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Fort Worth PD Performs Crime Analysis with QMF for Windows

Published
  • May 01 1998, 1:00am EDT

PLATFORMS: DB2 v.4.1 for MVS runs on an IBM 9672-R32 under OS/390. QMF runs on the 9672 under both TSO and CICS and is available to any user who has security to the CICS region under which QMF runs. QMF for Windows is installed on an NT Server and is connected via LU6.2 through an SNA server.

BACKGROUND: The City of Fort Worth's Information Systems and Services (ISS) department supports the local government's information processing, networking, software and telecommunications needs.

PROBLEM SOLVED: The City of Fort Worth Police Department needed a more efficient way to analyze information that could help solve crimes. There was a tremendous amount of information stored in the operational system in VSAM files. In the past, in order for the data to be analyzed, on-line CICS queries were utilized or a request would be sent to ISS to create or run a COBOL report with various parameters. A new report request could take days, weeks or months to complete due to an ever-growing backlog of requests. In 1996, ISS created a data warehouse to allow the Fort Worth Police Department to perform ad hoc queries and analysis on the offense system data. Over 150 police officers and crime analysts have been trained to use the prompted feature of QMF on CICS. Today the crime analyst or police officer can look at trends and find similar crimes, complaints, vehicles, locations, firearms or physical features.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: QMF for Windows provides a GUI front end to the query tool, making access to data even easier. Print and download capabilities have improved as well. QMF for Windows is very easy to use and utilizes the work already generated in QMF running under CICS. A user can list and run the queries and forms generated on QMF for CICS with QMF for Windows. With the download of the add-ins for Microsoft Access and Excel, the product becomes even more functional. With a click of a button, a query was run on QMF which joined several tables each having from 300,000 to over 2 million rows of data, and the small result set was easily saved to an Excel Spreadsheet.

STRENGTHS: The main strengths of QMF for Windows are the ease of installation (after you get the network set up) and use. QMF has been credited with finally giving the police officers and crime analysts access to their data and with helping them solve crimes.

WEAKNESSES: We found a bug in the product that did not create the correct query in a "like" condition. We were told this would be fixed in the next release.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We already had QMF installed on the mainframe and our users have become quite adept at writing complicated queries against the database, but they have always been shielded from native SQL. QMF for Windows was a perfect addition to the QMF family for those that want the expanded features without having to learn another tool.

DELIVERABLES: Our users apply the prompted query feature in QMF to generate ad hoc reports, download data and print with more options.

VENDOR SUPPORT: We needed help in configuring our SNA server. We had already set up communications between our two DB2 systems and had another product running under LU 6.2 on the SNA server, so we did not need help in setting up the requirements for DB2, QMF and VTAM. All other support from the vendor was excellent.

DOCUMENTATION: Documentation is very good and helpful. Assistance with SNA and VTAM configuration, and a sample successful installation, are not provided. These would be a helpful future addition.

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