REVIEWER: Marc Masnik, information technology manager, TIBCO Technologies for TIBCO Software Inc.
BACKGROUND: TIBCO Software Inc. is a leading provider of total business integration solutions delivering infrastructure software that enables businesses to seamlessly integrate business systems in real time. TIBCO technology was first used to digitize Wall Street and has since been adopted in diverse industries including financial services, telecommunications, electronic commerce, transportation, logistics, manufacturing and energy. TIBCO's global customer base includes more than 1,500 customers such as NEC, Dynegy, BP, eBay, US Bank, The Limited, Delta Air Lines, Philips, AT&T, Pirelli, Yahoo! and Cisco Systems. TIBCO is headquartered in Palo Alto, California.
PLATFORMS: Compaq DL370, Dual PIII 1GHz, 2GB RAM, RAID 0+1 Disk Array, Windows 2000 Advanced Server OS.
PROBLEM SOLVED: NeoCore XMS provides a platform for flexibility and speed to market for the TIBCO Software Top 100 Customer Reference System. TIBCO needed a better way to manage their reference customers. TIBCO, like most other businesses, had no system to manage reference requests. Whenever a request for a reference came in from the field sales force, a flurry of e-mails, voice mails, phone calls and faxes was spawned. With TIBCO's large worldwide sales force and worldwide customer base, this quickly became unmanageable. TIBCO has hundreds of customers that are willing to serve as references; however, with no system in place, TIBCO often ended up overusing just a few accounts and individuals placing an obvious burden on just a few very loyal customers. The TIBCO Top 100 Customer Reference System was conceived to solve this problem. As is typical with any new system, no one can possibly predefine all the requirements or predict how the users of the system will want to consume the data. Therefore, a significant requirement was that system be able to easily adapt to constant scope creep and quickly changing requirements. It was also realized that most of the data needed for this application did not exist in any system but rather in the minds of the sales force, on spreadsheets and in documents all unstructured data. Because the requirements for the system would continue to change, and most of the source data would be in unstructured format, it was determined that traditional relational database technology simply would not fit the bill. For these reasons, NeoCore's XMS was chosen as the XML database. By employing Xtreme Programming techniques along with NeoCore's eXtreme Rapid Application Development (xRAD) methodology, the TIBCO Top 100 Customer Reference System was taken from initial conception to full production in five weeks and is deployed to the entire TIBCO worldwide sales force and management team using TIBCO ActivePortal. Anyone with the proper access rights to the system can simply log on and easily find an appropriate reference.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: NeoCore XMS is a schema- independent XML database solution that offers XPath query support and also provides TIBCO the ability to manage multiple levels of system access control. Enhancing the application with new requirements is easily accomplished. Because of the self-constructing nature of XMS, the effort required to make changes to the application is minimal. XMS allows you to build what you know and easily make modifications as they become known. There is no penalty for not being able to predict future requirements and usage.
STRENGTHS: The product's support of heterogeneity, flexibility, extensibility and self- construction, combined with xRAD methodologies, dramatically reduced TIBCO's development and maintenance expense.
WEAKNESSES: Common, popular reporting tools exhibit relative immaturity when working with XML.
SELECTION CRITERIA: The system was required to enable a fast time to market. The major advantage that NeoCore XMS had over other products was its full support of the characteristics inherent in XML (heterogeneity, flexibility and extensibility) and the fact the database is self-constructing.
DELIVERABLES: The outputs produced from the XMS-enabled TIBCO Top 100 Customer Reference System include: intranet portal Web entries, views, searching and Crystal Reports via XML driver.
VENDOR SUPPORT: NeoCore went way above and beyond the normal call of duty by coming on site until everything was perfect.
DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is complete and easy to understand we could easily run the product relying solely on the documentation.
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