This website is no longer updated
Please visit our new website at www.datanovata.co.uk
Northampton Borough Council
Northampton Borough Council decided to undertake a major upgrade of their computer systems, phasing out some older systems and replacing them with modern software. This included the decision to end the use of their Fujitsu VME Nova mainframe and the applications that ran on it.
|CTAX - Council Tax||Northgate's SX3|
|HBIS - Housing & Council Tax Benefits||Northgate's SX3|
|OAP - Orders & Payments||Agresso Business World|
|UNIPAY/PER - Payroll & Personnel||Agresso Business World|
|PALS - Public Authority Ledger System||Agresso Business World|
|HREP - Housing Repairs||IBS Open Systems|
|IHSL - Integrated Housing Rentals & Lettings||IBS Open Systems|
|IRAS-SI - Sundry Incomes||IRAS SI SQL Server|
Finding A Solution
They wanted to retain the information held on these legacy systems, but converting all the old data into the format required by the replacement applications was not viewed as cost effective. NBC therefore went out to tender to find a company able to provide a data archiving solution.
NSC Group won the contract by submitting a proposal to use their unique DataNovata tool, which enables them to quickly create a feature-rich archiving system to view any Relational Database. NSC were also able to show their considerable expertise in migrating data from VME applications, using their PowerDrive tool to create the SQL Server database.
The project started in August 2007, and by March 2008 all 15 Gigabytes of VME data had been migrated to SQL Server. NSC were able to include in the scope of the project extra systems not in the original Invitation to Tender. These had been running on a Sun Server under Solaris.
|Uniclass Classic - On Sun Solaris||IBS Open Systems|
|Uniclass Enterprise - On Sun Solaris||IBS Open Systems|
The work was done at NSC's Manchester offices by remote access to the VME mainframe and Windows server, moving the data from both IDMSX and flat files to SQL Server. The final stage was to set up DataNovata to access the data in a format required by NBC users.
The decommissioning plans for the Fujitsu VME mainframe meant that all the data had to be migrated and available on the newly created SQL Server databases by March 2008. This was not without its challenges.
For example, some of the enquiry screens contained complex calculations. Although NSC had agreed to replicate these enquiries, NBC did not always have the source code of the original application. Some interesting detective work was employed to overcome such obstacles successfully!
NSC's involvement left NBC's staff free to concentrate on implementing their new software applications, by providing them with one easy solution to access data previously held on eight different systems on a decommissioned mainframe. NBC took the decision to upgrade IRAS-SI Sundry Incomes (an NSC product running under VME) with a modern version available on Windows SQL Server.
My main concern was to get the data off the mainframe before it was decommissioned.
NSC understood our requirements and approached the project in an intelligent and friendly manner. Their migration tools and methodology were very effective in moving some large and complex legacy databases to SQL Server and NSC required very little support from us in sorting any problems out.
The DataNovata enquiry applications created by NSC to view the data not only replicate the original applications' enquiries, as required, but do so with a considerably improved and more intuitive user interface. As a result, the user and legal requirements for data archiving have all been met.
IT Infrastructure Manager
Northampton Borough Council
DataNovata is a software tool written by NSC Group. It rapidly builds a web-enabled, end-user ready interface to view data within a database - the ideal solution for organisations who wish to be able to interrogate their legacy data, to satisfy either user requirements or legal obligations.
The savings, compared to the cost of continuing to run old hardware and paying licence fees for the old software, make the purchase of DataNovata a good investment for many organisations that are modernising their IT systems.