Software Modernization Success Stories
General Manager, Application Development Group, BMW FS
“We knew that taking our business critical systems through such a huge transformation would be challenging. We needed an approach that not only minimized cost and ensured quality but would insulate our business from disruption.”
“We built new architecture frameworks as a part of the project, and the Promula translation tools were an essential part of our strategy. These tools, tuned by Promula to our specifications, have given us the planning flexibility we needed to incorporate the migration into our release process.”
“To this point, we have migrated about 50% of our portfolio, with few of our business users even knowing we were doing it. We are on schedule and on budget to complete the migration by March 2008.”
Development Manager, ADP Desking
“Thanks to Mark and his team from Great Migrations, our migration project is off to a flying start. His team’s initial migrations were more than I expected. Our over 200,000 lines of asp code have been translated and compile. Without the help of his team, this project would not have been possible for us.”
Leo Mirkin, Manager, Languages & Tools, Sky Computers, Inc
Sky Computers, Inc.
27 Industrial Ave.
Chelmsford, MA 01824-3618
“Sky Computers, Inc. has long experience with the Promula FORTRAN to C Translator. We selected Promula to become part of our language tools in 1990 and haven’t had a reason to regret it.”
“Sky Computers is in the business of making high-performance floating point computer systems, usually front-ended by a popular workstation (Sun, SGI, RS/6000, DEC AXP, Pentium) used to provide non-critical operating system support. Our goal is to provide very cost-effective, fast, transparent and scalable solution to customers with large data sets and continuous massive data acquisition requirements.”
“Promula is an integral part of our vectorizing and parallelizing development environment, being first stage of our FORTRAN compiler/cross-compiler, ff860. Different versions of MetaWare’s popular HighC compiler are used for the second stage on different platforms.”
“Our criteria for selection were:
- support for FORTRAN-77 standard, verified by the GSA F77 test suite,
- support for popular VMS, Cray and Sun extensions to F77 standard,
- generation of good quality C-code, compatible with variety of C-compilers found on UNIX workstations, and not inhibiting advanced optimization techniques used by our compilers, including vectorization,
- tool flexibility and configurability,
- quality of technical support from Promula Corp. and receptivity to new ideas.”
“Initially, we spent 2 weeks with Fred Goodman of Promula Corp. finding optimal configuration options to support the above goals and making some custom additions. After that, we put promulaFortran under source code control and maintained it with some minimal help from Promula Corp. Our customers had used promulaFortran as ff860 in development of many applications in simulation, signal processing and control. We have used it internally to compile and run SPECFP-92 benchmarks and many benchmarks provided by our customers.”
“In all these activities we have not encountered any problems with Promula, but often problems with user’s algorithm or design. In general, it was my observation, that application’s reliability depends solely on the algorithm design and implementation and on the computer system used to run it. Once a programmer has compiled and verified his/her application, it stays the same. At the same time, it is very simple to introduce potential problems with faulty design, especially using extensions to F77 like dynamic memory allocation via MALLOC/FREE without proper testing and handling of the error conditions. Even more insidious problems can be introduced in the multiprocessing applications design, especially with uncontrolled sharing of variables and parameters.”
Ralph Erdmann, PMLA, Bonneville Power Administration
Rate Analysis Department
Bonneville Power Administration
905 NE 11th Ave.
Portland, OR 97232
“We have used the Promula Application Development System and the Promula FORTRAN Translator to port the BPA Rate Analysis Model (RAM) from an IBM mainframe to the desktop on a PC running under OS/2. RAM was a large-scale, data intensive model that consisted of about 200 spreadsheet modules, written in a mainframe financial modeling language called IMPACT, and about 30 engineering program modules, written in FORTRAN. These modules were once integrated into a mainframe-based system with a control procedure, written in the arcane IBM Job Control Language (JCL). Promula now gives us a single, integrated, friendly environment in which we can do our rate making on the desktop, quickly, and cost-effectively.”
“Promula is really robust and I loved working with it. Promula certainly helped us port RAM to the desktop – without any loss of functionality or performance compared to its mainframe predecessor. Also, with Promula, we were able to use all of the IMPACT source code that we had developed on the mainframe over a period of years – without having to rewrite even a single line of it.”
Jeff Amlin, President, Systematic Solutions, Inc
Systematic Solutions, Inc.
1519 Heatherwood Trail
Xenia, Ohio 45385
“The Promula software has been the cornerstone of my simulation modeling for nearly 20 years. I have not found the capabilities, ease of use, or reliability of Promula in any other software package.”
“I was introduced to Promula in 1979 (it was then called NUCLEUS) and used it for my electric load forecasting models for nearly three years. When I took a new job in 1981, I experimented with several languages, but decided that they did not compare with Promula. In 1985 when I founded Systematic Solutions it was as easy decision to use Promula. The database management, report generation, simulation, and interface programming capabilities were superior to anything on the market. The ability to define variables using the Promula set definitions has made programming in Promula easy and even fun for me. As the company president I do not get to program as much as I used to, but when I do I am glad I can use Promula.”
T. Ross Reeve, Research Consultant, State of Utah
State of Utah
Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget
116 State Capitol
Salt Like City, Utah 84114
“The last twenty-five of my thirty-five years experience with computers has been devoted to modeling and other analytical applications in both the public and private sectors. Private sector applications include estimation, quality control, and large scale corporate forecast modeling. Public sector applications include estimation, evaluation, and interdependent, demographic and economic, regional forecasting models. For the most part, these applications are intended for planning/decision purposes and involve large programming requirements and massive data management problems.”
“Over the years, we have tested and evaluated numerous software packages for both PC and mainframe. Promula is the only software package we have evaluated which meets both our programming and data management requirements. We attribute this to Promula’s view of data as variables with multiple dimensions as opposed to the view that data is values with multiple attributes, or to the view that data is related two dimensional entities.”
“Our experience in developing models, producing forecasts, and distributing the results in various formats is that at least seventy percent of staff time is devoted to data handling and manipulation. We estimate that Promula’s data management system reduces staff time spent on data related tasks by more than fifty percent. If interfaces with spreadsheet and other database formats are developed, we anticipate further significant reductions in data management costs.”
George Backus, Dr. Engr., Sandia National Laboratories
Computation, Computers, Information and Mathematics Center
Sandia National Laboratories
P.O. Box 5800-0370
Albuquerque, NM 87185-0196
“I have worked with Promula and many other simulation languages/platforms for nearly two decades and have found Promula to be the only tool that can make my large-scale, large database simulations manageable, let alone doable. Promula is the application development tool of choice for all of my modeling and simulation work. All these efforts focus on critical planning and policy analyses for which the results must be accurate, defensible, and timely. Some Promula-based, analytical efforts include:
- Edison, Southern Company Services, the State of Maine, British Columbia Gas, Central Maine Power, Western Resources, Wisconsin Power and Light, State of Illinois, State of Vermont, State of New Hampshire, New England Governors’ Conference (all the New England states), Tucson Electric Power, and the State of Hawaii.
- Energy planning for the Government of Canada, Province of Saskatchewan, State of Vermont, State of Massachusetts, the Baltic States Estonia, Latvia, and, Lithuania, as well as Poland and Bulgaria.
- Environmental planning/legislation for the State of Minnesota, the Government of Canada and the European Union countries (via the European Commission).
- Macroeconomic forecasting/planning for the OECD countries and Brazil.
- Government-sponsored electric utility deregulation analysis in the UK, Canada and the US, as well as additional company sponsored proprietary analyses in the US.
- Manufacturing and technology analysis for US auto-manufacturers and consumer-product companies.
- Sophisticated sensitivity and confidence analysis tools for corporate and government sponsors.”
“I spent the last year in Cambridge, UK developing macroeconomic, energy, and environmental models for the European Union countries. A world-wide search of suitable software for the project, found Promula to be over 100 times better in performance, capability, and manageability than the next nearest alternative. If I can use an evolutionary/paleontological analogy, Promula is easily 500 million years ahead of the primitive competition.”
Bruce Urbschat, Principal Scientist, NEPLAN
NEPLAN: New England Power Planning
One Sullivan Road
P. O. Box 1310
Holyoke, MA 01041-1310
“Over the past ten years, we have been using Promula here at NEPLAN as our primary applications development tool for developing applications in energy forecasting for the six New England states and in other related data management and data analysis areas, such as load research. Promula is an ideal development tool for data intensive applications requiring very large, n-dimensional numeric data arrays. For us, it works better than SAS on a VAX server and better than spreadsheets on the PC for our multi-dimensional modeling applications. In Promula, for example, the hourly generation data for all power stations in New England by station, hour, day, month and year for the past four years (about 110 Megabytes of data) is simply represented as a single five-dimensional variable. The display of this variable is done with a single command and its retrieval is nearly instantaneous; plus, we can do arithmetic with it using familiar, high-level matrix notation.”
Don Bourcier, Manager, Economic & Load Forecasting, NEPLAN
NEPLAN: New England Power Planning
One Sullivan Road
P.O. Box 1310
Holyoke, MA 01041-1310
“Since the early 1980’s, the Economic and Load Forecasting section at NEPLAN has utilized Promula in both a VAX and PC environment for constructing and performing analyses of socio-economic, weather, energy consumption, and other types of databases. During this time, analysts, statisticians, economists and engineers have used this tool to write, maintain and use large and complex modeling systems and, of equal importance, explore and present data contained in those systems in a meaningful and expedient way. Today, the several Promula users on staff, (1) organize data with Promula’s database management facility, (2) write programs/models in Promula source code, (3) import and export data from other applications (e.g. FORTRAN, spreadsheets), and (4) develop and use interactive programs that allow searching, selecting and sorting across databases. Finally, in the words of a daily user of Promula< “Its multi-dimensional variables, implicit operation across pre-selected dimensions, built-in functions, and data access techniques make writing powerful and straight-forward code possible.”
John Davulis, Manager, Economic & Load Forecasting, CMPC
Central Maine Power Co.
83 Edison Drive
Augusta, ME 04336
(206)623-3521, ext. 2248
“We use Promula as both a database manager and a programming language. As a result, we’ve been able to successfully run very large applications on our PCs and manipulate massive databases with relative ease.”
“I would recommend Promula to anyone who wants to manage large databases especially where one needs to use the information to develop business applications.”