Davies Turner was founded in 1870 to ship the belongings of Victorian adventurers to the farthest corners of the world. Even today, the company remains a family owned and managed group, offering an award winning and diverse portfolio of international surface and air transport services world wide. With three distinct operating businesses and 25 offices throughout the UK, as well as in Dublin and Paris, the company has approximately 700 employees and an annual turnover of approximately 150 million Euros.
The business is run on two iSeries model 820s with the majority of applications written in RPG. They are all custom applications that cover transport, warehousing, logistics, world-wide-movers and financials. All IT development is done in house. Most IT staff are under 35, have been trained in house and had not developed in RPG prior to working in the IT department at Davies Turner.
All applications were traditionally written in RPG but there was increasing demand to build Webbased applications. The RPG legacy applications represent over 15 years of development. Davies Turner needed to help new developers become productive in maintaining existing applications in the original RPG. They also needed to modernize parts of the application and build new Web-based applications to meet with customer expectations and requirements. Davies Turner tried other options but found they were not productive enough and would require substantial retraining of staff.
X-Analysis provided Davies Turner with instant documentation of the entire application. This helped them take complete control of their legacy applications, and improved the quality of the development process through understanding and knowledge.
Davies Turner has successfully deployed new development staff productively on their legacy applications in a very short time, and with confidence. X-Analysis has also helped the company think and design in a more structured and integrated way through the high-level graphical analysis and data modeling capabilities it provides. At a detail level, developers are able to make changes with accuracy and confidence because of the uniquely detailed cross-reference repository and impact analysis functionality.
Davies Turner has developed a number of Web-based projects, including track and trace for their surface freight clients. The company is also engaged in modernizing some of its traditional legacy applications into J2EE-MVC applications. The challenge for Davies Turner thereafter will be to enhance the converted JSF and Servlet based interfaces using Eclipse and IBM’s plug-ins such as WDSc. X-Analysis will help Davies Turner get into WDSc, RSE and Java development more quickly and efficiently.
Being able to cross-reference Java and RPG together using X-Analysis has completely changed developer attitudes. Davies Turner developers are now excited about current and future work and the company can continue to exploit its long standing investment in iSeries for many years to come.