Momentum Offers Service to Make Managing AS/400 Queries Easy

Momentum Utilities' (Sydney) release of Query/400 Audit provides the AS/400 market with a simple solution to clean and rationalize the proliferation of Query/400 queries. The service analyzes AS/400 query usage and empowers IS managers with the information and tools necessary to quickly eliminate problem areas.

The information comes in the form of a detailed report, which tells an AS/400 user how many queries have been created, who owns them, where they are stored, how often new queries are developed, and which queries are run most often. The tools enable a user to execute batch query removals and library rationalization.

Yet, while the service is garnering positive feedback from users and industry experts, there is some uncertainty as to the importance of managing AS/400 queries.

Organizing queries has traditionally ranked low on an IS department's list of "things to do." The reason is twofold: 1) Query accumulation, in most cases, has little-to-no effect on AS/400 performance; and 2) manually cleaning and rationalizing query libraries doesn't yield enough value to justify the amount of man hours it requires.

"We were acting more on a gut feel rather than any pressure from our client base," says Alan Catherall, international marketing manager for Momentum, speaking on the thought process behind the development of Query/400 Audit. "Our surveys show that 50 percent [of AS/400 IS managers] show some sort of concern. The rest sort of shrug their shoulders -- 'ahh, we just live with it.'"

According to Catherall, however, the convenience Query/400 Audit offers an IS manager transforms the task of query management from fruitless to worthwhile. He says the service streamlines the process down from as much as six weeks to as little as a couple of days. And by eliminating much of the burden placed on an IS department, Momentum is hopeful Query/400 Audit will prove attractive to those shops that have neglected to maintain their libraries.

MIDRANGE Systems Data Management columnist, John Bussert, while unsure of the ramifications growing query libraries have on an AS/400, says that for a $749 price tag, Query/400 Audit is "probably worth it." Doug Ponder, IT manager for Volvo Construction Equipment, confirms Bussert's opinion, saying "oh yes, it's definitely worth the money."

Ponder is using Query/400 Audit in preparation for an upgrade of Volvo's AS/400s to MAPICS XA 6.0 ERP software. He explains that since the new version of MAPICS is expected to drastically reduce the number of queries Volvo will use on its AS/400s, a need to eliminate and rationalize libraries has arisen. Were Query/400 Audit not available, Ponder says he would have attempted to create an analysis application on his own. "It really is a time-saver in that sense," says Ponder of Query/400 Audit. "Most of the up-front work is done for you. Now it's just a matter of analysis."

One problem Ponder has had with the service, however, is that the reports don't identify which queries generate out files. So, each query being considered for elimination must be manually checked. Momentum's Catherall admits the service -- which is in its initial release -- has yet to be perfected, but assures such issues will be addressed as they become apparent.

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