Thursday, August 18, 2011

Modernize? It requires more than a re-set!

It may not be the first time the subject of modernization has been raised, but in this introductory post featuring comForte’s modernization suite, there will be more illuminated than is typical from just the flick of a switch!

There are many slogans and mantras floating around within IT these days, and they all hold forth the promise of making our lives a lot easier. Whether we are financial analyst wanting the latest stock prices, or security managers protecting corporate information, or simply warehouse managers wanting more complete inventory data when it comes to interacting with a company’s IT capabilities, we just want to spend only the amount of time we absolutely have to staring at the screen in front of us!

My research takes me to many web sites and as I begin to open “doors” and begin paging through the information provided, if what I am looking for is not appearing on the screen pretty quickly I am out of there! We all know how important it is to ensure the message we are conveying gets presented timely and of how our competitors are only a click away and, increasingly, it seems as if the world is even more connected than ever before. Sometimes I feel that I’m standing not just at the wrong door, but I’m on the wrong street altogether!

It’s been a reoccurring theme among the posts I have written for this site that as a vendor, comForte is very much aware of this burgeoning growth in connectivity, just as the company is aware that it is all part of doing business in a modern, global, world. Employees have to be informed about what else is happening, as they pursue business opportunities, else they cease making effective and productive contributions to the business. It’s an everything-connected-to-everything world!

In these previous posts I have observed how responsible CIOs are pushing ahead with embracing SOA and Web services, even as they begin to consider greater exploitation of cloud computing. I have also made several references to comForte’s suite of products in support of these modern information delivery vehicles, not the least being Client Server Link (CSL) – when it comes to modernizing the applications interface, as is the case with adoption of SOA, then turn to CSL, I first observed in a post late last year.

I have also seen a re-birth of interest, among the NonStop community in Pathway (TS/MP). The latest release of Pathway, according to comments posted recently to the Real Time View blog, allows “Pathway Serverclasses to be instantiated on Linux (or Windows) under PATHMON control as if they were local to NonStop and that the value is in that NonStop is always-on and can reliably manage these services!” This has considerable ramifications for the future and for how Pathway will be perceived as the systems increasingly become less homogeneous than at any time in the past.

Perhaps the most important observation I have made, up until now, has been associated with comments comForte CTO Thomas Burg provided me at the time I wrote those earlier postings when he suggested that “CSL is not just SOAP server or client – it is a lot more; something like a ‘anything-to-Pathway’ (as) we think there is no ‘one-size fits all’ paradigm.” But of late, he has further enhanced this message, adding “anything to NonStop and NonStop to anything!”

Burg then added “what comForte’s products do, in a nutshell, is support accessing business logic on NonStop and then, in addition to doing that, having the NonStop accessing business logic on any other platform. It’s more than supporting SOAP and HTML / XML with web and SOAP servers just as it is more than simplifying access to the transaction processing monitor (TP Monitor), Pathway. It’s more than terminal emulation just as it’s more than a simplified way to generating SQL queries. It’s all of the above, and then some!”

Modernization is not a set of “op-codes” or a bit-switch, or flag that needs to be re-set. It is not even a type of optimizer that businesses can use to process all their business logic and data to produce something better and easier to maintain. True, across the IT industry so much is converging on commodity offerings, embracing industry standards and simplifying the way critical applications are externalized to partners and customers alike. To transition successfully to modern IT, it’s not just products but the leveraging of experienced partners and the services they provide.

“No two scenarios are ever alike and comForte has assembled a product suite that covers all potential angles,” Burg explained. “It is the critical combination of just the right products with the qualified services in support of them that leads to modernization projects becoming successful. Pick the wrong combination of products and tap the resources of inadequately prepared vendors and it may severely restrict your technology options and produce sub-optimal solutions that “somehow” manage to work but neither efficiently nor offering any “future proof” properties!

In the coming weeks, I am going to take a closer look at the mix of products that are part of comForte’s product suite and in light of the increased activity within HP’s server group, particularly when it comes to the NonStop server and to the enhanced capabilities of Pathway, and I will expand on the unique value proposition that comes with leveraging comForte. After all, I like to think, while it may not be as simple as resetting a flag, it’s certainly an easier step to take when you happen to be in front of the right door!

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