Marketing agency Winderman Cato Johnson (WCJ) has reached the half-way stage in an ambitious enterprise project to link IBM AS/400 servers to Microsoft Windows NT machines.
WCJ, which provides marketing services for companies such as Ford and American Express, is developing a suite of applications designed to support both the PC environment at departmental level and the AS/400 on a global basis.
The project, called Marketing Warehouse, is being developed to provide an integrated companywide marketing databases, mailing lists and market research and data analysis applications spanning the AS/400 and PC environments.
The database applications have the potential to support up to 10 million customer records.
The project is an important proof of concept as it demonstrates how NT is able to integrate with mid-range AS/400s, a market Microsoft is desperate to penetrate. Marketing Warehouse uses the Synon Obsydian client-server application development environment to target both the AS/400 and NT 4.0 platforms.
Jeremy Leybourne, business systems director at WCJ, said: "For the first time we can swap data between two different environments."
WCJ is using different database servers on the two platforms; DB/2 on the AS/400s and Microsoft's SQL Server 6.5 on NT. However, Leyboune did not rule out the possibility of expanding the use of NT and SQL Server.
"NT has the potential to become a major standard (at WCJ) but we are being realistic and starting at the bottom," he said.
"We are looking at Microsoft Transaction Server, in alliance with Synon, as a potential way of scaling the project on NT," he said.
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