Guest: Andrea Orth (LinkedIn)
Project: Open Mainframe Project (Twitter)

The Geneva Enterprise Reporting System was originally developed by PricewaterhouseCoopers and later acquired by IBM as a high-level mainframe reporting solution. Under the Open Mainframe Project (OMP), GenevaERS combines that processing capability of the original version and open-source techniques to become a data extraction and transformation engine specifically tuned for high-volume systems.

In this episode of TFiR Mainframe Matters, Swapnil Bhartiya sits down with Andrea Orth, Chair of GenevaERS at OMP, to talk about the status of the project and the community around it.

Key highlights of this video interview:

  • Large companies usually process data in batch mode and their processes are often split into specific periods, e.g., quarterly, year-end, tax time. With GenevaERS, companies can generate multiple analytical outputs in a single pass for enhanced reporting.
  • GenevaERS enables users to keep the data in the state that it is where it is, instead of having to replicate to different platforms and having to keep all that in sync.
  • The project has evolved through the years: those who work on the project came from the mainframe space, but are now utilizing open-source techniques, working on builds, and changing the code base from C++ to more modern languages such as Java.
  • It is difficult to provide data and metrics to show how powerful GenevaERS is because, unlike other platforms, you just can’t go and sign up for a mainframe in the cloud.
  • The project community consists of mostly mainframers from multiple countries, i.e., at some point in their careers, they were users, developers, or have actually built the original commercial version of the product.
  • They are eagerly waiting for the donated mainframe to be turned on and available for use by the Open Mainframe Project. They will then be able to set up demos/proofs of concept that showcase the strength of GenevaERS.
  • GenevaERS already has 20+ years of user documentation, including very detailed reference information. A lot of work has been devoted to taking the previous document format and leveraging Markdown, GitHub pages, and Jekyll to provide them for the open-source community.

This summary was written by Camille Gregory.

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