Building a Foundation with DCE
Support of worldwide commercial, engineering and manufacturing endeavors
IBM System/390 MVS OpenEdition, MVS/ESA DCE, AIX/6000 DCE, Entera
Benefit to Customer
Ability to support commercial, engineering, and manufacturing in three major data centers
around the world, supporting 60 thousand users in all time zones, quickly and reliably
"MVS OpenEdition and its DCE
feature will provide transparent access to the vast wealth of information stored within
the System/390s in Caterpillar's global corporation."
Manager of Client/Server Services
How does a large manufacturing
corporation, operating in a global market, reduce the expense and complexity of managing
information resources on nonintegrated, heterogeneous computing platforms? By installing
IBM's Multiple Virtual Storage/Enterprise Systems Architecture (MVS/ESA) Distributed
Computing Environment (DCE) to leverage a very large System/390 processing base into the
Over the years, Caterpillar, Inc., the
world's largest earth-moving equipment manufacturer, has accumulated an array of
processing platforms to support its commercial, engineering, and manufacturing
applications. These platforms include offerings from Microsoft, Digital Equipment
Corporation, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM. As information technology has moved from a
computer-centric to a network-centric environment, Caterpillar had to find ways to take
advantage of its information technology investments.
Caterpillar has a very large installed
System/390 processing base to support data processing worldwide. IBM's announcement of its
MVS OpenEdition affirmed Caterpillar's commitment to a 3-tiered application architecture.
Caterpillar felt that MVS OpenEdition, with its DCE compliance, would be the solution to
allow its Information Technology (IT) architecture to support corporate business goals.
"We wanted to prove that the many disparate installed operation systems could operate
together and potentially share data and applications in the evolving 'open global
market'," says Peter Barclay, Manager of Client/Server Services.
Four years ago, Caterpillar started
looking at distributed computing and client/server. To match their organizational changes,
they wanted to move from a mainframe-based structure to a client/server-based structure.
"We didn't want to be leading edge. We wanted an evolution, rather than a revolution,
and knew that this transition would require the mainframe and client/server structures to
coexist," Peter Barclay continues.
Specifically, Caterpillar's computing
environment has 60 percent or more of its data on the mainframe in the Information
Management System (IMS). Their IT organization supports 60 thousand users worldwide, a
third of whom are external to Caterpillar's corporate boundaries (suppliers, dealers, and
customers). Clearly, the right solution is needed to support their evolution to
network-centric computing while protecting their investment in millions of lines of
existing COBOL code.
Three years ago, Caterpillar organized a
team to determine what its open systems architecture would look like. With design
assistance from Wayne Zimmer, an IBM client consultant, the team assembled a recommended
architecture guide for Caterpillar. The architecture defines the technology and industry
standards that will enable Caterpillar to leverage the benefits of open systems. MVS
OpenEdition is one of the products that allows Caterpillar to adhere to the evolving
industry standards that are becoming the base for client/server computing.
Caterpillar is using a 3-tiered
application architecture and sees DCE as a critical element of their architecture. They
began piloting DCE on platforms from IBM, HP, and DEC. MVS/ESA DCE was added to their DCE
solution suite three months later. Their first production application will support their
Human Resources function, using a 3-tired architecture including MVS/ESA Version 5.1 with
the IMS Application Server running on a 9021-982 and also on two 9021-900s. The MVS host
functions as a server to other platforms, including DEC and HP-UX, and provides access to
the legacy data that's running on the System/390 processors.
"We are very pleased with this
In addition to MVS/ESA DCE and AS/IMS,
Caterpillar selected Open Environment Corporation's Entera application development tools.
With Entera's third-party support and DCE development tools, Caterpillar was able to
provide its application programmers with an easy-to-use toolkit that helped them focus
fully on implementing the business logic of the Human Resources application.
The integration offered by DCE provides
Caterpillar employees with seamless, distributed access to sensitive employee benefits
data. The users can get to more data and get to it faster.
By applying DCE technology, Caterpillar
reduced development costs significantly and uses its information resources far more
effectively. Caterpillar also gained flexibility to deploy applications across a diverse
set of operating platforms and responds more quickly to its users' needs.