HP was from
Gunther Wielman on some of the migration strategies and
recommendations they had been working on with customers in Europe. To
summarize their message and recommendations for migration: keep it
simple. Look to do the migration as close as possible to a one-to-one
from the HP 3000 to another platform. But make sure that what you end
up with is a suitable base to develop from afterward.
Michael Marxmeier from Eloquence gave us an update on
the progress of the TurboIMAGE replacement database Eloquence, and
some updates on developments due soon. This included the news that
Eloquence will shortly be enhanced to increase the number of
supported users to several thousand, and that a replacement for Query
was under development.
We also had news that the beta versions of PowerHouse
with Eloquence support were now in the field, and Fabrice Viault from
Cheops in France reported that they were working happily with the
combination. The status seems to be that PowerHouse with Eloquence
support will be available on HP-UX and Windows but there were no
current plans for a Linux version from Cognos.
To finish, Marxmeier instead of showing how well
things work under PowerPoint, replayed the live 5-minute migration
that had been done at HP World. This migration moved a
COBOL-IMAGE-VPlus application running on an HP 3000 to create the
same application and data running under ACUCOBOL and Eloquence on a
There were further sessions on the Migration Project
experiences from companies such as Transoft, Cheops, Ordina-Denkart
and Metaware. Almost without exception these were large and complex
migration projects. The interesting comments to come from all the
vendors were that they were now working on projects for companies
that two years ago, after the 3000 announcement by HP, had declared
that they would either be re-writing their 3000 applications or would
be implementing large scale world class ERP-type solutions. These
companies were now back working on migration as the quickest, lowest
cost and least risky option for their organizations.
The meeting closed with the normal good-byes
but there was more than a sense that the paths of many of us, which
had crossed if only infrequently over the last decades, may not
intersect again as we set off in new directions.
Alan Yeo is president of ScreenJet Ltd. and the organizer of
last months Irish-style World Wide Wake for the HP 3000.