Published on 26-May-2005
Validated on 11 Oct 2012
"Enterprise replication, high availability and 24x7 performance are important issues for our customers, which is why IBM DB2 Universal Database Express Edition was our best choice over competitive products. It’s also relevant that IBM enjoys the best brand recognition in the trucking industry, which means our customers see our products as reliable." - Robert Maddocks, President and CEO, Maddocks Systems Inc.
Maddocks Systems Inc.
Travel & Transportation
A recent decision by the Maddocks Systems Inc. to move from supporting a multi-database environment to one that is standardized on IBM DB2 Express Edition, Version 8.2 will enable Maddocks to provide ERP solutions that deliver market-leading autonomic features, better scalability and more robust performance to its enterprise-class customers than competitive products.
Provide high-performance, 24x7 and easy-to-operate enterprise resource planning (ERP) software while maintaining competitive advantage in trucking industry
Standardize on IBM DB2 Express Edition for supporting trucking industry ERP applications and functionalities
Faster time to market; market-leading autonomic features; improved scalability and high availability; better data throughput; reduced overhead and maintenance costs; superior price/performance
“IBM DB2 Express Edition has all of the features we need with the least amount of overhead and maintenance costs, which makes its price/performance very attractive.”
“DB2 provides Maddocks with a real competitive advantage over any other database on the market. Now my customers can focus on running their businesses and we can focus on our customers.”
IBM DB2® Express Edition offered more cross-platform capabilities, better autonomic features, improved performance and more attractive pricing than competitive products from Microsoft and Oracle; IBM is a proven Linux® solutions provider
Hundreds of North American trucking companies use TruckMate, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) application developed by Maddocks Systems Inc. (Maddocks) to run their business. As a result, the Langley, British Columbia-based company has emerged as a leading supplier of ERP applications to the trucking industry. A recent decision by the company to move from supporting a multi-database environment to one that is standardized on IBM DB2 Express Edition, Version 8.2 will enable Maddocks to provide ERP solutions that deliver market-leading autonomic features, better scalability and more robust performance to its enterprise-class customers than competitive products.
Developing management solutions for the trucking industry
Maddocks has been developing transportation and logistics software for the trucking industry since 1981. Its flagship product, TruckMate for Windows, is a software solution that delivers a variety of ERP features and management functionalities to more than 450 customers throughout the United States and Canada. TruckMate is utilized by industry leaders across every trucking segment including truckload, less-than-load, bulk tanker, intermodal, dedicated fleets and logistics services.
Multiple RDMS platforms mean multiple development environments
With a development environment that was exclusively Windows-based, Maddocks faced a decision about the best strategy for building new features and capabilities for the company’s flagship product. Previous versions of TruckMate were built using IBM DB2 Express Edition as well as other relational database management system (RDMS) applications. This requirement meant that Maddocks needed to support multiple development environments and different application code streams, which drove up the cost of application development. In addition, the company had to maintain business relationships with multiple technology vendors.
According to Robert Maddocks, President and CEO of Maddocks Systems, supporting more than one RDMS was a challenge for his 75-person staff. “The primary concern for us was that we faced serious manpower issues by maintaining separate sets of RDMS source codes,” Robert Maddocks explains. “A lot of the work we do for TruckMate is to write programming code that’s embedded within the database. When we wanted to add new features to our next-generation product, we had to write code for one database and then turn around and do it all over again for the others.”
Future at a crossroads
Due to this inefficient process, Maddocks decided to redesign TruckMate so that the development environment for future editions would incorporate a single database platform. The standardized database would need to support the technical challenges of Maddocks’ customers and prospects going forward while also integrating with TruckMate’s existing application architecture. To remain competitive, Maddocks had to reduce its software development and maintenance costs while capturing additional market share by providing high-quality, cost-effective software solutions. As the company surveyed its options, Robert Maddocks and his IT team took a closer look at the price/performance of his RDMS platform choices. “The good news is that we are selling TruckMate to more enterprise-sized customers,” Robert Maddocks explains. “The challenge is that these customers have bigger databases that require faster and more robust data throughput.” With many of his Windows-based customers beginning to ask about the company’s Linux migration strategy, Robert Maddocks also realized his team would need to standardize on a database platform that could support multiple operating systems.
IBM delivers ideal RDMS platform
After evaluating its choices, Maddocks decided to standardize the development environment for TruckMate on IBM DB2 Express Edition. This decision was based on the conclusion that IBM DB2 offered unsurpassed performance that provided advanced functionality including high-availability disaster recovery (HADR) as well as failover and clustering support. Maddocks also selected DB2 because of the extensive experience that IBM has with the Windows platform and how seamlessly IBM DB2 Express and all editions of IBM DB2 software, which are all certified on Windows 2000 and Windows 2003, integrates into the Windows environment.
In addition, Robert Maddocks was impressed that, unlike Microsoft SQL, DB2 could support both Windows and Linux operating systems and that the IBM database solution had demonstrated a superior benchmark performance in a head-to-head competition with Microsoft SQL on the Windows platform. Finally, as an IBM Business Partner, Maddocks would have access to the IBM Center for Microsoft Technologies in Kirkland, Washington, as well as the IBM DB2 developer community. The Maddocks IT team also evaluated a database product from Oracle, but determined that this technology had shortcomings that would hobble the company’s efforts to be viewed as best-in-class by its customers and prospects.
“Enterprise replication, high availability and 24x7 performance are important issues for our larger customers, which is why IBM DB2 Express Edition was our best choice over competitive products,” says Robert Maddocks. “It’s also relevant that IBM enjoys the best brand recognition in the trucking industry, which means our customers see our products as reliable.” And by standardizing its application development on the DB2 platform, Maddocks can now focus on developing new capabilities for TruckMate and leverage its relation-ship with IBM to provide support for new database applications. Finally, Maddocks is convinced that better software, a best-in-class partner program and the power of Linux will allow the company to grow while also delivering world-class service to its existing customer base.
Feature-rich capabilities provide cost-effective development environment
The DB2 software offers Maddocks a wide range of features and functionalities that fit the technology requirements of its customers and prospects. The standard TruckMate application includes support for DB2 Express Edition. But if a customer needs to scale up to a larger server, they can upgrade to DB2 Workgroup or Enterprise edition without the expense of Maddocks needing to change its application or code. That’s because IBM offers the same code base stream through all its DB2 editions. According to Robert Maddocks, DB2 software was also a smart business decision. “IBM DB2 Express Edition has all of the features we need with the least amount of overhead and maintenance costs, which makes its price/performance very attractive.”
The autonomic features in the DB2 software—including business policy-driven backup and database maintenance, self-tuning backup and restore, inclusion of log files in online backup images, and integrated and automated log file management—make it easier for customers to maintain their TruckMate applications while keeping IT costs low. Robert Maddocks is also excited about the leading-edge auto statistics and auto table reorganization features as well as its throttling and policy-based capabilities. These all enable Maddocks to achieve market share in the small and medium business arena as well as in the mid-market sector.
Going forward, Maddocks has been able to leverage DB2 software’s multischema ability, which unlike the current version of Microsoft SQL Server allows customers to create separate schemas for each unique component of their business. “Some of our customers run fully featured, diversified transportation companies that may include a trucking business, a logistics business, a brokering business and a warehousing business,” Robert Maddocks says. “With DB2 software, these customers can transfer data between and among their various operations without having to build and maintain separate databases. This transparency makes DB2 the right platform for providing cost-effective support to complex operations.”
Driving towards a bright future with DB2
The decision to standardize on the DB2 software is already paying dividends for Maddocks. The company recently signed an agreement with Canada’s largest food manufacturer, to provide them with the new release of TruckMate. Based on customer feedback, the principle reason this industry leader selected TruckMate was because it supported DB2 software. Robert Maddocks concludes, “DB2 provides Maddocks with a real competitive advantage over any other database on the market. Now my customers can focus on running their businesses and we can focus on our customers.”
IBM DB2 Express Edition, Version 8.2
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Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
DB2 Express Edition
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2005 IBM Corporation Silicon Valley Laboratory 555 Bailey Avenue San Jose, CA 95141 Produced in the United States of America 05-05 All Rights Reserved DB2, DB2 Universal Database, IBM and the IBM logo are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries or both. Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries or both. Other company, product or service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. This case study is an example of how one customer uses IBM products. There is no guarantee of comparable results. References in this publication to IBM products or services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates.