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July 15, 1997


Era may supply tools for IBM Y2K factory

Era Software Systems Private Limited of Hyderabad, on behalf of its parent company Seec Inc of the US, is in talks with Tata-IBM Limited for supplying its Y2K solution tools to the Big Blue's factory in India.

IBM and its associate companies (of which India-based Tata-IBM is one) started setting up Y2K factories in various parts of the world where a wealth of talent keeps working on Y2K solutions.

Era Vice-President R Ramanan said his company had been negotiating with Tata-IBM on issues such as the kind of tools that Era could supply to the latter, training the Tata-IBM staff on those tools and the support to be given by Era on behalf of Seec Inc.

"Seec and IBM, early in June, signed a Y2K technology transfer tieup under which Seec would license its Y2K solution tool set to IBM Global Services Division. Hence, IBM could use Seec's COBOL Analyst 2000 and Smart Change 2000 products in any of its worldwide 'Transformation 2000' factories, excluding those in the Eastern Europe, Japan and Pakistan. Era is representing Seec to supply the latter's Y2K solution to Tata-IBM, which has a Transformation 2000 factory in India," Ramanan said.

Stating that IBM, after an extensive software evaluation process, placed Seec's Y2K tools in its factory sites located in Endicott, New York, Chicago, San Jose, California, and Charlotte, North Carolina, he said Tata-IBM would pay on a per-line-of-code basis, with pricing dependent on whether the tools were used for finding the Y2K bug or fixing it, or for the entire Y2K conversion process.

"Seec is one of the few automated procedural fix people in the market. The percentage of automation is very high and the percentage of code that is actually modified is very low. The process is open, auditable and repeatable, and is rated very high," Ramanan said.

Explaining the "Smart Change 2000" conversion tool which forced IBM to tie up with Seec, he said: "The actual conversion involves implementing the plan and rolling out the modified systems.

"Using Seec's Smart Change Factory process, conversion becomes a well-defined, assembly-line process. This process is PC/LAN based and only requires mainframe resources during system testing. Automation enhances the productivity of this phase and quality assurance is made as per customer's standards. The company's methodology for source modification leverages Seec's knowledge of commonly-used date rules. The date analysis is used to help choose an appropriate scheme for Y2K modification.

The source modification is a highly automated process using Smart Change 2000, where standard date usage is replaced with compliant code based on rules developed by Seec. In instances where expert intervention is needed, the tools prompt the user. The modified source is checked for syntax and the changes are verified before proceeding with testing. Unit testing may be accomplished using a PC/COBOL workbench and Seec's COBOL Analyst 2000's logic analysis feature."

Smart Change 2000 leverages the knowledge base of commonly used date rules to identify the items and statements affected by Y2K bug, and uses an expert system to select the appropriate rule to be applied. The tool modifies the affected date-related code, replacing it with Y2K compliant code, thus cutting time and cost for detecting and making the date changes, he added.

- Compiled from the Indian media

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