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"Generali Deutschland Gruppe" profits from TABEX

Generali Deutschland Informatik Services GmbH

GmbH Generali Deutschland Informatik Services GmbH (GD-Informatik) – previously known as Aachener und Münchener Informatik Service AG – has been a loyal client of BOI since May 1992. TABEX has been used productively in the company ever since.

GD-Informatik is now assuming IT tasks for the Generali Deutschland Group and for subsidiaries of Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. Within the Generali Deutschland Group, GD-Informatik acts as a single IT service provider for the entire Group. Its core competences are in the stable and viable operation of a multi-platform infrastructure and in the development of powerful, future-proof IT applications.

In the international arena, the GD Informatik data center underpins IT operations for the entire central-eastern region, and serves the Generali subsidiaries in Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria as well as in ten Eastern European countries.

With ca. 1,100 employees and a turnover of around € 315 million, GD Informatik is one of the leading developers of information systems in Germany.

Generali Deutschland and BOI - a long and successful partnership

In the early nineties, the car application "K-Neu" was developed for the Aachener und Münchener Informatik-Service AG. The architecture of this application was based on complex control, which could not be implemented in DB2 due to inadequate performance.

Therefore, a table management system enabling high-performance access to tables was searched. TABEX was chosen because it best met the requirements of the Aachener und Münchener Informatik Service AG.

The most important requirement: high performance

A key advantage of TABEX over other table management systems was the high performance of the table access. From TABEX/2 onwards, high-performance data access has been an important feature of all TABEX products.

Further requirements from Generali Deutschland regarding a table management system at that time were:

  • That it can be used under TSO, CICS, IMS / DC and batch conditions
  • Easy maintenance of the tables by the technical departments of the Group subsidiaries
  • Validity constraints on the tables determined by date
  • That access restrictions be applied in the broadest sense; wherever possible RACF compatible
  • Compatibility with DB2, both in data maintenance and database access
  • Easy maintenance and development of the system
  • Where possible, compatibility with in-house approval processes

Technical description of ESA - integrated since TABEX/2

ESA is the abbreviation for Enterprise System Architecture from IBM:

Fig. Architecture

With the introduction of S390/ESA-Architecture by IBM, the use of data spaces in addition to the address space was made possible. TABEX was thus extended, so that it can load tables in the ESA data space. Thus, the performance has been significantly enhanced by the use of access to the same datapool loaded in memory tables from all regions.

TABEX has taken advantage of the possibility that after the introduction of 31-bit addressing up to 2GB of virtual data spaces can be used additionally to the address spaces.

The ESA technology allows the central storage of data in the main memory; it also allows access to these centrally loaded data (see Figure). ESA data spaces are used as central storage areas. The general TABEX term "SHS data area" is used because this procedure was implemented also in operating systems such as Linux, Unix, Solaris, or Windows.

This technology guarantees that only one copy of a table is used in all applications. In addition, no database access is necessary. Thus, data can be accessed efficiently and without additional memory consumption.

  • The following possibilities arise from the use of ESA technology in TABEX: Read access with high-performance calls
  • Loading or reorganizing data spaces can be performed without affecting running applications (uninterrupted switching between load data space and work space, following data change or reorganization)
  • No synchronization is required
  • Access to the correct path via the access module in the STEPLIB concatenation
  • Data spaces depending on a DB/DC environment
  • Separate data spaces for the various integrated subsidiaries (client capability) analogous to IMS and DB2. To maintain client separation, different search paths and project IDs are used.
  • Several ESA data spaces can be active in parallel and filled with different tables. Via application-specific paths and project © BOI GmbH, 2014. 3 identifiers, the order of searches, such as clients, different environments, etc. can be controlled.
  • By addressing each table by name, date and file ID, the IT organization and versioning can be mapped. With the additional project identifier, different instances or test levels are possible. This ensures that only the correct version of the tables is accessible.
  • A special data space can be used to cache data that must not be affected by a rollback. This is used, for example to save insurance contract numbers, so that in case of a crash of the application the system can rewind the process. In this case it is important that this contract number is not lost through a rollback (this would be the case with DB2 storage) or that the performance of the application is decreased because of too many I/Os (when writing the contract numbers in a file).

Current use of TABEX/4 at Generali Deutschland

Relational database used: DB2

In use:

  • approx. 400 TABEX users in the technical departments 
  • approx. 2,200 tables in production.
  • Currently, about 1,000 additional tables are integrated in TABEX.

Performance:

  • According to measurements in May 2014, on busy days there are over 1.5 billion accesses per hour to DB2 tables loaded the ESA data .

ESA data space:

  • 400 TABEX tables are loaded from DB2 into the ESA data space.

Advantages of using TABEX

The biggest advantage of ESA Technology for Generali Deutschland is the high performance of accesses: According to measurements, the memory accesses using ESA technology are up to 20 times faster than DB2.

Further advantages of TABEX for Generali Deutschland:

  1. Central data pool (all applications have identical data at the same time)
  2. Continuous work 24-hours
  3. Time-controlled activation of data changes and new tables
  4. Control of tables loaded in the ESA data space
  5. The possibility to map the organization structure; e.g., for test, integration, production, projects, or table versions
  6. Simple and convenient table maintenance within the department
  7. Audit-proof table maintenance via TABEX
  8. Integration of existing promotion and activation concepts at various levels; i.e., test, trade test, pre-production, production and maintenance levels
  9. Stability
  10. Maintainability of the infrastructure

High-performance access in other operating systems - SHS technology

The TABEX/4 product group is the leading cross-platform standard software for high-performance table access and secure table management based on DB2 and other relational databases.

TABEX runs on many common operating systems and connects applications on mainframe with applications on other operating systems. The standard TABEX software enables efficient access to tables, even in heterogeneous IT environments.

The advantages of the ESA data space are also available for operating systems such as Sun Solaris, AIX and Linux shared storage technology.

Access to SHS data spaces by Java

The continuous development of TABEX in response to the changing needs of our customers and enabling them to use critical technologies is a central concern of BOI. Therefore, BOI also offers products that allow table data in SHS data fields to be accessed from any Java environment.

JAVA can use all read-only access variants of the TABEX/4-API-library. This allows efficient table access within the applications. Customers can therefore reduce hardware and software costs. Furthermore, customers gain flexibility, since user programs can be outsourced from the mainframe.

Migration Packages

BOI GmbH offers migration packages for the table management systems SPITAB, TABSYS and VTAS.

 

» Migrations Packages

Success Stories

AirPlus has been using TABEX for 20 years.

Now TABEX/4 JAVA APPLICATION ENGINE has additionally been launched for audit-proof logging of the business processes by Java applications.

 

» read this success story

» more success stories