Boost Launches Event Monitoring Software for OS/400
August 31, 2004 Alex Woodie
Imagine getting a text message on your cell phone the minute your iSeries detects that inventory levels have reached critically low levels. It could save your company thousands of dollars and hours of hassle by getting a jump on the ordering process. Such a notification system is now available from Boost Information Systems, a Rochester, Minnesota, software company that recently launched Boost IntelliSense for the iSeries Version 2.0.
Boost IntelliSense for the iSeries is a unique product designed to free users’ time by alerting them to specific events when they occur on their OS/400 systems. It can alert employees by cell phone, PDA, e-mail, or through the Web when specific events occur on the OS/400 server or OS/400 applications. Boost also sells a version of the Java-based software, called simply Boost IntelliSense, that can monitor any relational data store on Unix, Linux, or Windows servers.
There are many different types of events that could benefit from IntelliSense reporting, Boost says. For example, salespeople might benefit from learning that their customers order has been updated, and the delivery is going to be late, or that a customer has reached its credit limit and payment is now due. Or a manufacturing customer could gain an advantage by learning that the specifications on a new product have changed and that machine calibrations must be altered.
“The ability for businesses to react to problems and opportunities faster is a key competitive differentiator,” says Daniel Spors, Boost’s president and CEO.
There are two main flavors of the IntelliSense for the iSeries software: the entry-level Notification Edition and the functionally more advanced Process and Web Edition. Both versions can monitor and alert users, via e-mail or text messaging, to a range of events occurring on their systems. The main difference between the two editions is that the Process and Web Edition supports the monitoring of Web pages and includes more Web-related features. The Process and Web Edition also includes the open API for better integration, and supports load balancing for higher availability.
IntelliSense also provides users with a portal where they can see a list of “hot items,” or specific events for each user, that require immediate attention. There is also an “analysis center,” where users can find documents and other sources of information to resolve their problem. Practically any type of document can be listed here, and IntelliSense even comes with a wizard-driven report writer to build new reports. The portal comes with pre-defined Web templates to get the portal operational quickly, and Boost also includes series of CL commands and integration points into RPG, to use customers’ existing iSeries skills. The Web component can be served form WebSphere or Tomcat Web servers.
IntelliSense includes various components, including an Event Designer, Event Server, Administrator, Content Designer, and the Web Integrator software development kit. The IntelliSense Server and event trigger interface can reside on OS/400, Unix, Linux, or Windows servers. On the iSeries, the IntelliSense Server requires OS/400 V5R1 and at least 400 CPW of processing power. The IntelliSense Event Designer runs on Windows workstations and requires connectivity to one of the following databases: Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 or later; Oracle 8i or later; or DB2/400 V4R4 or later.
Examples of monitors include JDBC/SQL relational monitoring, Web-based URL/XML monitoring, File System change monitoring, Cascading Event monitoring; or user-defined monitors designed with Boost’s API. When a noteworthy event occurs, the IntelliSense server component sends a notification to the people that should be notified, according to the users’ preferences. Alternatively, IntelliSense can be configured to take other actions, including initiating program calls, extracting and preparing data for analysis, updating production systems, or initiating transactions via EDI or other B2B avenues.
For both the Notification and Process and Web Edition versions of the IntelliSense, users can choose from four additional editions (entry, standard, deluxe, and enterprise), depending on the number of events they want to monitor. Pricing for the entry edition starts at $7,500. For more information, go to www.boostinformation.com.