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IBM i w/ smartclient Solutions

We design and build integrated application components and solutions 

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Experience and Expertise

Internet and Intersecting Applications and Platforms   (Show Details...)    
  • Creation of data warehouse, data store and case mix feeds and extracts that require succinct and reconcilable transactions or net changes by time frame
  • Custom .NET web application development and implementation targeting Microsoft IIS web server...
  • with expertise in maintaining real-time database concurrency in SQL Server and Db2 for i, thus, in most cases, eliminating synchronization issues caused by timing of staged updates or reconciliation inadequacies
  • using C# and/or VB.NET programming languages on Visual Studio 2005, VS 2008, VS 2010, VS 2012, VS 2015, VS 2017, VS 2019 or VS 2022.
  • using Visual RPG for .NET programming languages on Visual Studio 2005 through VS 2015.
  • engaging the object-oriented infrastructure and common routine programming support available within the .NET Framework
  • with experience taking public-accessible websites to production running Microsoft IIS web server within a Hyper-V virtual machine (it's a piece of cake)
  • leveraging Microsoft expertise in event driven user input mechanisms in web forms, HTML5, CSS3 and the Ajax toolkit (maintained by DevExpress), along with our infrastructure components, to in most cases completely eliminate the need for MVC and/or giant hierarchies of CSS
  • Expertise in reducing or eliminating competing sets of information and avoiding separately evolving islands of automation

    Here are some potentially tough questions delving into whether your company has islands of automation in the CRM category (customer relationship management).

  • Can your company keep track of multiple contacts and their touchpoints for a single customer?
  • Is your system forcing you to store duplicates or multiple IDs for the same customer and then allowing them to evolve separately?
  • Can correspondence be prepared that handles individual consumers differently than customer companies?
  • Do your customer service reps ask for email information to verify their record, the customer's identity or because they don't have it?  Does the answer they receive make it back to the source customer database?
  • We have expertise in permissions control, database admin and server virtualization in addition to most of the well-established professional application development disciplines.

Change Management, DevOps, SDLC, Agile, RAD...   (Show Details...)   
With the advent of agile and RAD methodologies, it is generally accepted that not all phases of the software development life-cycle are always required nor that they must be performed sequentially.  In fact, some phases can be performed concurrently and some can be performed iteratively in repeating groups.  The great thing about our expertise is that we have a nice feel for when these facets are benecifial and alternatively, when we can cut them out without detriment.

One standard within our approach is to look for automation of change management functions.  Change tracking, automated build facilities and deployment utilities make a sizeable difference in the long run.  For larger companies that must comply with regulations requirining documentation of incremental steps, this type of automation is one key to regaining your ability to efficiently improve the systems that provide strategic advantage to your company. 

If your company does not have packaged utility software or components or quality home-grown components in place for change management on IBM i, then we can utilize our own little utilities library arsenal, DARWIN - Software Evolution and Change Management Software.  Our approach is a hybrid approach to source and object management on IBM i for stored procedures, utilizing both native source and IFS source.  Our utilities work complimentarily with ACS Run SQL Scripts when it comes to SQL PL stored procedures and views.  Sometimes open source utilities only do half the work, like if you are using compiled stored procedures.  Even though utilities like GIT cost nothing up front (no price for admission is one way to put it), once you're in the venue the cost is substantial if in the end you get only half of what you need for components like compiled stored procedures, like if you have to incorporate usage into your existing C/M framework and then build bridges before and after it.

For our work with Microsoft OO languages on websites, the publishing step makes the build facet much easier.  We simply rely on BeyondCompare and it's folder and file comparison wisdom in most cases, when it comes to isolating differences between versions.  In most cases, website publshing is not an incremental change over some pieces, like we do on IBM i, it is a wholesale replacement of the published version (while keeping an exact copy of all of the source and letting Beyond Compare to isolate and highlight folder and file changes when needed).  Now if someday GIT can do build and objects or store proprietary binary versions in parallel with the source versions, and would also let you hover on a line of code and get the last 5 changes to it, ok sorry to digress...
  • Requirements Definition
  • Software Selection
  • Functional Design
  • Database Design and DBA
  • Impact Analysis - Identification of Software Executables Requiring Changes
  • Change Management, Begin Net Change Tracking (in the absense of automated net change analysis)
  • Detail Design (Technical)
  • Test Environment Setup
  • Data Conversion Prototyping
  • Programming and Development
  • Unit Testing
  • Training
  • Change Management, Automated Net Change Capture (Recommended)
  • Deployment Script Development and Packaging (Environment Dependent)
  • System Testing
  • Deployment Script Development and Packaging (Environment Dependent)
  • Go-Live simulation
  • Technical Writing
  • Implementation
  • Deployment
  • Triage and Go-Live Spotlight
  • Support and Request Evaluation
  • Change Management, Recording of Defects, Operational Inefficiencies, Enhancement Requests

Only Some Facets of your IBM i Apps Need Modernization   (Show Details...)   
  • Data congestion in the textual UI can be a productivity killer for the software developer (with size limits in the number of characters that will fit).  This is because a significant percentage of new application enhancements are being made in mature applications where screen real estate is tight.

  • One of the contributors to this result is a design thought that productivity increases when there are less screen navigation steps.  This is a traditional truth that still applies, even including browser apps, although less so with speedy client-server apps (especially those with ease of use for layering windows).  Another contributor is that many companies suffer from a handfull of small roadblocks that end up requiring developers to pursue less productive work arounds or compromises.  Make sure your company isn't one of these or give us an opportunity to discuss this with you.  Here are a few initial suggestions and concepts.

  • Watch out for restrictions placed on the client UI by desktop admins who don't use the application
  • Insure use of a UI design pallette (and that a source code-mod marking standard does not inhibit or prohibit use)
  • Revisit the widescreen format and see if your current client software and monitor combinations provide a reasonable result.  If so, transition to the new format could be a great medium-term productivity gain with excellent ROI.
  • Tangent: If your current client of choice does not have ease of access to PC desktop applications or web services, start keeping track of enhancements that have been derailed or whittled down based on this lack of access (along with time spent)

  • Automating build steps - Strategy, tools and/or preferred supplier recommendations
  • Make sure delivery of a database change does not require a lot of manual developer work.  While manual work can be justified in some cases, RPG application and Db2 data integrity is marbled into the equation on this platform, so this topic needs more depth, stay tuned for more info...

  • Here, a suggestion to extend your business application environment to include browser-based (zero footprint) applications for external users without sacrificing UI and DB integration, developer productivity or requiring a comprehensive revamp of existing application architecture

  • Consider the likelihood that web application development techniques and capabilities are typically more rudimentary than client-server, even though web applications are the latest thing
  • Consider the possibility that there is ongoing promotion of development methods and strategies out in the marketplace that aren't as productive as what you currently have in place
  • Seek an IDE that offers a design pallete for the UI
  • Consider the significant differences in application and UI layout and flow justified for (non-employee) browser-based users (as opposed to internal applications).  The layout of the application for external / browser / casual users must be as simple as possible so that it can be completely self-service and as intuitive as possible.  This is most often a totally different equation than that used for internal applications.  
  • Similarly, be careful when dismissing a productive internal application as obsolete for purposes of evaluating application flow.  The guts of the application is a different story but maybe this means that you might first want to build (a smaller) something new in the way it makes most sense for your business and technology mix.  And only then later, to examine how your existing application layer logic was used or copied in the process.
  • Seek ease of interaction with database(s) in addition to standard connection methods.  This may come in the form of IO extensions, such as use of a data structure based on a table column layout (or database file record format).  Sometimes this is in the form of an automated copy, like a wizard creating a data set in Visual Studio based on a SQL Server definition.  Sometimes it is created via compile-time instance with references specified in source code as in DDS and RPG.  And let's not forget that most RPG languages offer RLA (record-level access) and an open data path (ODP) that combine to offer something with a lot more capabilities than a SQL cursor (albeit a lot more proprietary).

  • Consider whether you want a development environment that offers snap-in GUI controls (or at least pre-defined ways to specify textual UI data elements) and ability to interact with user data in the programming language out of the box (IO extensions for ease of interaction with the UI).  Or whether it makes sense to build your own UI controller that orchestrates the interaction between layers of your architecture, so that you can be in position to build something that interacts more fluidly with current but rudimentary architectures or with new UI frameworks that are introduced in the future.

  • Identify applications really benefiting from browser access and then identify shared foundation components amongst those applications that have an identifiable ROI.  Examples of shared foundation components (in a rich programming environment) might be permissions handling and navigation.  Build a simple version of these either first or concurrently with the first application chosen (with identifiable ROI).  Unfortunately or fortunately, a public audience is quite different than an internal employee audience or a supplier/distributor/partner audience.  What this often means is that you have a lot of internal business processes that won't be needed or that will barely resemble (inside or out) something that is built for a casual web user or business partner.  Thus, if you don't need to re-use it in the near future, don't spend time and money reorganizing it yet.

  • What are good projects to consider first?

  • customer service information such as product documentation or orders, open or history (registration might be involved)
  • information for sales reps and employees out in the field (html5 capable, tablet-sized on up)
  • those benefiting from simple graphs, which can be displayed without 3rd party controls with .NET Framework 3.0 and beyond
  • Inquiry and/or Reports in general  
  • part or all of the browser display can be sized (scaled) at time of printing by the user
  • by eliminating the DB update requirement, many challenges are reduced, eliminated or postponed including:
  • record locking strategies (concurrency decisions, goals, logistics)
  • sizing (or max size) of data elements
  • since prevalent access is via SQL techniques and stored procedures, this may be the first instance that the technical staff has to live without RLA (record-level access), thus an inquiry and/or report is an opportunity to get started on something that isn't mission-critical

  • Second?

  • free-range warehouse activities such as those tracking inventory movement (and enabling use of standard wireless and error (in data stream transmission) detection technologies)

  • DDS versus DDL...  What does a conversion buy you?  When do you really need it?  What capabilities will you be giving up or have to find a way to do differently?  What kind of things can you do now while you are still using DDS? Answer: variable-length, null-capable data types, extended field/column names using the alias attribute...  What can't you do?  Db2 for i Row & Column Access Control, Db2 for i Temporal Tables although there is somewhat of a work-around

  • The latest RPG programming languages, IBM's free-format is finally fully-baked!  Use a conversion utility please LOL

  • Please don't use the default RPG/400 to RPG ILE Source Code Syntax Conversion method...
  • Examine Linoma's RPG Toolbox instead.  Really.  Not only does it do conversion to RPG/free from either version and back but it has actual translation options that modernize code.  With our apologies to your in-house development staff, please don't let them "save you money" on this one!

  • Repackaging of background service type functions into web services

  • Piping of your Db2 on i data directly into .net .aspx web pages along with formatting but without programming (including how to display fixed length character fields in dynamically sized columns).

  • When might a new, non-zero footprint desktop client be exactly what is needed?
  • When the new things you want to do with your 5250 application require interaction with other data elements or feeds already available to/at the PC desktop (level) (OS, permissions or connectivity etc.)
  • When you already control the desktop of the user audience
  • When it works with or without the application source code
  • When it expertly and dynamically transforms textual user interface elements to real event-driven GUI controls
  • When it reduces complexity when needing to integrate or interact with other facets of the desktop or network
  • When you want to hide or automate cumbersome or repetitive screen navigation through the use of client-side java or vb script, such as when needing to go through a number of steps to switch session companies
  • When it secures communications without extra purchases or much work at all
  • When it provides a wizard for deploying and updating the GUI handling rules on the PC client in controlled desktop environments
  • When it allows customization by adding controls, forms and layouts in high impact areas
  • When most of the application is pretty dang great as it sits
  • When it participates in the creation of composite applications using also data retrieved from direct database access and web services

Version Upgrades, Package Selection and Database Conversions - Leadership and Execution   (Show Details...)   
  • Project management and execution for software package changes, implementations and version upgrades
  • Selecting a new application or package? We offer leadership, know-how and methodology. Way too many selection projects and implementation processes today bare resemblance to pied piper stories.
  • Expertise in reducing or eliminating competing sets of information
  • Strategy Formulation
  • Getting to turnkey deployment of executables and database
  • Reformat and repopulate
  • Orchestrating the testing effort and identifying key verification and testing criteria
  • DBA from an application development perspective
  • Execution efficiency
  • Development productivity through increased use of relational DB operations and techniques and reductions in programming steps
  • Specialty techniques with Db2 for System i (formerly called DB2 UDB)
  • Proactive techniques to avoid islands of automation
  • Differentiation of techniques for satisfying requests for information security, audit, journaling/roll-back/recovery and entity data changes

Application Areas   (Show Details...)   
  • Distribution
  • Accounting
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional Services
  • Hospital Patient and Business Accounting and Admin
  • Integrated Custom Web
  • Applications
  • Order Entry
  • Inventory Control
  • Shipping
  • Billing
  • Warehouse/Inventory Management
  • Accounts Receivable
  • CRM Extensions
  • Collections
  • Accounts Payable
  • General Ledger
  • Purchasing (traditional)
  • Hospital Pharmacy Order Processing, Distribution and Secured Patient's Own Medicine Inventory Integration
  • Medical Records
  • Payroll
  • H/R Benefits
  • Sales Analysis
  • Product Structure

Extract and Reformat for DSS and Data Warehouse Initiatives   (Show Details...)   
  • Extract, reformat, clean, download/upload and/or summarize from most any application, WE'VE DONE IT!
  • Translate, consolidate
  • Experts in use of reporting tools, relational database for verifying results after data manipulation
  • ROI considerations consultation

IBM i Admin   (Show Details...)   
  • excellent admin, PL and developer resources for big IBM i OS upgrade jumps (like i5/OS V6R1 to IBM i 7.3)
  • IBM resources are typically limited to 2 version jumps
  • We can create and refresh the new system environment in a deterministic manner by rehearsing a complete turn-key event
  • Prevent migration of old IBM licensed software versions
  • Low overhead method for securing IFS (Integrated File System) permissions by department for use via NetServer using group profiles
  • Configuration of digital certificates for smartclient to IBM i SSL connectivity
  • full admin resources for IBM i on Power servers running LAN console
  • Zend PHP server base config installation - we now have a partner to work with for PHP server installation on IBM i
  • Replacement of FTP and FTPS outbound with an integrated implementation of sftp over OpenSSH
  • Standardized deployment of looksoftware smartclient GUI repository using standard Windows .cab file packages
  • New with our E4036n smartclient 10.7 version, is the ability for the admin to run a repository update and implementation with just a few clicks.  The repository is basically UI and presentation-level configuration information (in our implementation), which is the part that needs to changed, in some cases, such as when significant server-side UI data exchanges are changed.  Please note we are proud to announce that is all done without affecting the Windows registry, using Active-X or installing any executables.  Active-X is still used with our smartclient v8 version, which basically put out to pasture unless you're stuck on Windows 7 or still using IBM i 6.1, which uses older cyphers for SSL.
  • Fine tuning of large batch job streams
  • Consultation for using the Db2 for i .NET Managed Data Provider

Windows IIS Web Server Virtualization Under Hyper-V   (Show Details...)   
Basically we offer a consultation service that enables straight-forward setup and configuration of virtualized Windows IIS web servers taking advantage of ASP.NET and Windows Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012 R2 and later.  This can include configuration for public internet access when a server farm is not required.  It can also include setting up access to Db2 for i or mainframe Db2 from OO (object-oriented) .NET.  (note: SQL Server data providers are included in the most of the .NET Frameworks). 

We'll help to make this easy for you to get this going. 

On the other hand, lately Microsoft's Azure environments have expanded and become a good place to check out first, with the potential for offloading some of the IIS and SQL Server work loads.  But advantages to having your IIS web server in the data center still exist, like for development and cross-platform integration.  And you can still use Azure to host functions and other services for the hard-to-do stuff or the stuff requiring things like high availability.  Similarly, Azure offers the option to have backup environments in different regions. 

The Windows IIS virtual web server configuration service is also intended to help facilitate the ease of enterprise quality implentation of our products, such as Enterprise Web Apps and Developer Productivity PKGs.

What is a virtualized environment?
  • Multiple complete Windows server instances functioning separately and independently within one or more physical machines

Reasons to consider using virtual machines for IIS web servers:
  • It effectively enables rollback to exact previous OS, application and data version without special software
  • Also goes a long way towards simplification of disaster recovery and rebuild strategies
  • It can help you achieve self-sufficiency in your web development efforts (independence from consultants) and bring web development back in-house.  Hosting the site is worth it in some cases such as when the number of physical database locations can be reduced.
  • It allows creation of business web applications that are likely much more cost effective to audit accurately, and thus more secure, as for one, the need to use code that writes code can be reduced or eliminated. One of the reasons for this is the flexibility of compiled OO code and another is the capabilities and proven stability and sturdiness of the older OO ASP.NET Framework 4.8, with it's session and view states.
  • It allows web application deployment research and experimentation with new versions of Windows Server often without requiring new hardware
  • Achieves harmony between your web application developers and Windows server admins
  • Balances build consistency with the ability to experiment and evolve
  • .NET Version Upgrades

Honorable Mention(s)

An honorable mention of dubious distinction goes to any online listing service utilizing our company name (or a permutation of it) and saying we are an ISP or do Computer Repair or PC repair.  These folks should not be considered an authorized source for information regarding our company.  When this situation is encountered, please seek another source to cross-reference for information about Tegratecs Development Corp. prior to making any important conclusions.

Here are listing services whom have posted what we consider inaccurate information on our company.  We recommend seeking another source of information when it comes to finding out about our company.

Yea! the list is shrinking.

  • information is inaccurate!!

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