Even though Windows and Unix systems have become the IT workhorses for many companies, there's still a lot of critical data residing on mainframes. To help companies make better use of that data, WRQ Inc. today unveiled three software tools designed to let IT departments pull data components out of legacy systems, then integrate those components with their newer IT systems.
The Verastream toolset includes WRQ Verastream Host Integrator 4.5, WRQ Verastream Integration Broker 9.0, and WRQ Verastream for Siebel eBusiness. Together, they're supposed to make it possible for companies to create new business processes out of legacy code, more easily create reusable components out of what's often spaghetti code, and gain access to messaging middleware. Specifically, the Siebel eBusiness tool product is designed to enable Siebel Systems Inc. customer-relationship management apps access to legacy data.
Musician's Friend Inc. in Medford, Ore., used the Verastream Host Integrator to connect a Web-based application that processes returns to an inventory-management and catalog application running on an HP 3000 legacy midrange system. D.J. Buell, IT director at the $750 million distributor of musical instruments, says the IT team was able to use the same component for one other application, a tool that lets users check inventory on wireless handheld devices. "It means a leap in productivity," Buell says.
Ultimately, Buell wants to use Verastream to build a composite of all of the distributor's applications. Even though HP has said it will stop supporting the 3000 sometime in the near future, Buell has to stay with it because the catalog application running on the 3000 is where the business intelligence lies. Not only is the WRQ software helping Buell leverage the critical legacy data, it's also proving easy to use. "A couple of analysts with no programming skills helped build the apps," he says.
Available now, the Integrator is priced from $60,000 to $100,000, the Broker starts at $64,000 and gets cheaper by volume, and the Siebel product is about $150,000.