RSA is the largest and fastest growing insurer in the Republic of Ireland – offering a large range of commercial and personal lines of insurance channeled through a network of insurance brokers and partners. RSA Ireland is supported by 850 staff members and delivers insurance solutions to over 800,000 Irish customers.
Primary development architect Michael Nolan of RSA shares his RPG-XML Suite experience below:
Talk about the business need you met with RPG-XML Suite
Michael: We used RPG-XML Suite to facilitate SEPA in Europe. This is a new European wide standardization for automating bank transactions. We use this to handle automatic payments (Direct Debits) for insurance premium payments by installments. The data format used for data interchange is XML. I had never written XML files before and there are significant differences between relational database and flat files. I did a significant amount of research and came to the conclusion that to develop code to both compose and de-compose XML would be a complex task. Existing APIs and JAVA programming was most likely required to accomplish this including many potential additional unknowns. During my research I came across RPG-XML Suite and liked what I saw with the fact that I could write all the code in RPGLE.
What did you think of the product as well as the support from Krengeltech?
Michael: We decided to try the free trial and contacted Krengeltech to support us through implementing a proof of concept. They got us started with some skeleton code for composing (Outbound) and de-composing / parsing (Inbound) XML. Within a matter of days I had adapted the code to work with our own systems and had a working compose/de-compose proof of concept which produced XML Files – validated with the browser and bank. The support and communication I received from Krengeltech for this was second to none. Furthermore I would also say that the design and general concepts of RPG-XML Suite potentially saved months of development time. Having worked on developing soft-coded utilities over the years, I could safely say that, had I the time, this would have been the exact approach I would have taken. The design concept is very impressive.
Did you evaluate alternatives?
Michael: RPG-XML Suite is unique. It is purely aimed at RPGLE developers, with no need for any other programming skills – including a very small learning curve.
Comments in summary
Michael: I would have no hesitation in recommending this product. I currently have this project in user acceptance testing being hammered by a team of 20 testers. It is the biggest and most important project for the company. RPG-XML Suite has been great – no problems or issues. In fact, the proof of concept code has since been easily adaptable for even the most complex conditional XML. It works, and it stays that way. I found the support extremely helpful and responsive to my needs. Not only that, I’m a purist at heart and some of the developments I have seen over the years for client-server applications quite frankly make me weep. RPG-XML Suite is top quality – and I’m not easy to please.
So what’s your XML challenge on IBM i?
Challenge us. We’re out to please!