Bricks-and-mortar businesses must resolve the issue of using valuable data residing in host or legacy systems to support their ebusiness initiatives.
They must also present this data in a way that is understandable to customers and business partners, according to Doug Walker, CEO of WRQ, a web application development tool vendor.
An example of this is banks making customers' transactions data available to customers online. Unfortunately, integrating this legacy data into ebusiness applications often involves complex reprogramming of the host data.
"Information that resides on host systems is typically some of the most valuable information enterprises have, and it is very logical to want to use that information to support customers or business partners over the web," said Walker. "Unfortunately, while the pressure that businesses are under to get into ecommerce is strong and immediate, reprogramming of legacy data for ebusiness use is typically expensive and time consuming."
Walker was in Melbourne for the Australian launch of Apptrieve, WRQ's application mining tool, which gives developers object-based access to host data residing in IBM mainframe, AS/400, VAX and Unix host systems.
Because Apptrieve enables developers to access host data without requiring custom programming or alterations to the host system, it reduces the ebusiness development cycle from years to weeks, according to Chris Bradley, group general manager for WRQ's Enterprise Application Integration Business Unit.
Unlike data mining which requires developers to create an additional database where extracted data can be analysed, application mining allows developers to run analysis against the original host application instead of another database. "In application mining, developers do not create a second copy of the data, they map data embedded in the original host application, extract it and present it in the web application," said Bradley.
The company is also looking for Authorised Apptrieve Solution Partners in Australia. It currently has a distributor (or Authorised Apptrieve Partner), Megatec, which will provide support to Apptrieve's Solution Partners. Authorised Apptrieve Solution Partners are consultants and system integrators who have skills in project management and have worked with legacy systems.