Project Profile

Integrations with an AS400 core system and a new 3rd party quoting system
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Problem

In 2008, our client purchased a web-based Policy Administration System (PAS) to manage one sector of their business. The AS400 was used as their core system at the time and held their accounting software. The client wanted to provide access to their external customers to specific areas of the PAS system. Nightly batch updates and FTP processes were evaluated but ultimately management needed the most up-to-date data to be available more frequently. How could the systems communicate with each other in real-time so that critical data flowed between the two platforms?

Approach

  • XML-based web services would be utilized as much as possible to facilitate responsive communication between the systems.

  • Changes to the company's master reference tables would be made only in the core AS400 system. Data from those key tables would be fed to the PAS system in a timely manner.

  • The PAS needed to send all billing transactions to the AS400 for accounting purposes.

Solution

  • Quad Nova created a single sign-on process from the client's existing customer portal to the PAS platform so external users could be linked smoothly to the new site and retain one set of credentials.

  • Utilized the RPG-XML Suite on the AS400 to consume incoming XML data and to send outbound XML data.

    • Billing records were sent from the PAS in XML format and received by a custom AS400 web service developed by Quad Nova. Records were extracted from the XML and ultimately inserted into the AS400 core transactional tables.

    • Quad Nova applied database triggers on key DB2 tables to kick off a process where a custom developed AS400 program was called to send the updated data to the PAS web service.

  • Quad Nova created a Java program running on the AS400 to connect to a MySQL database and pull data into an AS400 table in order to provide a consolidated report of data from both systems.

Results

  • The AS400 XML API provided a proven solution for creating and parsing XML which sped up the development process.

  • Real-time updates of billing data sent to the core system gave management immediate visibility to sales numbers.

  • Core data updates to the AS400 were able to flow to the 3rd party system in real-time and the business unit was thrilled to avoid manual data entry of new customers into the PAS. As new customers were added to the core system, the update flowed in real-time to the 3rd party application and the customer was immediately able to access the online customer portal via the SSO request.

  • Automation of the data exchange avoided manual re-entry of data in the systems and resulted in cost savings.

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