Case Study:

Jail-breaking a legacy system - Mainland Fasteners

Mainland Fasteners, an independent South Island distributor of fastening supplies, had a problem - it's old legacy accounting system couldn't talk to the Internet and their website.

This is a common problem facing large numbers of companies who are reliant upon older information systems for the day to day operation of their business. These systems are tightly interwoven into business processes and represent a significant investment in data, often accumulated over a decade or more. Migrating to a more modern system is a major project and for some businesses it is just not economic to undertake.

Typically these legacy information systems predate the World Wide Web and therefore lack any integrated inter-operability with a customer base that is increasingly found online.

One solution to this problem is to export data from the legacy system making it available online via the company website, however a simple “dump” of the database can comprise a huge quantity of information making frequent updates time consuming and largely impractical.

The solution supplied by Gumboot involved the development of a “smart sync” software bridge. The bridge updates only the information that needs to be updated. In addition the bridge permits the Mainland Fasteners website to present the product range in a more traditional hierarchical manner than the “flat” structure used by the accounting system.

The resulting solution has allowed Mainland Fasteners to present a modern online face to their operation, while continuing to use their legacy but strategically important accounting system.

Duration of engagement – ongoing

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