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Clarke Transport Migrates to jBASE

Leading UK Transportation Company Moves to jBASE.

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Release Date: Friday, October 20, 2017

At the heart of Clarke Transport's UK business is a powerful transportation management system written in Pick basic. Leveraging the power of the MultiValue data model, the company based in Birmingham, has continually modified and enhanced its application over the course of 30 years. The result is a feature rich application with a modern interface. However, after hiring a series of new developers, Clarke Transport decided to embrace jBASE for its native Windows capabilities, which makes it easier for programmers without MultiValue knowledge to master.

Tell me about Clarke Transport. What is it that you do?

Jason: Clarke Transport is regional provider of delivery, warehousing, and transportation solutions. We specialize in transporting hazardous freight, such as chemicals and paint. We're a family-run organization, founded in 1933 as the first direct road service between the industrial Midlands and Scotland. We employ over 500 people across seven sites in the UK.

How do you use jBASE today?

Gareth: jBASE is absolutely at the core of everything we do at Clarke. Our transport management system pretty much runs our entire business. All our jobs, consignments, routing, scanning, and invoicing is handled through that system, which now runs on jBASE. We also have external websites that connect to jBASE so our customers can enter jobs themselves. Without our transport management system, we wouldn't have a business.

Why did you choose to move to jBASE?

Jason: Clarke had been running our transport management system on Pick for 30 years—way before our time. But we were looking for a solution that was on the leading edge, something that would allow us to be more forward-looking with our development.
We were also having lots of stability issues with our Pick system. We were experiencing crashes every other month, which for a system as critical as ours, was not acceptable. Our trucks are operating 24-hours a day, so even a minor disruption to our systems can be a significant disruption to the business. Customers aren't going to want to use your service if they can't rely on you. You can't run a business like that, especially when you're trying to grow in the industry.

What has your experience been using or since moving to jBASE?

Gareth: The biggest benefits with Zumasys and jBASE are stability and flexibility. The MultiValue community is very small, particularly in the UK. One of the key advantages of Zumasys is that we can leverage its large support team without having to go through a middleman to diagnose issues. Zumasys provides the 24-hour, globally available coverage we need to compete in our industry. With Zumasys, we can phone in and speak directly to someone who can help us solve our problem immediately.

Jason: We've completely gotten rid of the stability and crashing problems we had before. With jBASE we also get the full benefits of virtualization, including real disaster recovery. Before, we were backing up from a physical AIX server to tape at a remote location. Our jBASE solution now runs on Windows Server using Hyper-V virtualization. jBASE automatically replicates data to our remote site, so in the event of a failure, we can just spin up the virtual server on the other side and away we go.

How does jBASE RESTful services help you recruit development talent?

Gareth: Our Pick developers were starting to reach retirement age, and we were having trouble finding new programmers. With jBASE, we can attract the next generation of developers because they can come in and use jBASE natively using RESTful services. We can hire a web developer who doesn't know anything about MultiValue, and as long as we can give them the interfaces to talk to, they can create a website that talks to jBASE. jBASE gives us the ability to talk to modern technology using RESTful services and various other connecting modules within jBASE. This dramatically increases our throughput and speeds up development time. Now we can do a lot more web integration that, while possible to do with our older version of Pick, was a lot slower and more expensive.

For example, our order-booking website that talks to our MultiValue database was previously very difficult to develop. Now with jBASE and RESTful API services, web developers can easily make changes and enhancements. They can spend less time trying to navigate the system and more time creating fast, responsive websites, which is what our customers want. Development goes a lot faster and is a whole lot more affordable.

 

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About Zumasys, Inc

Zumasys helps companies of every size transition their infrastructure and applications to the cloud. With Zumasys cloud services, customers can easily access the latest software and hardware technologies over the Web, allowing them to focus on growing their core business instead of managing their IT infrastructures. Zumasys delivers personalized service, integrated disaster recovery and the confidence companies need to outsource the hosting of all their databases including SQL, Oracle and Pick MultiValue systems.

In 2014, Zumasys acquired a string of MultiValue software technologies including:

  • AccuTerm - The leading Windows/Mobile connectivity solution for the Pick Market with more than 16,000 customers worldwide. Pete Schellenbach is now Zumasys' Director of Product Development.
  • MultiValue Dashboard - Originally developed by The Nerdery and re-launched in 2014, MultiValue Dashboard allows you to quickly and easily build web-based dashboards using traditional Pick programming methods.
  • OpenQM - Zumasys announced an Exclusive Worldwide Distribution and domestic support/maintenance arrangement for OpenQM, a cost-effective, efficient, high-performance database to run Pick applications.
  • jBASE - Zumasys acquired jBASE database from Temenos, based in Geneva Switzerland. Its contemporary architecture allows Pick-based applications to natively interact with the underlying Windows or Unix operating system, and store data in SQL Server, Oracle and the cloud.

For more information, visit http:/​/​www.zumasys.com

About jBASE

What is jBASE?

jBASE is a database and a set of programs and libraries that allows normal MultiValue (MV) applications to become native Windows, Unix or Linux programs. All of the traditional MV features are supported, including BASIC, Proc, Paragraph, Query and Dictionaries (Pick and Prime style).

What are the benefits of jBASE?

Because existing MV apps are converted to native executables and shared objects, they run fast and take advantage of the latest compiler optimizations available for Windows, Unix and Linux platforms.

Flexible licensing models support cost-effective application deployment for traditional character-based applications and include models suited for efficient deployment of web and graphical-based applications.

A key differentiator is that jBASE architecture tends to make sense to technical hires who may not have prior MV experience. jBASE organizes itself much like other mainstream applications, with full support for pathing and threading. Because it is native, business objects created in jBASE, even those based on legacy code, can be wrapped with other languages. jBASE is a platform that respects the investments made in custom-built legacy apps while allowing non-MV programmers to build next-generation applications using the latest design tools and methods.

jBASE also has one of the lowest support and maintenance costs among enterprise-level MV databases.

Who actually controls jBASE?

In 2015, Zumasys purchased the jBASE intellectual property and development from Temenos, as well as jBASE sales and support from MPower1. Zumasys now controls and markets jBASE internationally with full time developers located in England and North America. jBASE interested us not just because of its worldwide install-base of loyal customers but also because it is a technology that will utilize the Zumasys Cloud to help those customers move to a SaaS business model. We can serve up MV applications running on a multi-tenanted database architecture with unrivaled price and performance and include unique features such as browser-based access.

What does the future hold for jBASE?

Being a native architecture, the future for jBASE is bright. Advancements in technology outside of jBASE tend to benefit jBASE simply because it has a native architecture. This leaves our engineers with time to focus on internal feature and functions and leave other work such as performance tuning and connectivity to vendors of operating systems.

Developers can continue to develop using traditional MV languages and data or choose to develop in new languages. They can choose whether data should be stored in traditional high-performance MV files or in virtually any other database, such as SQL Server, Oracle, DB2 or modern object data stores and noSQL databases.

For more information, visit http:/​/​www.jbase.com/​

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