Founded in 1969, Brentwood, Tennessee-based Innovative Computing (now part of TMW) is a leader in creating and maintaining software and service solutions for truckload shipping companies, including carriers running anywhere from fewer than 10 trucks to more than 10,000. The company delivers its software using either a host-based or application service provider model. Innovative employs X-Analysis to automate the creation of documentation, including generating complete cross-references of all object and field touch-points throughout its software.
Modifying complex code can be a nightmare. A “minor” change to a field or object might impact hundreds or thousands of touch-points buried throughout an application. Failure to account for any of those touch-points can have serious consequences. For software companies, such as Innovative Computing Corporation, maintaining multiple software versions that run on different operating system releases multiplies the challenge. And the consequences of mistakes are amplified when the company delivers its software to its many customers. Those are some of the reasons why Innovative uses X-Analysis from Fresche to gain greater visibility into its software code.
To remain competitive, Innovative must keep up with the times and quickly deliver upgrades that add new functionality and modernize its applications. Furthermore, it must do so as productively as possible so it can remain cost-competitive in the market. These were further reasons why Innovative chose to use the X-Analysis and X-DB Modernize solutions.
Innovative uses X-Analysis to analyze its System i applications. According to Vince Peschio, director of development at Innovative Computing, it is “very easy to run. It has built-in integration that makes it easy to port everything into Word, Excel and Visio, so the output is very professional. And it’s very intuitive—you don’t need a PhD to use the software.” “One of the biggest benefits of X-Analysis is its robustness,” added Peschio. “It gives you various drill-down capabilities and it shows all touch-points at a click of an icon. It’s very powerful.”
X-Analysis took just 30 minutes to FTP and install. Innovative then required only about an hour to build the X-Analysis databases and libraries. That effort paid for itself many times over. Because the database contains all of the necessary information, Innovative didn’t need to buy IBM’s metadata engine for IBM DB2 Web Query.
Peschio has also seen a significant increase in productivity. He believes that the combination of the X-Analysis-created documentation and on-the-fly drill-downs decreases the time needed to analyze code for changes and eliminates the potential missed ‘touch’ points that would compromise quality. Depending on the number of objects and level of documentation, a complete set of documents can be created in an hour.
Innovative will expedite the modernization of legacy applications using X-Ternalize and X-DB Modernize. X-Ternalize takes all I/O logic out of a program and puts it into callable modules. X-DB Modernize will convert databases from DDS to DDL stateless modules. Innovative finds that this improves the maintainability of its software as the modules are reusable code that is easier to maintain.
Summing up, Peschio stated, “It’s one thing to buy a software package, but it’s another thing to have a company stand behind it. Fresche’s support was better than I was expecting based on my past experience with other companies. With a lot of other vendors I’ve dealt with, if you need support you take a number and maybe they’ll get back to you sometime. With Fresche you can talk to someone right away who can get you the answers you need. That’s important, especially when you’re in an environment where productivity counts.”