PLATFORMS: Honeywell is running Oracle Applications 10.7 software on a variety of platforms, including HP 9000 and SUN Solaris systems. SmartDB Workbench also runs on other UNIX and Windows NT environments.
PROBLEM SOLVED: As part of their Year 2000 readiness strategy, Honeywell Corporation, the global leader in control technology, made the decision to have all of their operating units that had not already done so implement the Oracle applications suite as their ERP solution. In addition, those units already running Oracle were to upgrade to release 10.7, which Oracle Corporation recommends in its Year 2000 support strategy. One of the operating units was the Honeywell Technology Center (HTC). HTC had already begun the process of implementing Oracle Applications 10.7 and, as such, was to be the first operating unit to perform a data conversion under the new initiative. The first and overriding goal was a successful, accurate, efficient and timely data conversion to support the scheduled go-live date. PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The SmartDB Workbench is a graphical development environment for data movement tasks. It allows analysts to work directly and visually with a data extract file or table to create data "templates." A data template allows the analyst to point to and name a data element in the extract file; the contents of this element can be defined either from its fixed position in the data file or by user-specified delimiters. The analyst can then define the data format and null-allowed attributes for each data element, along with any validation, transformation, lookup or filter rules specific to that data element. The extract file being referenced can be tested against the rules that the analyst has applied to them, allowing the analyst to identify any logic errors or data problems before attempting to actually load the data tables.
STRENGTHS: The strengths of DB Workbench include: the ability to start using the tool quickly; ease of creating powerful transformation and validation rules; interactive testing of resulting rules with source data proir to committing to database; rules that can be easily saved and reused for later modification and maintenance; and integration of functions within the tool such that all development and deployment tasks can be accomplished within the SmartDB Workbench environment.
WEAKNESSES: While SmartDB had prebuilt templates for many modules of Oracle Applications, there were some not yet available when we did our implementation.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Honeywell selected SmartDB Workbench for a number of reasons. The ability to implement data conversion without programming or maintaining code allowed us flexibility. A late requirement for functional change could be more easily accommodated since it did not require nearly as much of the additional, extensive cycles of unit and integration testing that normally accompany last-minute changes in procedural code. The 50-70 percent reduction in the time it took to develop the conversion routines gave us the time to perform a number of full production volume conversions before the go-live date.
DELIVERABLES: The data movement approach outlined was the one used at HTC to successfully deliver the data conversion for their Oracle implementation; it will serve as a model for the remaining data movement efforts under way within the Honeywell Corporation.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Vendor support included complete product, documentation and training, as well as consulting services delivered by SmartDB Corporation for the data conversion project.
DOCUMENTATION: Documentation was complete and acted as a good reference tool.
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