Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  11 Nov 2010

INFOTECH: Avbob Utilises AdaMagic to Slash Data Extraction Speeds


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Avbob, South Africa’s largest mutual society specialising in the provision of burial products and services to its policyholders, has adopted AdaMagic from Bateleur Software to slash data extraction speeds and improve its data processing performance.

Established in Bloemfontein in 1921 and today a billion rand burial society, it offers a one-stop, affordable funeral service through a countrywide network of professionally run funeral parlours and manufacturing a quality range of coffins, wreaths, funeralware and tombstones for the funeral industry.

However, its largest business by far is the provision of a comprehensive range of funeral policies; to date more than 1,2-million South Africans are insured through Avbob. All the financial and assurance data pertaining to these policies is maintained on a Unix/Adabas system.

Explained Avbob’s ICT Programming Manager, Deon Africa: “AdaMagic serves two purposes in the IT engine room: on the one hand it facilitates the migration of Adabas mainframe databases to Adabas on Unix, Linux and Windows. But, it can also be used to extract – at exceptionally fast speeds – flat files, CSV files and normalised files suitable for Reporting, further processing by Natural, or input into RDBMS applications.

“This is the reason why we purchased the utility: to reduce data retrieval time, reduce daily and month end program run times, and to utilise the extracted data for other Adabas utilities, like mass updates.

“To date, the results of our test runs have been impressive with AdaMagic turning hours into minutes. For example, it took AdaMagic 3 minutes and 35 seconds to extract over 1-million records to a workfile instead of the 9 hours of processing we’d previously experienced. The AdaMagic utility certainly is an extremely fast way to extract data from Adabase files into a workfile!”

Bateleur Software managing director, Sam Selmer-Olsen, pointed out that AdaMagic is a great tool for those end-of-month processing tasks. For example, he said, Unix scripts can be invoked synchronously at the end of each output file to perform additional processing, such as to execute the Adabas utilities such as Adafdu and Adamup.

He added that AdaMagic makes it a simple exercise for the database administrator to:
• convert mainframe Adabas databases to Adabas under Unix or Windows
• convert mainframe Adabas databases to ASCII flat files, CSV files or normalised files
• process mainframe files while extracting them to any format desired
• use comprehensive selection criteria to extract exactly the required data
• access raw mainframe historical data on a server platform
• populate test databases

“The advantages to using AdaMagic are many,” he said. “Firstly, there are simple parameters that specify the files to be selected, and you can specify that the output file number is different to the input file number on the backup. “Adamagic can be run to simply extract the ADAFDU information without extracting any actual data, or to extract FDU information as well as DTA and DVT.

“Further, files output by AdaMagic can be loaded into a database, decompressed, or input to ADAREORG (another utility available from CCA Software) for restructuring prior to being loaded to the Unix database. It also allows you to access historical data at a fixed point in time – a boon for those needing to compile reports – and streamlines numerous end-of-month processing tasks.”

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