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ETS Newsletter - UK, Ireland, Iceland edition

International User Group Conferences

International User Group Conference 2010 Review

By Mhairi Benest, President of the Adabas International User Group
JPMorgan Chase

Mhairi Benest

This year’s event was held in Prague, Czech Republic from 21st-25th June covering the Adabas, Natural and WebMethods user groups. It was very well attended, around 100 people over the three user groups, with people travelling from Brazil, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Australia as well as from Europe.

We were treated to a mixture of Software AG presenters talking about their products and user presenters sharing real life experiences using those products.

The mainframe users amongst us were reassured by the Adabas and Natural presentations from Software AG showing that the mainframe software is still being enhanced and moved forward with monitoring and archiving being hot topics.

Software AG gave us a flavour of where their products are headed - more integration between the new WebMethods and traditional Adabas/Natural products, enhancements to the monitoring software to better monitor user processes end to end, data archiving, data masking, the ability to increase Adabas buffers dynamically, new fields that can be added to a file to automatically timestamp data changes.

NaturalONE was presented to us – again this is around integration of the new with the old and allows for programs to be written for many platforms, mainframe included. Following that there was a user presentation of the first real experiences with it – always good to hear both sides of the story.

Brainstorm, which has since been rolled out as the new Customer Enhancement Portal, was presented to us with much encouragement to use it – Software AG really does want to hear what their customers want.

In the coffee and lunch breaks we were invited to meet directly with the Software AG personnel responsible for product direction and voice our opinions - monitoring was one topic which was high on their agenda. We were able to take part in a personal Q&A session aimed at discovering the challenges faced by our business, what is hard to monitor, what do we need to monitor, what tools do we have in use today.

It is always interesting to talk with the developers and hear how they plan to implement ideas such as dynamic buffers, discuss with them which we think are important and which not so, and to do that with colleagues from other companies and see where our challenges overlap with theirs. This annual conference is always a great opportunity to discuss concerns and ideas directly with Software AG.

There was also an interesting presentation from a UK company who has started an apprenticeship scheme to counteract the looming skills shortage in an ever-ageing mainframe world.

On the social side, the hotel was unusual in that the way to travel from the ground floor where the conference was held to the bedroom floors was by cable car! There was some friendly rivalry between attendees over who would win each football match as the World Cup was in full swing. Wednesday evening found us all in the main square in Prague watching World Cup football on a huge screen – I think Germany won that night…..

It would be great to see more UK representatives at future conferences – it really is a wonderful opportunity to make contacts in other companies who use the same software set and to have access directly to the Software AG developers.

IUGC

To discuss this article or for further information please contact charlie.cotterill@softwareag.co.uk.

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