The mainframe is the most popular super-server platform in the world. Even today 70% of the world's information resides in mainframe computers and much of this is in proprietary file structures and non-relational databases. There are two main reasons for this :
- Existing legacy enterprise systems represent a substantial and long-term capital
investment in essential enterprise information and electronic commerce systems.
- Enterprise systems are vital to business operations and for a variety of reasons until recently were not easily connected to, moved to, or duplicated on client-server systems with available technologies.
Amongst other things, these systems handle levels of security and scalability unmatched by any alternative system and truly mission-critical computing relies on it. Due to the advent of Internet/Web technology, there is a huge demand to breathe life into old mission-critical systems by slipping Web front ends over them and distributing processing power across a Web-centric network. In addition, software distribution nightmares become a thing of the past.
Web enabling mission critical tasks provide for the following benefits :
- Provide an integrated, consistent presentation for all applications
- Leverage existing applications and data
- Ease of software distribution
- Location transparent access to applications and data
Textron offers 3 types of solutions for helping its customers
leverage their enterprise systems :
- Web-enabling of Legacy Applications by providing -Application access from the browser, Data access from the browser, GUI front-ends to applications using screen scrapers
- Enterprise Application Integration using object and component technology
- Executive Information System based on legacy data using Data Warehousing and Data Marts.