An outsourcing company modernizes mainframe applications with web services

IBM Rational software supports multiplatform development, helps improve productivity

Published on 18-Dec-2013

"I’ve had people come to me and say that the remote search facility [in Rational Developer for System z] is so good and so powerful that they don’t know how they did the work without it. The productivity went through the roof." - Chief application director, business outsourcing company

Customer:
A business outsourcing company

Industry:
Professional Services

Solution:
Application Design-Build-Manage, DevOps, Enterprise Modernization, System z Software

Overview

This company provides business outsourcing and human capital management solutions, including human resources (HR), payroll, talent management, tax and benefits administration solutions.

Business need:
To modernize its mainframe applications, this company needed to find a development application that would enable it to create web services.

Solution:
The organization used IBM® Rational® Developer for System z® software to quickly create web service artifacts to support online transactions for its payroll application.

Benefits:
The group now uses the Rational application as an integrated development environment (IDE) to support multiplatform development, which has improved developer productivity.

Case Study

This company provides business outsourcing and human capital management solutions, including human resources (HR), payroll, talent management, tax and benefits administration solutions.

Modernizing mainframe applications
One of the company’s groups is responsible for maintaining a complex payroll application. The group consists of developers, testers, quality assurance (QA) staff and statutory research analysts. The payroll application runs on mainframe servers and processes payroll requests in large batches. Several years ago, the company tasked the group with modernizing its applications by providing web services for its front-end systems, which are written in Java. The group needed to find a development application that would facilitate this modernization effort.

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IBM Rational Developer for System z software supports multiple platforms in a single IDE, enabling developers to improve productivity and more quickly work with new programming languages. “I’ve had people come to me and say that the remote search facility [in Rational Developer for System z] is so good and so powerful that they don’t know how they did the work without it. The productivity went through the roof,” says the chief application director at the company.
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Quickly completing the project
After evaluating solutions from numerous vendors, the company chose IBM Rational Developer for System z software to modernize its applications. The group acquired 30 floating token licenses for the Rational application and quickly used it to create web service artifacts to support online transactions for the payroll application.

After successfully completing the project, the chief application director within the group decided to look for additional uses for the Rational Developer for System z application. “The thing that attracted me the most to Rational Developer for System z was that it has an integrated workbench,” he says. “A single place where we could launch a product in the morning and do a whole bunch of things without having to start multiple products, split screens or suspend one session and go to another.” Plus, the software supports multiple platforms in a single integrated development environment (IDE), enabling developers to more quickly work with new programming languages.

Achieving significant productivity gains
The company relies heavily on the IBM DB2® data server, so the Rational Developer for System z application has boosted productivity for database work. “We’re a big DB2 shop, so the ability to write, test and create SQL statements to do explains and quick table lookups—to get the results sets and take snapshots of the data from a DB2 and SQL perspective, export them into HTML, XML or Notepad sessions—it was just incredible to me in terms of productivity,” says the chief application director.

Further, the Rational application provides productivity gains for developers performing syntax checking. One developer spent two days looking at a precompiler listing and was unable to resolve the error. After pasting the statement into Rational Developer for System z software, the application’s syntax checker immediately identified the error. “That’s when I decided, ‘I’m going to promote this product,’ because that syntax checking just blew my mind away,” says the chief application director. Using the application, developers can reduce the time spent checking syntax from days to just minutes.

Establishing best practices for rolling out the application
The chief application director, with proactive deployment assistance from IBM, trained his staff on the Rational application. Before beginning the formal training, he held an initial session to introduce the application to developers. “We took two hours and we walked them through what Rational Developer for System z was, to introduce them to concepts,” he says. After each training session, the chief application director hosted a conference call and invited people to call in and ask questions specific to the issues they were having related to their work environments. The company plans to purchase additional licenses so that it can expand usage of the Rational application further.

About IBM Rational enterprise modernization solutions
Mission-critical enterprise applications contain a wealth of knowledge that people can use to propel organizations in surprising new directions. IBM Rational software helps extend existing assets, skills and infrastructure with newer techniques to speed delivery of new products and services while supporting new delivery channels and strategic initiatives such as agile, DevOps, cloud and mobile computing. IBM Rational enterprise modernization solutions can help move existing investments forward quickly and efficiently.

For more information
To learn more about IBM Rational Developer for System z software, please contact your IBM marketing representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/software/products/us/en/developerforsystemz.

Or, read more about making DevOps real for System z organizations here.

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
Rational Developer for System z

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America December 2013 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, DB2, Rational and System z are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. The content in this document (including currency OR pricing references which exclude applicable taxes) is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The performance data and client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.