NSC Group | Barlow House, 4 Minshull Street, Manchester, UK, M1 3DZ

The Challenge

Northampton Borough Council has 45 councillors for 33 wards and is responsible for holding huge amounts of data.

When the council was in the process of upgrading its core VME production systems to modern Windows Server-based solutions, it became apparent that the cost and effort required to move historical data to the new systems would be prohibitive. The council was faced with the choice of continuing to finance its VME infrastructure or to archive it and lose direct access.

The council needed to find a way to cost-effectively retire its VME mainframe within the upgrade timeline but without losing direct access to the data or compromising the ROI of the upgrade.

The Solution

Old platform
  • IDMSX
  • Flat files
  • Text-based inteface
New platform
  • Any Windows, Unix or Linux host
  • Migration of all the data to SQL Server while preserving the entity relationships
  • Implementation of DataNovata Premium to provide a user-friendly HTML interface

The Project

  • 7 applications were identified as candidates for the DataNovata process: Council Tax, Housing & Council Tax Benefits, Orders & Payments, Payroll & Personnel, Public Authority Ledger, Housing Repairs and Housing Rentals.
  • The applications lacked documentation and source code was not available. However, all that was required from the council at the start of the project was access to the data and the user requirements (a list of screens that users needed to be reproduced in the DataNovata solution).
  • The NSC Migration Toolset migrated all the data to SQL Server.
  • Once on SQL Server, a DataNovata application was automatically generated.
  • Screens from the old applications were reproduced using the DataNovata Toolkit.

The Result

  • 6 months from project commencement to delivery
  • On premise, data centre and cloud hosting options now all available if required
  • Secure access to the data from any device
  • Future compliance assured
  • Cost savings realised when the council decommissioned the mainframe
  • DataNovata played an integral part in the council’s upgrade programme

“The DataNovata Applications not only replicate the original applications’ enquiries, but do so with a considerably improved & more intuitive user interface. As a result, the user and legal requirements for data archiving have all been met.”

Garry Steng, IT Infrastructure Manager