Gladstone Conversion Package (GCP)

The Gladstone Conversion Package is our flagship software product and covers the gamut of capabilities needed for data analysis and conversion projects. Our methodology and software has evolved through 30 years of incremental development and has been the conversion methodology of choice by several of the largest corporations in the United States. IBM is a major client of the software and utilizes it to perform major data analysis and migration projects for their clients worldwide. The thoroughness of the Gladstone package has allowed IBM to bid and perform “fixed price” conversions.

The conversion package brings automation to the tasks of data analysis and validation, data source to target mapping, actual conversion, and post conversion verification and documentation. It generates custom conversion programs on site by using the client’s old and new file descriptions. The programs are modular in design and can be modified easily to suit specific needs. The repetitive programming tasks are automated, guaranteeing a much less costly conversion, as well as one that has a much higher quality of data, than is possible by conventional methods.

The Gladstone conversion begins with a Data Integrity assessment of the client’s data. The actual file definitions are used to generate a formatted display examining the contents of each field. Any abnormalities or data exceptions are readily detected and designated for correction in the next phase, which is Data Mapping. Business analysts enter data mapping specifications utilizing an easy-to-use PC data mapping program to specify the data moves from the source system to the target system. programmers convert the specifications to code to handle the more complex mappings. The actual set of programs to be used in the conversion is dynamically built from these specifications.

In addition to the actual conversion processing, the rest of the GCP suite is utilized to produce tests and auditing reports to monitor the data as it passes from the old source to the new target system. The hard copy reports document the entire conversion leaving an “audit trail” of each field as it is moved.

GCP operates in mainstream environments and is independent of any specific database management system or file format. The only three run-time requirements are a COBOL compiler, a text editor, and a sort utility. The software is written in COBOL and operates on IBM and IBM-compatible platforms. The use of COBOL facilitates the data mapping process by making the move specifications more intuitive to business analysts and auditors.

GCP is usable beyond the conversion project. The different file display and analysis functions can be used at any time to examine and validate the actual contents of files and databases. Auditors particularly appreciate the on-going capabilities of this portion of GCP. The test data generator capabilities also are very useful on many different projects.