TEMBO Adds Development Tool to Database Modernization Kit
August 17, 2016 Alex Woodie
TEMBO Technology Lab is beefing up its DB2 for i modernization solution. The South African provider of DB2 for i database modernization solutions has reached an agreement with Relational Data to resell its rapid application development tool for IBM i as part of its core Adsero Optima (AO) suite.
Based in West Jordan, Utah, Relational Data is a longtime provider of IBM i-based applications and tools to the education market. Its OnePoint suite of software automates a range of processes for schools, including recording grades, managing student and parent data, and streamlining back-office functions like operations, HR, and finance.
The company has done a lot to modernize its OnePoint suite and to get client interfaces running in a Web environment. Key to this effort is OnePoint Portal, which the company markets as an authentication framework for enabling customers to access functionality hosted on the Power Systems server.
TEMBO CEO Marinus van Sandwyk says the OnePoint Portal will provide another way for TEMBO customers to extend and access the applications and databases that AO helps to modernize.
“Many of our customers are a natural fit for OnePoint Portal as they pursue a complete application modernization offering, so it makes good sense for us to provide it along with our AO database modernization, data quality, and data integrity offerings,” van Sandwyk says in a statement.
The company is now distributing OnePoint Portal as an Apache Web Server-based product called AO Open. In addition to the Relational Data technology, the AO Open offering also includes the RPG Developer Toolkit.
TEMBO has been a vocal force in support of IBM i database modernization since it burst onto the scene in 2012. The company’s main thrust is to help IBM i shops move away from using the DB2 for i database’s native record-level access approach and instead use its SQL Query Engine (SQE).
In the IBM i world, database modernization has so far played a secondary role to modernization of the user interface, including creating Web and mobile-based interfaces to RPG and COBOL applications. But TEMBO argues that focusing on the database delivers a better return on modernization investments, as it eliminates the need to manually code things like triggers and referential constraints into the business logic.
TEMBO also argues that database modernization provides better investment protection going forward, since SQL skills are considered more widely available than RPG, COBOL, and IBM i skills, which some recent surveys have indicated are getting scarcer. What’s more, modernizing the database preserves RPG and COBOL business logic, while enabling the implementation of a modern Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture, which can greatly streamline adoption of the software as a service (SaaS) delivery method.
IBM encourages IBM i shops and software vendors to adopt the SQE, but relatively few have migrated away from native record-level access, owing primarily to the complexity and risk that such a major migration entails. With AO Foundation, TEMBO seeks to streamline this migration by automating various tasks involved with adopting the SQE, and above all guiding customers with a gradual transition away from the legacy database architecture.
OnePoint Portal fits in by providing a streamlined way to build new Web-based interfaces atop the modernized database. As TEMBO’s customers move their existing apps and business logic to use the new SQE, TEMBO expects them to build new programs and small applications, and that’s what OnePoint Portal will provide.
“We are excited to collaborate with TEMBO as they distribute OnePoint Portal along with AO Foundation, as well [as] to help educate IBM i shops on how to leverage the significant investments in their legacy applications,” says Nathan Andelin, the CEO of Relational Tech. “Each of our companies is passionate about the value and stability of the IBM i platform, and each is keenly aware that many companies are hungry for ways to extend the capabilities, data, and business logic of their core applications to new uses.”
Van Sandwyk says TEMBO and Relational Data share a similar desire to help IBM i shops modernize their databases. While the companies come at the problem from different angles, their “strategic directions and goals” are neatly aligned, he says.
“The bottom line,” he says, “is we share a significant common goal: help organizations leverage the tremendous value and investment in heritage applications, and especially their data, while continuing to enjoy the unparalleled reliability, security, and performance of the IBM i platform.”