REVIEWER: Doug Rogers, technical services manager in the IT department responsible for enterprise server environments for OS/390, Stratus, AIX, Solaris and NT platforms for Wegmans Food Markets Inc.
BACKGROUND: Wegmans Food Markets Inc. is a grocery retail supermarket with stores in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
PLATFORMS: NFM is currently running on AIX 4.3.3, Solaris 8, NT 4.0, Windows 2000, OS/390 2.10 and 4690 OS V2.4.
PROBLEM SOLVED: NFM from TPS Systems provides us with a central point of control for IP-based data transport across our intranet, extranet and Internet. It also provides a powerful remote program execution capability. NFM is managed using a GUI interface or batch-job interface via the command line.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: NFM is working very well for us at the present time. We are using this product to transfer data to and from diverse platforms. TPS has met all of our requirements. They have been responsive in adding functionality that we've requested.
STRENGTHS: The main strength of this product is the ease of use. It has a simple and intuitive interface for creating transmission "plans" and for the execution of scripts. This product is very powerful with features that provide: wildcard copies between nodes; streaming data files; overwriting of data; renaming data; condition coding; checkpoint restart; executions; deletions; parsing data into sections based on file delimiters; and the ability to keep track of data on "many-to-one"/"one-to- many" transmissions via node extensions.
WEAKNESSES: The GUI could be improved. The security administration of groups and nodes could be improved. An administrator and a viewer role should be available for security administration. We are interested in enhancing job restart and recovery. We want to have push-button retry of a failed transmission. This eliminates the human error factor involved with a restart.
SELECTION CRITERIA: The following criteria were used in selecting the NFM product: platforms supported; ability to schedule remote job execution; extranet enabled; TCP/IP support; existing presence in retail industry; financial impact (based on 270 clients); vendor viability; and usability rating (ease of use).
DELIVERABLES: NFM delivers detailed output of what had transpired through every step of the plan execution. The NFM server and the target nodes are all covered. Summary reporting is also available.
VENDOR SUPPORT: The vendor is very responsive and quick to lend needed support. We would select this vendor again.
DOCUMENTATION: The documentation can be improved, but we have found it adequate for successful operation of the software.
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