Business Application System Explained
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What it is, is a Business Application System. Made up of hundreds to thousands of Components (Programs, Copybooks, Datastores, Jobs, Procs, Displays) all performing their individual tasks, yet inter-related to perform a particular function.
All deeply encrypted in a given computer. But finding these components requires specific knowledge of an organization’s environmental technical infrastructure. Without which “newbies”/contractors are lost.
And to make things more challenging, one Component can be identified by many different names. All of which are unknown until someone does an in-depth technical analysis to paste these pieces together.
Datastores (Files, Tables, Databases and Queues) can house millions of Data Elements – each element also with differing names. This too is unknown and must be figured out.
If Databases are used, what they contain and how they are configured must also be known. Typically requiring the assistance of a DBA. Who in turn must also perform technical analysis in order to figure this out.
Tying all this together is no small task. Especially when different Technologies (Program Languages, CICS, DB2, IMS, Batch JCL, ADW, Telon) are also in play.
And why does one have to tie all this together? Most importantly to identify Interfaces.
If one App is altered/modified and it passes information to another App, that other App may cease to function unless it also is changed. And then the second App’s interfaces must also be known, and on and on. Keeping in mind that just one division in a larger organization can have thousands of Apps.
In complete App Replacements, all of the App’s interfaces are replaced with Interface Bridges (mini systems) built to keep the information flowing to the existing interfacing Apps. But if you don’t know about them, the results could be catastrophic. As evidenced by the number of companies that have gone out of business due to “system conversion” problems.
Bottom line: Before doing anything, one must have in-depth knowledge of what already exists. But manually obtaining that knowledge is problematic, since it requires specialized, in-house experienced, multi-skilled technicians…and a lot of time.

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