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Working Solution: Northampton Borough Council
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The Challenge

Northampton Borough Council has 45 councillors responsible for 33 wards.  The council is responsible for keeping data on all aspects of their citizens’ lives and huge financial transactions.  All of the information is held on vast databases for a long time and historical data needs to be accessed if necessary.

While Northampton Borough Council was engaged in upgrading its core VME production systems to modern Windows Server-based software solutions it became apparent that the cost and time to convert the old data to the new systems would be prohibitive.

Northampton was faced with the choice of continuing to finance its VME infrastructure for the sake of 15 GB of data or to archive the data and lose direct access.

The challenge was to help Northampton Borough to cost-effectively retire its Fujitsu VME mainframe within the upgrade timeline, without losing direct access to the data or compromising the ROI benefits of the overall systems upgrade.

The Solution The Result
  • Implement DataNovata: The Enterprise Application Data Bridge, and convert the data over to SQL Server with all the relationships intact.
  • Generate an XML, Java-based DataNovata application that mirrors the original application screens.
The Result
  • This project took 6 months from start to completion, using remote access to the VME mainframe and Windows Server.
  • Northampton Borough Council successfully retired its mainframe and retained direct access to the data.
  • DataNovata enabled Northampton Borough Council to fulfill its mandate.
The Project The Review

Decommissioning 7 applications containing 15 GB of financial records and converting

the data to an open platform application view for interrogation and analysis:

  • CTAX (Council Tax)
  • HBIS (Housing and Council Tax Benefits)
  • OAP (Orders and Payments)
  • UNIPAY/PER (Payroll and Personnel)
  • PALS (Public Authority Ledger System)
  • HREP (Housing Repairs)
  • IHSL (Integrated Housing Rentals and Lettings)

Some applications lacked documentation and source code was not available, DataNovata

expert data consultants successfully deduced the data logic to proceed without a glitch.

The Review

The DataNovata Applications not only replicate the original applications’ enquiries, but do so with a considerably improved & more intuitive user interface



Garry Steng, IT Infrastructure Manager

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