What is i‑effect®?
The basis for i‑effect® is the IBM platform System i. Older users may still know them as AS/400 or eServer iSeries. IBM was not necessarily reserved when renaming its products in the past. Other current IBM series are pSeries, xSeries or System z. All have in common the typical IBM features: stable architecture, reliability and high availability.
System i works with a proprietary operating system (IBM i for Business) and its own database DB2. At the same time, the operating system and hardware are separated from each other by an insulating layer. This has the advantage that the hardware can be modernized without having to adapt the operating system (which regularly leads to high costs).
The classic purpose of System i is the operation of commercial applications for the management of all typical business processes of a company. The system is characterized by its broad scalability - from small machines with a handful of users to classic mainframe dimensions with thousands of users. Due to the power architecture with 64-bit processors, System i has been standardized in terms of hardware, which is why it is also referred to as IBM Power Systems.
IBM hardware and IBM i as an operating system are the best basis for processing large amounts of data (big data) and intensive workloads. This is where i‑effect® comes in as a communication platform.
Features of i‑effect®
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is gaining in importance in times of digitization, automated processes and networking of systems. It is an anachronism to exchange business documents on paper, although the information contained therein is both electronically generated by the sender and electronically processed by the recipient.
This is where i‑effect® comes in. It is a conversion and communication platform for electronic business transactions on IBM System i and IBM Power Systems, which is used by well-known companies such as Dachser, Erdinger, Abus and many others. They exchange invoices delivery notifications and other business documents digitally with their business partners on a daily basis; suppliers, logisticians, etc. The data is generated in a wide variety of applications. Individually they have to be converted into the file format accepted by the respective counterpart and then sent via various transmission paths. EDI traffic is a complex process.
The menten data integration platform combines all these individual steps centrally in one place. i‑effect® transfers the data from the DB into the desired formats and sends business documents to the various trading partners via the appropriate transmission path. The user does not need a multitude of tools for reception and transmission on different communication channels, but works with i‑effect® as an integrated solution.
The user executes all work steps in the electronic data exchange fully interlocked with i‑effect® on IBM i. It can process business data of the IBM system as well as data from external applications. i‑effect® is therefore not limited to DB2, but works with all common databases via JDBC (mySQL, Oracle etc.) and on other systems.
i‑effect® Webcontrol - A modern browser interface
Long-standing IBM experts have experience with the classic green screen - a graphical user interface that today's generation of users (and also IT specialists!) are no longer accustomed to. That is why menten has created *WEBCONTROL, a graphically tidy web interface that is oriented towards today's standards of usability and intuitive operation.
Thus i‑effect® achieves its actual goal: a cross-platform B2B communication on IBM i, which meets the requirements of a modern business traffic.
Modular design, you specify the application!
Not every IBM user has the same requirements when it comes to electronic data exchange and data integration. Where company A needs a platform for EDI conversion, company B is only looking for a solution for EDI communication. Then again, a third company wants to control its business processes and the entire EDI workflow on the IBM i.
Therefore, i‑effect® has a modular structure that cover function modules for EDI conversion, EDI communication, automation, signature and encryption as well as compression. A modular system that can be put together by anyone according to individual operational requirements.
The basic functions for all additional modules are delivered with i‑effect® as standard: the free graphical administration interface (Webcontrol) for a complete overview of all processes in i‑effect®, a central master data administration as well as tools for monitoring, diagnosis and status information.
Conversion, Communication, Encryption
The EDI converter modules convert data from the in-house system (e. g. ERP) into a standardized data format (e.g. CSV, XML, EDIFACT, X.12, FLATFILE) or write incoming data from this format into interfaces (e. g. DB2 databases). If no conversion is required, one of the many EDI communication modules can be used exclusively for the transport of EDI messages. i‑effect® supports all common transmission protocols (e. g. OFTP2, AS2, E-Mail, FTP). Which protocol is used depends on the company, its partners and the respective industry standards.
With the i‑effect® *SERVER module, companies can automate their entire or selected functional processes in the communication platform - time-controlled or according to defined IBM Power-Systems events.
Signature and encryption tools secure the highest possible transmission and information security of electronic business processes. The module portfolio is completed by various extensions for upgrading the processes, for example a *ZIP module for native compression of data on IBM i.
Our customers are IBM Power Systems users and range from small- and medium-sized companies to large-scale enterprises. For many years, menten has been their established partner when it comes to the organization of central processes in the company with external help. Since neither IBM i nor the communication platform i‑effect® is linked to a specific industry sector, the users come from a wide variety of industries: Building material trade, chemical industry, financial services, wholesale trade, household goods, high-tech & electronics, logistics, mechanical engineering, media, furniture industry, fashion & textiles, food industry, tourism, packaging industry, insurance and supply industry. These include well-known companies such as Abus, Canon, Brigdestone, Dachser Intelligent Logistics, Erdinger Weissbräu, Gabor, ING Diba, Sanyo, Societe General and many more.