StoreCompany is used in this book to demonstrate issues of security, performance, and system management. StoreCompany is the larger of the two example companies, being a Fortune 1000 company.
StoreCompany demonstrates different possibilities for using Linux on the mainframe:
StoreCompany, an upmarket department store chain with 85 stores, has been in business for decades, mostly in large cities in the eastern United States. Its IT organization has been very progressive over the years moving from just back-office and support functions to actively managing sales and inventory in real-time. It also has moved into business-to-business type transactions with its key suppliers. StoreCompany deploys the following:
At the end of 2001, StoreCompany decided to expand into making its store items (basically its inventory database) available online to shoppers. As the very first Linux on the mainframe project, a firewall server and a proxy server were created as Linux images. See B.4, "Project 1: Firewall and proxy server."
By extending their use of WebSphere Application Server (WAS) and WebSphere Commerce Suite (WCS), StoreCompany next was able to quickly create a Web store using a few Linux images for the Web front-end part, and leveraging all the CICS, DB2, and VSAM databases on the z/OS side for the critical parts of the new order confirmation and fulfillment system. See B.5, "Project 2: Web application server."
Project 1 and Project 2 are examples of back-end integration.
Given how successful Projects 1 and 2 have been and how quickly they went from pilot to production, it was decided to give the marketing organization an opportunity to explore new opportunities. Any new opportunity would have to isolate the IT-required changes within a small number of Linux images with no changes to the normal production applications on z/OS.
The new business opportunity is to enter the specialized gift category, leveraging the StoreCompany brand name. A new catalog store will be created within the existing online store. It will be called One-of-a-Kind (OaK) and will offer items in the $300 to $10,000 price range from artists specializing in paintings, sculpture (stone and wood), and jewelry. While the items (with full color photos) will appear in the online catalog, StoreCompany will not actually stock the items. Instead, when an item is purchased, the order is electronically routed to the artist for scheduling and shipping. Customer billing is handled by StoreCompany. To the StoreCompany customer, it looks and feels like an order from StoreCompany, including StoreCompany's customer satisfaction guarantee. See B.6, "Project 3: OaK project."