Migrating from MPE? Use Time Machine to Reduce Porting Effort & Time

SANTA CLARA, Calif., August 18, 2005 — Time Machine, a time and date simulation tool that speeds application testing and deployment is a must have for migrating applications from MPE to other operating systems.  Companies such as Boise-Cascade, Hewlett Packard, Oracle, Microsoft, Nationwide, Ford and Merck have saved valuable time and resources in migrating to new platforms by using Time Machine in their efforts.  Time Machine currently supports all major UNIX, Linux, and Windows platforms as well as the entire range of MPE releases and is widely used by many Fortune 500 companies.



Time Machine Keeps Mission Critical Project on Track & Within Budget 

In the United Kingdom the governmental body ‘Companies House’ holds all the latest information for U.K. companies such as their company accounts lists, annual returns, records, and directors reports and is responsible for the collection of revenue taxes from all U.K. businesses.   

With annually increasing growth of tax data and subsequent increase in transaction processing their existing legacy system was being severely over-taxed in keeping up with the increased demand needed while running their core business application responsible for capturing all data on listed limited liability companies & partnerships in the UK, gathering fees and ensuring legal obligations of the companies listed are met, including the filing of annual accounting returns.

With the help of LogicaCMG, a major global solutions company with 21,000 staff in offices across 34 countries provides systems integration and outsourcing services and IT consultancy, Company House was able to migrate thier application from their soon to be de-commissioned system to a more cost effective and powerful multi-tier, web based Client/Server system.

To ensure complete and thorough testing of the new system and any possible future changes or additions to the system would or will function correctly a mirror of the production system was assembled.  After an initial investigation, LogicaCMG thought they would be unable to create the required test environments without procuring additional server systems or software licenses.  Additionally, once configured, they would still need to resort to stopping applications, manually manipulating system clocks and restarting the various processes. This would not only create a nightmare for their system administrators, but also put into question the viability of this solution within the required budgetary and time constraints.  Then they discovered Solution-Soft’s Time Machine.

 “On the test suite, it’s a big challenge for us. The project has a very complex environment that requires five (5) separate test environments on the primary machine. Also, we have training & model office environments deployed on the standby machines concurrently,” says John Pinkerton, principal project consultant of LogicaCMG.

LogicaCMG saw Solution-Soft’s date and time simulation tool, Time Machine, as the optimal application to manage their testing.  Using Time Machine they are able to individually manipulate the time differentials on each of their nine logical test environments, while having separation of the remaining environments.  Development teams dynamically change each test environment date without restarting the core application or impacting the eight other environments.  Combining Time Machine with existing hardware and software, LogicaCMG realized a huge cost savings since they were able to avoid purchasing additional hardware and software.

According to John, “Without Time Machine, we would not be able to complete our critical testing. Time Machine is the only tool that allows us to do this complicated test; it also helps us to save tremendously on planned and unplanned budgetary.”;

Mr. Pinkerton goes on to say, “We are more than satisfied with Time Machine, it was simple to install, easy to use, and performed exactly as we envisaged.  Moreover, Solution-Soft could not have been more helpful or more accommodating, both from a technical and commercial perspective.”

The Importance of Time Machine in Migration Efforts

Without rigorous and comprehensive testing of applications in your specific environment, there is no guarantee that the system will operate the way you expect it to when moved to the newer operating platform and into the future.  The possibility of encountering serious system design flaws increases with time and if not discovered prior to release these flaws can cause integrated business applications to fail.  A thorough software test process involves running applications with actual data on the target environment, executing the applications through an extensive range of past, present and future dates, and scrutinizing the results for any functional inconsistencies.

The traditional test approach is to change the system date and time.  Unfortunately, changing the clock is risky, potentially producing a whole array of undesirable consequences:

Systems in a Microsoft’s Active Directory based network will not be able to communicate with each other.
After each clock change to your system, database and test environments may require reloading.  This process can add days to your project!
Files with a future-date time-stamp may develop in your production or development environment, rendering them unusable to many applications
Logging and recovery may not function correctly.
Backups could miss crucial files.
Production systems will not run correctly on machines with an invalid system clock setting.
Any long-term development and testing projects are impacted.
Demo, rental, and leased software will immediately expire!
Resetting the system clock may require that you force a log-off of all users using the system.
Forgetting to reset the system clock on a system when a test run is completed could result in other users being unable to log on to the computer.
The task of resetting the system clock often requires an orchestrated effort between Database administrators, IT staff, and others.

Time Machine gives you the ability to run your recently ported programs and system functions in a virtual date & time environment while you test the future viability of the new program.  With Time Machine, you have the flexibility to specify any date/time for any user or any program.  Once set, a ‘virtual’ date and time is provided whenever the user or application calls the system for date or time.  Time Machine does not require any program or back-end database modifications.

Time Machine optimizes your software development, testing, training, and production schedules buying time to develop applications on time and on budget.

Provides a Time Machine Log File – run all of your applications and review all calls for system date/time.
Easily identify programs or routines in your environment that indicate inconsistencies at future dates.
Run a Time Machine session to unobtrusively test modified programs and set Time Machine’s virtual clock to verify that all defects are corrected.
Test processes such as month-end, year-end, and other date-sensitive functions by modifying individual virtual clocks and input data.
Speed up the evaluation of new software in database centric applications that use date/time verification and “triggering.”
Increase Productivity.

Time Machine has been in production since 1997 and implemented worldwide by 38 of the Fortune 100 companies.  Some customers of Time Machine are AT&T, Accenture, Boeing, Deloitte Consulting, Ford, Hewlett Packard, IBM Global Services, The Williams Cos. and Telstra.

Time Machine is available for Windows 2003, XP, 2000, NT 4.0, HP-3000 (MPE), and all major UNIX platforms (HP HP-UX, IBM AIX, and Sun Solaris) as well as Linux.


About Solution-Soft

Solution-Soft is the leading provider of Intelligent Data Optimization (IDO) solutions, which address the urgent need for automated management of data in complex networking environments.  IDO solutions facilitate automated data selection, compression, movement and redirection that optimize high availability, storage scalability and system performance.  The company has developed robust data and information life-cycle management software solutions for corporate data centers and storage system vendors.  Solution-Soft boasts more than 1,500 customers, including 3M, AT&T, Boeing, Ford, French Telecom, Hewlett Packard, Merck, TSMC, Chartered Semi, SMIC and UMC.  Solution-Soft’s market presence is bolstered by partnerships with Citrix Systems (NASDAQ:CTXS), FalconStor. (NASDAQ:FALC), Fujitsu Siemens, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HWP), IBM (NYSE:IBM), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP), Red Hat, Inc. (NASDAQ:RHAT) and Sun Microsystems NASDAQ:SUNW).

Founded in 1993, Solution-Soft is privately held and based in Santa Clara, Calif.  For more information, visit www.solution-soft.com or call +1.408.346.1415.

Michael Morrison