This showcase was originally published in our customer magazine, the LANSA Review Issue 23, 2001.
We all depend on government agencies to provide us with urban and economic development, schools, libraries, public transportation, defense systems, law and order, clean water, environmental protection, social security, tax collection and many other services. Many government agencies around the world use LANSA to manage information and provide online self-service solutions for internal staff and the public.
Examples of LANSA users in the government sector include state banks, courts, national assemblies, city councils, school districts, urban communities and agencies in the area of workers compensation, defense, education, correctional services, child welfare, state retirement, utility providers, human resource management, training and many more.
The solutions showcased below are not the typical sales, distribution and manufacturing systems that we usually present. But what they do have in common with the more commercial solutions is LANSA's robustness and productivity in very demanding environments, often with high peak volumes and visibility.
The State Universities Retirement Systems of Illinois (SURS) provides benefit services to over 145,000 members from over 70 employers, including state universities, colleges and state agencies in Illinois. SURS uses LANSA to provide online Web access to authorized employer organizations as well as individual members. The Web solution integrates with SURS' legacy system built in Synon.
Employers use the site to provide SURS with real-time reporting of demographic changes, certification of new hires, terminations, and so on. Member participants use the site to directly access their contribution and account information, as well as information contained in their annual Benefits Summary Statement. Members can also estimate their future benefits and update the information SURS staff needs to process benefit claims.
Doug Steele, Manager of Application Development SURS, says, "The Web creates better efficiencies for information exchange and ultimately helps to provide a more rapid turnaround time and increased accuracy in the calculation and payment of member benefits."
"LANSA was very easy to transition to and easy to integrate with our huge investment in Synon logic. I am extremely pleased with how quickly things have progressed and how robust the solution is in our demanding environment."
The Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago is America's largest consolidated court system. The Office of the Chief Judge employs more than 2,300 people, serves over 400 judges and handles 2.4 million cases a year. The court's Juvenile Enterprise Management System (JEMS) is developed with LANSA. JEMS is an integrated justice information system which ties law enforcement to six county agencies with responsibility for juvenile justice and child protection in one application.
"Our current development tools allow us to build sophisticated applications in our existing environment and they give us the flexibility to move to new environments without reinventing the wheel" says Michael McGowan, MIS Director at Cook County Circuit Court.
The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia Subsistence (DSCP) negotiates product pricing with prime vendors that supply all Department of Defense (DOD) Food Service operations around the world. DSCP required the ability to track the manufacturers' product rebates through the vendors' invoicing systems.
LANSA partner Eastec Software Systems created a portal Web site for over 120 manufacturers, 60 prime vendors and hundreds of DOD installations, to share information about pricing, new products and contact addresses. The site also provides sales statistics.
Prime vendors sell approximately $750 million through to the DSCP with product rebates estimated to be $12 million. The Portal Web site helps to ensure that DSCP attains the full product rebates that they have earned.
Dennis Killeen of Eastec Software Systems, says, "Since the DSCP information is deemed confidential and the system availability designated as high, IBM iSeries was selected as the preferred platform. LANSA was chosen to deliver the entire Web portal in a very short period of time."
The Department of Corrections of Missouri is a public safety agency with the responsibility of administering the sentences set by the court in ways that promote the longest lasting public safety at the lowest cost to taxpayers. In June 2001, there were more than 28,000 adult felons confined in Missouri's 22 correctional facilities. The department uses several LANSA solutions.
One of these is a Visual LANSA developed secure online banking application that is available on touch screens at different kiosks around the facility. Inmates used to line up outside an office to get their banking information. This drain on the department's resources has now been addressed by the self-service solution.
A Point-of-Sale solution allows offenders to purchase tobacco, snacks and other items based on their account balance and any rules that may limit their spending or selection. The solution includes a barcode scanner and a touch screen monitor. All information is retrieved and updated in real-time on the department's iSeries.
Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), an initiative of the Ministry of Education in Canada, offers a multilingual Web site http://osap.gov.on.ca where a LANSA for the Web application allows students to apply online for loans and grants and check the status of their application. Students had been anticipating the site for a while and nearly 1,000 OSAP applications were processed on its first day of going live.
In 2003, LANSA was selected as a Vendor of Record (VOR) by the Ontario Provincial Government for Information Technology Services VOR arrangement SA-2988. The VOR agreement with the Ontario Government allows LANSA to provide professional IT services in areas such as infrastructure, application development, Web, portal and systems integration projects.
Only a select list of services organizations are chosen as Vendor of Record. VOR status is a "mandatory use" arrangement for Ontario Government Ministries' initiatives of $500,000 or less. This means that government agencies are not supposed to contract with firms directly who are not a Vendor of Record without going through a request for proposal (RFP) process.
LANSA will enable the Ontario Government to facilitate the quality management of IT service, improve efficiency, increase effectiveness, lower costs and leverage existing infrastructure.
Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (WHSCC) serves over 14,000 employers and approximately 12,000 injured workers in the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador. WHSCC is an employer-funded no fault insurance system that promotes safe and healthy workplaces, provides return-to-work programs and fair compensation to injured workers and their dependants.
LANSA was selected as the Commission's primary environment for all application development projects. The implementation of an Assessment Services system facilitates employer registration, auditing and collections. Other solutions include an Employee Expense system that interfaces with JD Edwards and soon a system for the Prevention Services area of the business.
Merv Andrews, Director of Information Systems, says, "Rather than having to maintain staff with various skill sets, LANSA allows our developers to maintain expertise in one skill set. We can then deploy the applications in iSeries, Windows or Web environments using the same source code."
The Children's Aid Society of Toronto (CAST) is the largest child welfare organization in North America. CAST provides out-of-home care for children and develops child abuse and neglect prevention programs. CAST serves over 9,000 families and 24,000 children annually. Funded by the Canadian government, CAST has an annual budget of $100 million and operates with 700 staff and 600 volunteers.
CAST used Visual LANSA for its case management system. More than 45 percent of the calls that CAST gets are for families and children that they already had contact with before. Easy instant access to case information and 24-hour availability is crucial and sometimes literally a matter of life-and-death.
Samuel Lee, Director Information Services at CAST, says, "To take development down from an estimated eight months in Visual Basic to three months in Visual LANSA is a dramatic increase in productivity. But that was not the only benefit we achieved. The Visual LANSA applications are also a lot faster and more stable to deploy."
The Bank of Jamaica was established under the Bank of Jamaica Act. The mission of the Bank of Jamaica includes formulation and implementation of monetary and regulatory policies to safeguard the value of the domestic currency and to ensure the soundness and development of Jamaica's financial system. Being the central bank, the Bank of Jamaica issues and redeems notes and coins, administers the external reserves of Jamaica and acts as banker to the Government and the commercial banking community.
The Bank of Jamaica uses LANSA for several of its systems including its employee leave administration system and its Loan Collateral System which tracks the various types of collateral used as security for loans. LANSA codes are also embedded in other proprietary systems used by the bank, including the Currency Management System which is used to manage the issue and redemption of the bank's currency stock.
"LANSA has proven to be an excellent addition to the range of programming tools available to the Bank of Jamaica," says Livingston Morrison, Senior Director Finance and Technology Division. "It allows us to utilize the wealth of information stored in our legacy systems, in a Windows environment for improved operating efficiency in the relevant areas."
Energie Bedrijven Suriname (EBS) is the state Electricity and Gas company of Suriname in South America. In 1995, when the Y2K problem started to emerge, EBS decided it was time to replace all their application systems.
Jacques Noel, Director of Information Technology at EBS, says, "We thought that rewriting such a huge system was beyond our capabilities, having only two system analysts at the time. We searched the market for a packaged solution, but candidate offerings were priced starting from about half a million dollars. I told our General Manager to give me the reel instead of the fish, and that we could do the job ourselves with LANSA."
"We redeveloped all our core applications with LANSA and a team of six people in less than five years. These systems include Customer Information (over 150 files and 320 programs), Financial, Logistical, Salary/HR, Technical, Healthcare, Gas Plant Information and Maintenance systems."
Ernst & Young, who audited the department, stated that the majority of the end-users at EBS experienced the new systems as being user-friendly when compared to the old ones.
The Suriname Waterworks company had their system requirements analyzed and chose EBS' Customer Information System.
The Departament de Sistemes d'Informacio (DSI) Govern d'Andorra is responsible for providing and planning data processing projects for all government services, not only for government ministries, but also for town hall and other public organizations. DSI Govern d'Andorra's IT team of 34 people manages 20 IBM iSeries and 50 Windows 2000 servers and services 1000 PC users. DSI Govern d'Andorra uses LANSA for all its critical applications, including finance, customs, economy, education and elections.
Since 1992, DSI Govern d'Andorra has based its development strategy around LANSA tools. This initial choice was based on both the strength of LANSA's Repository-based development environment and its multiple platform deployment capabilities. Starting with LANSA for iSeries, DSI Govern d'Andorra has expanded its use of LANSA to include LANSA Open, Visual LANSA and LANSA for the Web to develop easy to deploy Intranet and Extranet solutions.
Today, the majority of the strategic activities of the Andorra government ministries are supported by solutions developed with LANSA. Including applications for the ministry of finance, customs authorities, ministry for the economy, education, industry services of industry and others. DSI Govern d'Andorra recently used Visual LANSA and LANSA for the Web to manage the vote counting of Andorra's elections and to publish election results on the Web.
"LANSA tools make our life as developers much easier. Our productivity has increased considerably and the reliability in production of applications developed with LANSA for the iSeries, and now Visual LANSA, is not in any doubt. We have been very happy with the results of our Web project as well," says Miquel Haro, one of the development managers of DSI Govern d'Andorra.
The National Assembly for Wales develops and implements policies which reflect the particular needs of the people of Wales. Wales is part of the UK and has approximately 3 million people. The annual budget is about 10 billion pounds.
The Finance Department of the Assembly has implemented several LANSA Web solutions to an Intranet with over 3,000 users. These include strategic solutions for analyzing budget and operational information, and internal office solutions for claiming travel and subsistence expenses. Currently the Finance Division is exploring a LANSA XML interface between its central finance system and sub systems throughout the Assembly.
Alan Strange, IT Director Corporate Services, says, "We have over 3,000 users on our Intranet and most of them use at least some of our applications. We are the first department to offer a Web interface to live transactions. We wouldn't take on these type of projects if we had to do them in RPG or Java, but with LANSA and an IT team of only three we can deliver Web, XML and 5250 solutions."
Over four million domestic households and thousands of industrial users are serviced by a group of Dutch water supply and sewerage management companies in the Netherlands. The group uses information services from Gentronics PinkRoccade, who used LANSA to build a Customer Information System (CIS) that covers water supply, billing, sewerage management and industrial waste levies.
Henri ten Broeke, IT Manager at Gentronics PinkRoccade, explains, "The CIS project is very large and complex. Its implementation environment is quite demanding as well, with over 50 million transactions per year, 10 million printed mail documents per year and more than 3,000 terminals and PCs connected. From the very few tools that met the productivity, openness and performance criteria, we chose LANSA."
Communauté Urbaine de Dunkerque (CUD) is an urban community association in France. CUD's scope includes housing development, economic development, schools, water purification, and so on. CUD has an annual budget of more than 1 billion Francs (Euro 152 Million), which is funded by taxes, grants and other state payments. CUD has developed all its systems, iSeries, Windows and Web, with LANSA. These systems include management of public transportation, road works, building permits, libraries, postal management, traffic incidents and many more. Several of these LANSA systems integrate with Software Geocity on a SUN system for graphical database elements.
CUD's financial management systems are enhanced with Visual LANSA to provide easy navigation and better integration with Windows utilities. CUD's LANSA-based Web site offers a diary of community events with multiple search criteria, a for-sale-&-wanted site, local sports results and details of small clubs and associations.
20 percent of Belgium's local governments and city councils are supported by Remmicom, a LANSA partner, that specializes in turnkey solutions for city councils, local governments and police zones. Remmicom's solution includes modules for accounting, local tax processing, population registration, immigrant registration, issue of drivers licenses, registration of who owns what land and building applications and permits.
Luc Jacobs, responsible for Remmicom's Financial Solutions, says, "LANSA and iSeries have helped us over the years to create reliable and secure solutions for our customers. We are now looking to Web extend some of our solution with LANSA."
Over one hundred town and city councils in Belgium use software from WGH Informatique S.A., a LANSA partner with operations in Belgium and Luxembourg. WGH's software includes AGGLO/400 for civil administration and CPAS/2000 for welfare centers. "One of our biggest challenges is complying with ever changing local legislation and laws. To meet these mandatory legal requirements we need an efficient development and maintenance environment," says Pierre Walczak, founder and General Manager of WGH.
"With LANSA we can efficiently meet mandatory requirements, so we have more time for ‘nice-to-have' enhancements."
The Royal Australian Navy has given staff at Navy, Army and Air Force bases across Australia secure Intranet access to fleet information. This LANSA for the Web extension replaces a cumbersome paper system. Inquiries that took up to 15 minutes can now be done in just a few seconds. Many times a day, in many locations, the new LANSA system saves time.
"We wanted to provide a real-time and user-friendly way to access the fleet information system from defense bases around the country. We did not have time to develop a new application and we did not want to replicate our iSeries data to another machine," explains Lieutenant Glenn Farrant, responsible for the Maritime Command Shore Information System. "We wanted a solution that could directly use the existing fleet database on our iSeries. We needed that solution very quickly and that is why we chose LANSA."
Today, people around the world want to bank, insure, trade, invest and shop online, at any time of the day or night, by browser and Wireless devices. The same trends mean many government agencies use LANSA to extend or replace traditional paper solutions with browser-based solutions for internal staff, mobile staff, branches, agents, and to give self-service facilities to the public.