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Mainframe to Gentran NT migration - Any tips?

Mainframe to Gentran NT migration - Any tips?

Mainframe to Gentran NT migration - Any tips?

If i have to migrate from Mainframe to Gentran NT for all my current EDI transactions, What are the things that i need? how to go about it?
Any tips will be useful.
I have not worked on mainframes. But i have been working in EDI on NT (gentran) since 3 years.


RE: Mainframe to Gentran NT migration - Any tips?

   I assume you are talking about a GENTRAN system on the mainframe. I went through this process during 1999. Without any specifications for the mainframe maps being available it was, quite simply, a question of hard work. I printed off the maps, the user exit programs and also, the flat file formats from the mainframe.
   I used these printouts to try to understand exactly what each map was doing and then created the required maps on GENTRAN for NT. You will probably need to have access to view the mainframe system maps online as it is not always easy to understand what is happening from the printouts.
   I also spent a lot of time parallel running the production data through GENTRAN for NT and comparing the results against the mainframe output. I found a lot of mistakes on the mainframe side so I had to get a cobol programmer to write some code to ignore certain known errors when comparing the two output files where the NT map was correct and the mainframe was wrong.
   It took a lot of time but we ended up with much cleaner data translation. Also, using GENTRAN NT extended rules allowed me to do everything that the user exit programs did. Due to the extent of the testing the GENTRAN NT system went live without a single problem.    

   Good luck if you do have to take on this task.



RE: Mainframe to Gentran NT migration - Any tips?

Thanks for the detaild message. I worked in gentran before two years and kind of forgot how the tool works since i moved in to using Mercator. Can you suggest me if somewhere on the net, i could find tutorial type of thing for this. i want to refresh my gentran knowledge and i kind of totally 'washed out' in that area right now.


RE: Mainframe to Gentran NT migration - Any tips?

Sorry! I've never found anything vaguely useful on the net in terms of teaching aids for GENTRAN NT. The online help is OK and the mapping tool (Application Integration) is quite intuitive and with your Mercator experience you should be able to get up to speed fairly quickly. As for the rest of it Mailboxes, Partners etc. you should be able to get enough information from the manuals / online help. You could also try a Sterling Commerce course. It is expensive but it would be a good way of getting back into it quickly.

Sorry I can't be of more help.


RE: Mainframe to Gentran NT migration - Any tips?

Does anybody know of a Mainframe Gentran Mapper either presently residing in the beautiful metro Detroit area or who might want to relo to the area?  This is a solid Direct-hire position.  If so, please contact me at:


RE: Mainframe to Gentran NT migration - Any tips?

I am in the process of starting a migration from Gentran mainframe to Gentran NT server.  Current plan is to have a Sterling consultant arrive on site to plan, install, map and test.

Our in house staff wants to gain experience in the installation of Gentran NT as well as configuartion.  The question is: How difficult is it to install the base Gentran NT server product and configure for our environment?  We have about 2 weeks prior to the consultants arrival and considering on installing the base product.  The consultant would be used primarily to support customization, mapping and testing.  Is this a good move?  I would appreciate to know your thoughts on the level of difficulty on installing the Gentran NT server product (using the provided installation manuals.)


ps. We have network, database and PC specialists in house

RE: Mainframe to Gentran NT migration - Any tips?


There are no conversion tools to help with the migration from mainframe GENTRAN to the NT version (that I'm aware of).  I agree with hcalder in that it will be a labor-intensive task of taking each map & recreating and testing it in NT.  

If you have the luxury of time in your schedule, I would recommend implementing any new EDI requests (new partners) on the NT platform first to minimize disruption with live partners.  Once you have the first one implemented, you will have gained not only experience, but will also have laid the foundation for converting existing partners -- you will have resolved communications, and perhaps mapped some of the same transactions already.

After working with Harbinger, Gentran (400 & NT) and Mercator, I believe that Sterling's tech. support is far superior to the others.  If you can't get the necessary training, call them for help - they know their stuff!

K. Hood

RE: Mainframe to Gentran NT migration - Any tips?


I have been working 2 years as Gentran NT engineer for Sterling Commerce, giving technical support for customers.

Sterling recommends to hire a consultant for the initial installation and training. It will take around 2 to 3 hours to install (with SQl.. a bit more and after several problems with Oracle).
Anyway I think it is a good value for money to get someone for the initial setup + training + system tunig (auto Archiving, housekeeping, communication).

The Getting Started card explains in a good step-by-step way how to install the product but your plan is a good one.

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