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ALPHA Insurance:

Data Integration Project

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ALPHA Insurance is one of the largest privately owned insurance companies in Greece. It belongs to a group of companies co-owned by ALPHA Bank, the largest private banking and financing company in Greece. The ALPHA Insurance Co. was founded from the merger of the Hellenic-Britanic and Commercial Insurance companies.

A common problem with mergers is the coexistence of heterogeneous database applications and the need to set up data integration/replication procedures. In the case of ALPHA Insurance, the coexisting systems comprised of a HP-UX/SYBASE system and an OS400/DB2 system. The requirements were evolving and complex. At first, it was essential for the IT people to be able to simultaneously and transparently view data from both database systems from a single point of view i.e. a windows system acting as an Database Integration Server.

DataBlue utilized IBM Websphere Information Integrator to provide a database middleware featuring a single logical database, a common SQL dialect and a distributed query optimizer taking advantage of unique database statistics and read/write capability to the operational database systems involved. As a new insurance application system (based on SAP/OS400) was purchased to handle new business requirements, new challenges arose. The parallel run of the new and old applications for a considerable amount of time posed a similar if not heavier challenge to the IT people and DataBlue.

For the new requirement, DataBlue utilized IBM Propagator Relational (DPropR) for OS400, a technology qualifying for asynchronous, transactional replication. Again DataBlue was actively involved in the implementation of several typical replication scenarios and the knowledge transfer which was required by the IT people in order to support such an ongoing process. The result was a system where all of its heterogeneous components operated with synchronized data, providing a common and consistent view of all operations to the Insurance staff.