Steel is one of the most important materials. Due to its properties many application areas – from the architecture to the automobile manufacturing – are not imaginable without steel. It is versatile and cost-effective. Steel is the key material for mastering the challenges in the energy sector. These are the very same properties the large German steel company Hüttenwerke Krupp Mannesmann (HKM) expects from its IT applications: stable, reliable, adaptable, cost-effective, a key for the business change.
That is why HKM relies on the generative development tools from Delta Software Technology for the development and maintenance of their IT applications for more than 30 years. Now, HKM accomplished a modernization project to make their applications fit for the future in the service and object-oriented world.
“One of the key reasons we have selected SCORE is that we can make
our mission-critical applications available as services that we can quickly and
easily reuse – without any extra effort – in other contexts, for example
in a service-oriented architecture, Enterprise Portals and the like.”
Gerhard Batiajew, CIO, HKM
From data-oriented Servers to application-specific Data Services
The main steel production processes are controlled and managed by the application system “Stahlwerk Online” (“Online Steelworks”). For storing the production data of “Online Steelworks” HKM uses Informix databases on Fujitsu PRIMEPOWER servers under Solaris. For the development of the data access servers HKM uses SCORE Data Architecture Integration from Delta Software Technology.
SCORE Data Architecture Integration is a generative tool to quickly and easily provide data from the most different sources as real business services within service-oriented or any other application architectures. The developer declares the access structure in models – so-called composition models. From this declaration, the tool generates the entire access code in COBOL– completely and automatically.
The client applications have been developed with the software development system Delta ADS in a Microsoft Windows environment and were also 100% generated – for the productive use in a runtime environment under openUTM COBOL.
SCORE as well as ADS enable the developers to develop the software on a neutral, platform-independent level – without worrying about the technical details. The implementation for the target environment is generated automatically. If one or even more components of the target environment are changed (operating system, database, transaction monitor), the required adaptations in the applications can be automatically implemented by simple re-generation.
To continually ensure flexibility, maintainability and future sustainability, the data access layer of these applications have now been modernized – in multiple ways:
- Until now, HKM has worked with servers based on the tables’ definitions, i.e. purely data-oriented servers. As a result, the clients were offered more functionality than they required or were allowed to use in their respective context. Furthermore, this resulted in unnecessary dependencies between client and server side which made the maintenance more difficult. That is why HKM decided to change over to application-specific data access modules – a child’s play with SCORE Data Architecture Integration. The accesses have been defined on model-level by using the Composition Manager. Afterwards, the new data servers have simply been generated. The clients now have data services exactly tailored to their needs. Changes and extensions can now be implemented quickly and securely without any undesirable side effects.
- At the same time, HKM took advantage from the upgrade to the latest release of SCORE Data Architecture Integration to implement the existing models not only platform-neutral but also 100% language-independent. Still existing fragments of native COBOL code have been mapped on features of SCORE Data Architecture Integration and are now generated automatically as well.
IT Applications ready for the Future
With this successfully concluded project HKM has increased the maintainability and flexibility of the existing systems. Furthermore, HKM has now made the prerequisite for several possible subsequent steps:
With SCORE Adaptive Bridges the bridge to JAVA now can be built. Adapters and class libraries can be generated directly from the existing models at the push of a button – without having to modify them. New OO applications (e.g. in JAVA) can thereby use the existing (COBOL) servers as real services like components of their own architecture.
Furthermore, from the existing models which are now not only platform independent but also language independent JAVA servers can be generated as well as COBOL servers – real object-oriented code that corresponds to the full extent of the JAVA standards. A “quantum leap” that would not have been possible without SCORE Data Architecture Integration.
Development tools for the change of the IT applications
HKM regularly evaluates its IT technologies. The generative development tools from Delta Software Technology enable the application development teams to modernize their business-critical systems in an easy and risk-free way.
HKM’s IT thereby has the capabilities they also provide for their steel products: Stable, reliable, adaptable, cost-effective, a key for the business change.
“The generative development tools from Delta Software Technology enable us
to modernise our applications easily and risk-free and to
quickly realize cost-oriented decisions.”
Gerhard Batiajew, CIO, HKM
The leading German steel producer Hüttenwerke Krupp Mannesmann (HKM) produces over 5 million tons of steel every year with more than 3,000 employees. Every eighth ton of the crude steel produced in Germany is manufactured in Duisburg. The range of delivery and services of HKM comprises more than 1,000 different high-quality sorts of steel that even fulfil the strictest quality specifications.
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