Case Study

Quest Central® for DB2 Provides a Single Solution for AgriBank’s Database Needs
AgriBank, FCB is the wholesale lender and provider of business services for Farm Credit Services. Owned by its farmer members, AgriBank is made up of approximately 17 co-operative midwestern banks and does not offer checking or savings accounts. Their primary function is mortgage, operating and machinery. In terms of systems, data access and Application Interfaces (APIs) are most important, as many of the separate banks under the AgriBank umbrella have their own IS shops. AgriBank has a single loan servicing system and a single general ledger system that all of the co-op banks use. Therefore, they needed a solution that provided the ability to effectively test stored procedures related to the development of data access APIs, consolidate variable solutions into one, and help increase productivity.

Overview
“We didn’t bother looking at any other solutions after we saw Quest Central for DB2. The stored procedure testing has made a dramatic improvement on our process. It provided everything we needed in one package, and I was looking for something that was a little easier for my developers to use.” - Paul Runquist, Development Manager, AgriBank, FCB

The Challenge
AgriBank is a relatively small shop that supports a large DB2 data warehouse. There are various applications that utilize their data access APIs, ranging from Java and .Net, to CICS and ASP. AgriBank’s database environment had limitations and was unable to handle a multitude of result sets. Paul Runquist, development manager, AgriBank, FCB explained, “Frankly, we were pushed with how to test stored procedures in the DB2 environment. You can certainly write a COBOL program, but that really doesn’t test how a stored procedure is going to be used. You’re not really testing a remote application accessing a stored procedure through an ODBC call with a COBOL program.” Runquist continued, “For the first couple of years, we struggled with using MS Access—basically just building a call string and calling that stored procedure. However, MS Access is very limited and it can’t handle multiple result sets. As time went on, that became more and more of an issue for us because most of our stored procedures are multiple result sets, and that made testing a challenge.”

Headquarters
St. Paul, Minnesota

Services
Wholesale lender and provider of business services for Farm Credit Services

Critical Needs
A z/OS DB2 solution that could effectively test stored procedures that relate to the development of data access APIs, consolidate variable solutions into one and increase productivity

The Quest Solution
While attending a tech conference, Runquist stopped by the Quest booth and found a solution that he couldn’t turn down—Quest Central® for DB2. The decision was easy, and Runquist was impressed by several things: the solution provided the ability to test stored procedures, it offered everything he needed in just one package, and the GUI interface was superior to an outdated green screen. “We didn’t bother looking at any other solutions after we saw Quest Central for DB2. The stored procedure testing has made a dramatic improvement on our process. It provided everything we needed in one package, and I was looking for something that was a little easier for my developers to use. Also, we are in the new millennium here—and having a GUI interface is a lot better than a green screen. Plus, the price fit our needs,” Runquist commented.

Solution
Quest Central for DB2 (Database Administration and SQL Tuning components)

Results
• Consolidated several solutions into one • Increased productivity • Automated stored procedure testing to replace manual processes • Provided a user-friendly GUI interface instead of a green screen • Handled multiple result sets

The Bottom Line
While often considered a database administration solution, Quest Central for DB2 served as the best solution for AgriBank’s application development needs as the solution could consolidate variable solutions into one. Quest’s intuitive interface provided AgriBank’s development team and business analysts with a tool that simplified and automated the data retrieval and required testing, which in turn, increased efficiency and productivity. “The Quest solution did what we expected it to do—the product was accurately represented. I would have no problem recommending Quest Central to anyone in a similar environment, as far as doing heavy development work in DB2,” Runquist stated.

About AgriBank, FCB
AgriBank, FCB is the wholesale lender and provider of business services for Farm Credit Services. AgriBank was formed in 1992 through the merger of the former Farm Credit Banks of St. Louis and St. Paul. In 1994, AgriBank was expanded through a merger with the Farm Credit Bank of Louisville. AgriBank expanded again in 2003 through a merger with AgAmerica Farm Credit Bank. The Seventh District Farm Credit Services Associations own AgriBank. AgriBank has over $35 billion in assets and over $2 billion in equity.

About Quest Software, Inc.
Quest Software, Inc. delivers innovative products that help organizations get more performance and productivity from their applications, databases and Windows infrastructure. Through a deep expertise in IT operations and a continued focus on what works best, Quest helps more than 18,000 customers worldwide meet higher expectations for enterprise IT. Quest Software can be found in offices around the globe and at www.quest.com

Quest Software Incorporated • 5 Polaris Way, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656 • www.quest.com • e-mail: info@quest.com © 2006 Quest Software Incorporated. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA

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