After going through an intensive search process, Putnam Investments has installed a new database management tool by San Ramon, Calif.-based Casahl Technology called Replic-Action 6.0. Thus far, the results Putnam has experienced after only a month of use has made the mutual fund company consider additional Casahl servers to manage disparate databases worldwide. Replic-Action is a server-based solution that enables workgroups, such as Lotus Notes, Netscape Web server,Access/VB/Excel/FoxPro, Oracle, Sybase, and others, to integrate with enterprise applications, such as SAP R/3, PeopleSoft, Oracle, SQL Server and others, says Harry Wong, president and CEO of Casahl.
Putnam is currently using the technology to enable employees to share information from both Oracle and Lotus databases, something that could not be done prior to the installation, says Bob Keith, Lotus Notes developer at Putnam. The firm is considering adding servers so employees can tap other databases throughout the institution, such as DB/2. Additional servers would also enable better load balancing, Keith says.
Putnam has taken on two servers at $10,000 each, which are being used to manage data in London, Tokyo and all over the U.S. The firm will consider taking on the additional servers once the current installation is complete, says Keith. In March Putnam began testing three products; a product by Percussion Software, Lotus Pump software, and Replic-Action. It made its decision to install Replic-Action in June, after finding Percussion and Lotus unsatisfactory.
Keith explains, "We had trouble getting Percussion and Lotus Pump to run consistently and our calls to the vendors were not returned. Both companies didnt care about our project. Casahl bent over backwards for us," he adds. He noted that the price of the three vendors systems was about the same and that was not the main concern. "What was important was functionality, accuracy and consistency," he notes. The most important issue was to accomplish the goal of allowing Putnam employees to tap any database using any application, he adds.
"The technical support and service database reliability of both Percussion and Lotus products were lacking," Keith says. "Casahl's system was stable and had great technical support. It has the ability to hit multiple types of relational databases." Keith notes that Casahl has the largest market share in this space.
Currently Replic-Action is only used internally, but it may be extended to Putnam clients as well. "There are security issues with opening it up to clients that need to be ironed out first," Keith notes. The data being transferred throughout the institution through Casahls technology include market information to help portfolio managers make their investment decisions, credit information and information for technology planning.