SoftLanding Manages Change to Client/Server

SoftLanding Systems has been a fixture in the green-screen software change management marketplace for years. With the introduction of a new client/server host license feature for its flagship TurnOver Change Management project management suite, the Peterborough, N.H.-based software vendor hopes to provide AS/400 shops with the convenience of client/server project development within the context of the AS/400’s legendary stability and reliability.

“The client/server host license feature is additional functionality that has been built-in to [TurnOver Change Management] to enable client/server development management,” says Paul Schlieben, president of SoftLanding Systems. “We use COOL:Plex [from Sterling Software Inc.] to develop our client/server application, and it generates both the client and server functions of the software.”

As part of its new client/server host license feature set, TurnOver Change Management includes client/server licenses for one Project Management seat, one Helpdesk seat and ten Helpdesk Lite seats.

Accordingly, TurnOver Change Management’s Client/Server Project Management module includes expected features such as the ability to track projects or specify customizable escalation queues, but also incorporates a new Internet e-mail function with support for document linking and automated time tracking.

TurnOver Change Management’s Client/Server Helpdesk feature allows helpdesk personnel to log calls and review requester history. Client/Server Helpdesk users can also enter and track requests, run reports on a variety of topics, and automatically notify a task requester when a specified task is either assigned or completed.

Client/Server Helpdesk Lite is a streamlined version of the Client/Server Helpdesk module that is designed to let end users directly enter and track their own requests.

The release of the client/server host license feature marks a significant transition for SoftLanding Systems and TurnOver Change Management, according to Schlieben. In the past, TurnOver Change Management included only green-screen helpdesk and project management features. “The Internet e-mail support and document linking features alone open up tremendous potential for improved communications regarding change projects,” Schlieben contends.

The advanced e-mail notification functions enabled by its new client/server host license serve to further augment TurnOver Change Management’s already significant project and change management capabilities, says Kim Keegan, a systems and programming manager with direct marketer Seton Name Plate (Branford, Conn.).

“A couple of things that we utilize now to a great extent are the e-mail capabilities, so that a project can provide automated status updates by e-mail to project managers,” Keegan explains. “And there’s also a way to set up escalation models for different projects, so that you can set it up where it can send out an e-mail to the appropriate project manager [in the event of an escalation procedure].”

In the final analysis, says Schlieben, TurnOver Change Management provides AS/400 shops with the greatest benefit of all: it can facilitate the development of client/server applications that, because they run on the AS/400, are more stable than comparative PC- or Windows NT-based systems.