About the Client

The Client is a Fortune 100 Technology Company operating in more than 170 countries, providing technology solutions and services for consumers, small-businesses, enterprises and the government.

Business Challenge

The client maintained several legacy product data repositories that would feed customer facing portals. These product data repositories formed the core of the client’s ability to configure hardware parts and components based on customer preferences to form a complete product. Silicus had an ongoing engagement with the client to build a new Product Data Management solution (EDR) to replace several of these legacy repositories and feed all customer facing portals.

The client wanted to have a phased migration of data and users from legacy product data repository applications to the new PDM solution being developed, without affecting the customer facing portals. To meet this objective, new integration bridges needed to be developed connecting the new PDM solution with legacy data repositories.

One of the legacy repositories used by online product marketing users was the Product Information Repository System (PIRs). Marketing personnel received product engineering data in spreadsheets and manually entered product information into PIRs. Online portal administrators would take data feeds from PIRs and manually enter the information into their storefronts.

The client wanted to overcome these product data management inefficiencies by having a single PDM repository (EDR) and shutting down the multitude of legacy repositories.

Silicus was chosen to build the integration bridge between PIRs and EDR.

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Silicus Solution

The integration bridge design required significant changes to the PIRs database infrastructure. Silicus designed, developed, and implemented a custom integration bridge solution that included database development, data migration & verification, and fine tuning to achieve the desired stable state integration.

Integration between PIRs and EDR

The real-time integration between PIRs and EDR required queuing up records that were being updated in PIRs. To accomplish this without deterioration in application performance, a second PIRs instance was setup with multi-master replication with the primary database. Triggers were placed on secondary database tables to write update information into specially designed tables.

PIRs to EDR integration on the PIRs side was achieved using triggers in the Oracle DB to make changes to EDR. This was done using Java technologies, and XML was the output format. EDR was designed with a service architecture using the Microsoft.NET platform and easily consumed the XML output feed from PIRs. On achieving stable state, the integration was run in an automated manner.

Database Upgrade

To support the twin requirements of replication features and additional processing power, our experts completed a hardware upgrade as well as Oracle 7 to Oracle 8 upgrade. The Oracle DB upgrade included smooth transitioning of all batch and real time integrations along with several other engineering systems. In addition, Silicus helped the client set up all data and transaction log backup procedures on the new DB instance.

Integration with Online Portals

Silicus developed the integration between EDR and online portals as planned. To test the integration, an instance of the Online Portals was created in a Test Environment. The flow of data from PIRs to EDR to the online portals was demonstrated, fine tuned and verified.

User Migration and Achieving Functional Equivalence

Silicus provided functionally equivalent capabilities in EDR for data management. The User Interface was developed in .NET. PIRs user accounts were added to the EDR system, and PIRs users were trained to use the EDR system. Following this, PIRs was taken down.

Cut over to EDR, sunset PIRs

Once the team was confident that functional equivalence was achieved, PIRs was sunset and all changes, updates were effected on the EDR system going forward.

Technologies Used

Language
Language

Java

Database
Database

Oracle 7 & 8, SQL Server

Client Benefits

Robust design for long term business benefits

Silicus designed a configurable, scalable and high performance product data management solution. The software application service architecture design supported easy integrations to other systems, and provided efficient and effective software solution that served the needs for today’s use and future requirements.

Real time data display for improved business results

The EDR facilitated real time data display in online portals, accelerating downstream activities such as product promotion campaigns etc. The repository facilitated improved collaboration amongst stakeholders resulting in increased sales by reducing time to market.

Improved productivity, reduced cost of operations

The system upgrade and integration with EDR allowed the client to leverage and re-use data already available within the company. The EDR allowed product marketing personnel to function more efficiently and locate documents with greater accuracy.

The EDR system reduced operating costs by consolidating all data in a single repository. The system also reduced process costs through consistent, up-to-date product data fed automatically to multiple online portals.

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