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Oklahoma Employment Security Commission again turns to Bull

Posted on 15 November 2011 by Pierre Picard

Oklahoma Employment Security Commission again turns to Bull

The State Agency needed help to migrate a Hierarchical/Network Database to a Relational Database.

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) has contracted with Bull to provide the services necessary to convert two additional hierarchical databases (Taxes and Benefits) and related applications to use PostgreSQL. OESC coordinates the unemployment collections and distributions for the State of Oklahoma, which includes collecting payments from employers, enrolling unemployed citizens for training and other programs, and distributing benefits to applicants for unemployment compensation. Their installed system comprised a Bull mainframe running a hierarchical database called IDS-II. Access to the system is via web applications, telephones and a Help desk.

Using a hierarchical database presented OESC with several challenges. They wanted to retain experienced system administrators, but they also wanted to move away from COBOL (so new development can be done in Windows) and set up interfaces for sharing data with other State agencies.

During an earlier pilot project, Bull successfully converted a portion of the IDS-II database to a relational database and used its migration tools to convert certain OESC applications – all without changing the business logic of the customer application. OESC applications continue to run on their Bull system.

Because the pilot project with Bull was so successful, OESC has now signed a follow-on contract with Bull to convert their Taxes and Benefits databases and applications to relational databases as soon as possible.

The new conversion project

The applications will run on GCOS 8 and use the DataBase Satellite Processor (DBSP) to access the PostgreSQL databases. The DBSP on OESC’s existing NovaScale 9325 System will host the PostgreSQL databases and the converted GCOS 8 applications will execute on the GCOS 8 partition on the NovaScale. The overall conversion task will address the Taxes and Benefits databases and 2400 Batch / TPR Programs to access the converted PostgreSQL databases.

OESC will provide all relevant programs, source code, libraries, JCL, databases and schemas to Bull so that Bull may perform the conversion activity at Bull’s facility in Phoenix, Arizona. Bull’s Phoenix facility will be used for the conversion in order to:

  • Help OESC protect the integrity of its production environment and data.
  • Allow for continuing processing by OESC on its current system without interruption or interference from the IDS II to PostgreSQL conversion project.
  • Help OESC maximize the success of the conversion by testing in Phoenix using a GCOS 8 and SQL satellite processor configuration similar to OESC’s.

The project will take 16-18 months with expected completion in November 2012

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