For one of our loyal customers,  AXA Tech, we have started a conversion of jobs from Automator (Axway) to TWS /zOS (IBM) + Stonebranch Agent, via a generating tool. This conversion is quite unusual; being given the Target is not directly TWS/zOS but E-Gen (ISC Software). Fortunately for us we have a perfect knowledge of this excellent referencing and generating tool. In our opinion it is the tool that every Production should have installed.

First challenge : understand the Customer’s E-Gen data model

On our side, we have to input the E-Gen database with TWS application and jobs. The first challenge was that we had to fully comprehend the customer’s E- Gen data model to our use. This can take a little time. Indeed, each customer has his own model and this is the basis for a complete integration of a E-Gen. In fact, we have to input the necessary E-Gen properties to the generators (TWS and JCL) ; this is of course to obtain a perfect syntax for E-Gen from AXA Tech.

Second challenge : find the Automator commands

Even if, for small Productions, Automator can be very useful, this tool is nevertheless, in our opinion an orchestrator rather than a scheduler or workload manager. The classification of the objects is very different. It is has a very graphical interface but to us does not seem very productive.

Since we cannot put the conditions in between the different graph jobs, we had to extract and analyse the scripts to find the Automator commands which in our opinion were too numerous. These commands are used to create a message path between the graphs

Third Challenge: to draw a difference between the TWS model from the customer model

The E-Gen objects that we had to « make » we not at all « based » on the same model as that of TWS which was already developed for the uMSe engine. Due to this we had to “cheat” with the conversion rules and the customer model to “fool” or deceive our engine vis à vis TWS. This method allowed us to prove, once again, how flexible our uMSe engine is. In fact we never had to make any changes to the database.

Finally, despite the relatively difficult challenge, we completed the conversion. Developing conversion rules did not take longer than with ordinary scheduler; it was just getting familiar with E-Gen model from AXA Tech which took us a little time. However due our perseverance and professional attitude, AXA Tech has put their trust in us twice more. We have signed with two AXA subsidiaries two more conversions. Perhaps more in the future – who knows…