Saturday 6 October 2007

BPCS IBM DB2 iSeries Integration at Pfizer and Zimmer

2 of my recent clients - who have large American parents (Pfizer and Zimmer) - still use ancient (1960s and 1970s technology) systems for their ERP systems. I constantly surprised to see dinosaur "Green Screen" applications like this running the core of businesses. It is a testament to the motto - "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". The commonality is that both clients are insistent that they will move to SQL 2005 - but it just never eventuates as they are always busy fighting fires. I am also amazed that our .NET applications can actually use these systems through the magic of the IBM driver for DB 2 iSeries editions. I have taken 2 different approaches on each of these clients:
  1. Zimmer required updates to the database, so I used the driver to perform direct updates (a SQL linked server doesn't work with updates).
  2. The Pfizer Application only required readonly use of Invoice data - so we used SQL Server SSIS to cache the data we needed to a data warehouse on the nightly loads. Our application draws data from views based on the data.

I also provided recommendations to use BizTalk for integration - but the clients felt that the additional expense was not worth it.

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