One of the largest independent software vendors in the World is on a path to rapidly reinvent itself after it was acquired by a global technology leader with category-leading semiconductor and infrastructure software solutions. The company has transformed itself from a provider of anti-virus and internet security software to a B2B(Business to Business) software provider. Its product portfolio now consists of Software for Agile development, DevOps, and security solutions for a variety of environments from mainframes and distributed computing to cloud computing and mobile devices. With a growing portfolio of 200 software products, this company provides software that a majority of Fortune 500 organizations, government organizations, educational institutions, and thousands of organizations around the world use to run, monitor and manage their IT operations. The company leadership identified that scalable and reliable reporting and dashboarding features on their software applications are key to the success of their end customer organizations. After a review of their product strategy, the leadership decided to convert their reporting suite from the legacy SAP crystal reports solution to Jaspersoft for the following reasons –
• Ease of integration and embedding with a variety of modern and futuristic platforms and data sources
• Pluggable advanced visualization options with significantly higher data virtualization
• Scalable and lightweight architecture for enhanced performance with features like multi-dimension and in-memory analytics
• Lower TCO(Total cost of ownership) as licensing costs do not escalate in proportion to the user base
• Flexible deployment options – on-prem, Cloud/SaaS(Software as a Service) based or on-docker
The company leadership chose DataTerrain to drive this project based on the following –
• DataTerrain’s track record of successful large-scale transitions from Crystal Reports to Jaspersoft
• DataTerrain’s proprietary automation led methodology
• DataTerrain’s SME(subject matter expert) pool with decades of collective experience in executing complex transition projects and training customer IT teams on best practices
DataTerrain’s proprietary, automation-led Zero-disruption transition methodology
DataTerrain’s project execution methodology is based on a zero-defect approach with an emphasis on zero business disruptions and ensuring that there are no unexpected outcomes. DataTerrain SMEs adopted a phased approach to executing this project and the major steps are outlined below –
1.) AS-IS analysis and mapping – The legacy repository of crystal reports was analyzed using DataTerrain’s automated tool to obtain details on individual reports like –
a. The number of reports, where they are embedded, user permissions
b. Models, expressions, filters, SQLs, graphics, tables, variables, and other contents
c. Gaps/potential issues in current reports
This information was used to detect potential transition issues, provide improvement suggestions and recommend changes to better use the features of Jaspersoft. During this phase, user pain points were also recorded and their wish lists for changes were understood. These were reviewed with key stakeholders and a prioritized set of actions to be taken during transition were signed-off. This was used to create a detailed project plan for automated transition was created which also listed areas requiring manual intervention to address specific user needs. The project plan emphasized customer stakeholder involvement at all key milestones starting from the project kick-off. This detailed project plan was also signed-off by key stakeholders and calendars were blocked in advance to secure the availability of critical customer associates.
2.) Automated transition and validation using DataTerrain’s transition tool – DataTerrain’s automated tool was configured to the specifics of the customer’s environment. In addition, it was also set up to enable automated customization of the key components like resource bundles, style templates, HTML5 Chart properties, input controls, and image mapping to the Jasper server using configuration files, given the unique needs of the customer. Localization needs for reports were addressed during this setup phase, in addition to creating common components and styles across reports for such repeated patterns as generic page headers and footers. For every major documented type of report scenario, an individual report was first converted using the automated utility to identify and address any issues early in the process. Following this, the remaining reports were converted in phased batches and tested using the automation utility to validate both data and the formats.
3.) Acceptance and Rollout – The converted scripts were validated by key stakeholders and promoted for inclusion in subsequent product releases. Due to their involvement at every major step throughout the previous phases, there were no major surprises for customer associates during this phase.
The DataTerrain Difference
The customer highlighted the following as unique and value-adding contributions made by DataTerrain –
1.) Value Adds and Best Practices – DataTerrain saved time due to its automated utility and used it to make report improvements that customer stakeholders prioritized. Besides, DataTerrain established Jaspersoft report development and embedding best practices including –
a. Maximizing the use of out-of-the-box features of Jaspersoft
b. Reusing optimized and ANSI SQLs
c. Creating and reusing common resources in the repository for components like input controls and images to minimize the effort
d. Creating generic report templates containing headers, footers, company logo, styles, and other items to minimize effort and improve consistency
e. Establishing a versioning control system for JRXML files, other source code, and components
f. Following all established Jaspersoft guidelines for reports and dashboards development
2.) Deep Technical skills – DataTerrain team had experts in both the source and target environments to effectively bridge any gaps and proactively address transition issues.
3.) Acceleration through global delivery model – DataTerrain resources were deployed across their global delivery centers and project activities continued to be executed round the clock to accelerate the transition.
DataTerrain seamlessly converted the customer’s reports from SAP crystal reports to Jaspersoft on-time and within budget. The best practices instituted by DataTerrain have created a robust reporting and dashboard implementation in the customer’s software products and each of them a future-ready industry leader for the digital inflection point ahead.