White Papers

03-21-2016

IBM i (AS/400) Integration with SAP

This White Paper explains how Infinite migrates AS/400 applications to the same platform and database as your current SAP implementation and integrates the applications via screens, program calls and real-time data.

Executive Summary

To thrive in today’s global economy, organizations must achieve both operational and management excellence. An integrated streamlined infrastructure provides a strong foundation to help companies achieve solid growth. Industry leaders have developed their application stacks around platforms which provided them with the greatest stability and security. All too often, companies which have chosen to go with the AS/400 or SAP are faced with the reality that bridging the gap between the platforms completely is impossible. Infinite provides a complete solution for companies looking to integrate their SAP applications with their AS/400 environment. 

Infinite’s migration solutions provide companies with the ability to migrate their applications and data to an Oracle platform. Data can be called by any application, whether it be legacy or modern, once migrated to the Oracle database. Mission critical applications written for the AS/400 can be deployed to the Oracle platform without rewriting a single line of source code. Once in an Oracle structure the applications and data calls will execute significantly faster than they would in an AS/400. Consequently, Infinite's solution provides companies with a bridge between their disparate systems, allowing developers, users, and management to streamline their day to day operations.

The Current Situation

Many companies today are running both SAP and IBM concurrently, unable to fully integrate these platforms, businesses are stuck in a costly commitment. SAP provides a suite of business intelligence tools and applications, tailorable to the needs of industry. Despite the ability to customize these applications they may not be able to fully replicate the functionality of applications custom written for the AS/400. Roughly 57% of Fortune 500 companies use SAP ERP for their business intelligence needs parallel with the AS/400. These companies have invested millions of dollars into custom written RPG and COBOL applications which have driven their business practices for years. Due to the proprietary nature of the AS/400, it is impossible to fully integrate into a modern IT environment without the assistance of costly middleware. IBM WebSphere and Oracle’s WebLogic along with RedHat’s JBOSS dominate the market on middleware. Not only is purchasing and maintaining middleware expensive but the technology is stiflingly slow. File to file transfers are often hour long processes, and the inherent complexity of the ETL process compounds any issues. Without the ability for businesses to streamline information architecture, companies are forced to maintain two costly platforms.

The Infinite Solution

Infinite i allows companies to migrate data from the AS/400 into Oracle without rewriting any code. With Infinite i, data which is stored in the DB2/400 database can be converted to an ASCII character set. Data stored within the DB2/400 is encoded in an EBCDIC character set which is proprietary to IBM. Consequently, information cannot be accessed by other platforms within the system without the assistance of a complex ETL process. Infinite i takes EBCDIC data and translates it into ASCII while automatically converting physical and logical files into tables and views in an automatically generated schema. Companies can streamline their operations through an automatic integration process with Infinite i. Data can be exported easily and without the need for a time consuming and expensive ETL procedure. The greatest benefit to companies is the removal of middleware from their operations for data transfers, providing an instant cost savings. 

Infinite’s solution allows migrated data from the AS/400 to be accessed by the newest and fastest analytics. Once this data has been converted into a recognizable character set it is free to be used by any applications within your stack, legacy or modern. SAP provides a wide range of business intelligence tools to help companies track information they need. With Infinite i the data from the AS/400 can be freely called for SAP analytics. Infinite i provides a direct channel of communication between applications and data, resulting in a faster runtime environment. Best of all Infinite allows businesses to integrate their legacy and modern data into the same database, reducing the amount of server space required to run operations.

Infinite i migrates data from the AS/400 to the most modern Oracle databases. Infinite i gives businesses an edge in data analytics by allowing access to the fastest databases developed. With the release of Oracle 12c in-memory databases have become the standard for global leaders in industry, and Infinite i gives companies the ability to tap into the latest and greatest technology. Data retrieval and writing will be dramatically faster in an in-memory Oracle 12c Linux environment then it would be in a disk-centric IBM iOS environment. In addition to a faster overall retrieval and write time end users can now take advantage of the latest plugins and functions for their data. Most importantly data stored in the Oracle database is in an open structure, allowing it to be shared across multiple systems without any additional hardware. 

Infinite i allows companies to migrate their existing applications without rewriting any code. Source code will be recompiled through a series of intelligent compilers developed by Infinite and be translated into native 64-bit C and C++ executables. Custom written RPG applications are the backbone of many major companies which rely on the AS/400. These mission-critical applications allow companies to ensure operational excellence. Once migrated, developers and end users who are familiar with the structure of the applications can continue operations. 

Infinite’s solution is an alternative to the expensive and time consuming process of rewriting. Companies with legacy applications which meet the needs of their business do not need to embark on the long journey to a rewrite. The average cost of a rewrite for a company with a 100,000 user application is $- $2,000,000.00 $4,000,000.00 $6,000,000.00 $8,000,000.00 $10,000,000.00 $580,000.00 $3,800,000.00 $8,800,000.00 Middleware Cost Comparison WebSphere JBOSS EAP (RedHat) WebLogic 7 roughly $3.2 million per server. The average cost of employing a developer to rewrite applications is $70,000/year, which accumulates rapidly with the number of employees hired. Infinite's solution gives businesses an advantage by allowing them to retain the value of their investment in their custom written applications. 

Migrating with Infinite i increases the speed of the runtime. The AS/400 has been developed with over 25 years of backwards compatibility features, which consume a monumental amount of overhead. Infinite i migrates applications to Linux which automatically reduces overhead. Companies can benefit by seeing a reduction in the amount of required server power for their applications. This translates to a cost reduction, through the removal of the AS/400 itself and the streamlining of infrastructure technology. Infinite Cloud allows companies to deploy legacy applications from the AS/400 to the browser without rewriting any code. 

Infinite Cloud is designed to be easy to implement, it is capable of bolting onto the AS/400 and accessing the 5250 data stream or operating off your migrated Oracle database. Once installed, Infinite Cloud can begin web deployment immediately. Because there is no complex installation process or code analysis required, installation is completed in less than 24 hours. Ease of installation and the ability to operate on a variety of systems enable infinite Cloud to provide real value to your operations in no time. Infinite Cloud delivers a customizable GUI to suit the needs of your business. It allows companies to access the data within the DB2/400 and deploy it via an easy to use graphical interface. 

Infinite Cloud provides the ability to display both traditional green screens and a modern point and click interface. End users can benefit from knowing that the functionality of the 8 applications is maintained, regardless of appearance. The ease of implementation helps companies avoid costly retraining programs. Applications can be deployed via browser without any installation required on user’s device, and accessed via the mobile web. Companies benefit greatly from the ease of implementation. Infinite Cloud relies on a Java codebase to interpret information from the AS/400. It utilizes a Java-based, server-side, interactive layer to deploy legacy application screens to the web. Data from the DB2/400 database is transmitted via the 5250 data stream to Infinite Cloud. From Cloud the information can be easily deployed to the mobile web and accessed via any device. Open access to applications in the field results in increased productivity overall for companies.

Conclusion

Companies which rely on the AS/400 to maintain their standards of operational and management excellence find it difficult to bridge the gap between IBM and SAP. With Infinite's solutions we provide the bridge needed to integrate SAP applications with legacy IBM applications in a common platform. Streamlining architecture has never been easier then with Infinite's suite of powerful migration solutions. Our toolset makes Infinite uniquely qualified in the market to migrate applications and data from the AS/400. Organizations utilizing Oracle, SAP, and IBM concurrently will find their solution for integration through Infinite.

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