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Stafford selects looksoftware's Open Access Support
Apr '11
Australian apparel retailer Stafford has implemented lookserver for Open Access as part of a project to deliver online order processing. The organisation last year developed an iPhone-optimised graphical version of their order processing application for use by their department store concessions. With the majority of their applications written in RPG however, Stafford had no native support for emerging technologies and delivery channels, and IT Manager Rod Riley was cautious about investing further in an ageing architecture to fulfil their long-standing need for online order processing.

“We had just completed a mobile project that delivered the projected customer service benefits and an approximate 14% sales increase for our premium Anthony Squires product. However, technically it was constrained by the 'dead-end' 5250 green screen architecture that forms the basis of our core applications.”

“We've invested significantly in customising the RPG-based business rules and integrating these applications to deliver effective systems support for our business, so we'd rather not dump that investment and start again when a new technology comes along. We needed to review our business priorities and assess whether our IBM i technology platform could support our plans.”

Following some research, Stafford identified IBM's Rational Open Access, coupled with lookserver for Open Access, as the strategic investment that would safeguard their IT investments. Not only would it enable them to deliver the online functionality they currently required, but the single handler would open their architecture to virtually any current or future delivery channel or technology.

lookserver for Open Access' architecture enables Stafford to reuse their existing customized RPG business rules as the basis for the new online web orders system. Stafford's existing IT infrastructure will require only minimal upgrades to support the new systems, and the entire project will be completed in just a few weeks.

“Rather than needing to directly support every new technology that we may want to leverage, Open Access from IBM has provided an open architecture natively within the RPG programming language that can support virtually any new device, platform or application. looksoftware's architecture is such that we require no manual effort to upgrade our existing RPG code to completely remove the green screen device constraints of our existing applications. By separating the presentation layer from the business logic, we are able to point the handler at whatever device or delivery channel we want, and it is automatically supported."

"The recent mobile project we implemented (before RPG Open Access was available) is a case in point – it still had the legacy green screen 5250 code within it. Had we been able to use Open Access for this project, we would have had an automated process to remove the 5250 legacy code constraints and enable the one setof RPG business rules to support the new iPhones we deployed as well as continuing to support the older devices where required."

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