Case Study
Minnesota's Ramsey County selects MitemView for Criminal Justice project requiring Bull and IBM mainframe integration
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Case Study
Swiss Life selects MitemView for Call Center project requiring integration with Bull mainframe and four other systems
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Bull was founded in 1930 by Fredrik Rosen Bull who developed patents for punched card machines. By 1950 it had become the second largest punched card manufacturer in Europe, behind IBM. Bull quickly started competing against IBM and UNIVAC in the high-end market with its Gamma 60 product, before it was purchased by General Electric in 1964. In 1970 General Electric pulled out of this market and sold off its computer division to Honeywell. The company was then known as Compagnie Honeywell-Bull (CHB), which later merged with Industrielle pour l'Informatique to become CII-HB. It wasn’t until 1982 when the company became nationalized that the company returned to its roots and became Groupe Bull, although maintaining close relations with Honeywell and trading as Honeywell-Bull in North America. Bull purchased the U.S. microcomputer company Zenith in 1989 to penetrate the burgeoning UNIX market. In 1996 Bull was finally floated on the stock exchange as a public company.

The first general purpose mainframe systems to come out of the Bull company were the GCOS-based systems running the GE-COS operating system and developed by GE for Honeywell computers. The latest version being GCOS 8.

Some legacy platforms and systems from Bull’s long history include:

  • Gamma 150, 3, 100, 200, 10 , 60, 30 , 140
  • SEA Systems
  • CAE Systems – RW300, RW 530, CAE510
  • Iris 50 and 80 Family
  • Unidata
  • GE-100, 200, 400
  • Datanet 30, 355
  • Honeywell H400/800, H-316/516, H200/2000
  • GE-600, Level 66
  • GCOS 64 and GCOS 7
  • GCOS 62 and GCOS 4
  • DPS9000

Integrating Bull-based Applications

Bull computer systems are most commonly found in Europe and the DPS 9000 mainframe server is among the most powerful in the world. As with many mainframe applications they are developed to run through a character-based interface which often makes them hard to integrate with other applications and new systems.

The applications residing on Bull mainframes (especially those that are more legacy) would have been written to support specific terminal types, and the transport of information to and from those terminals and the Bull mainframe would utilize what is referred to today as a terminal data stream. This terminal data stream is the only ubiquitous, non-invasive application interface provided by a legacy application. MitemView utilizes this data stream as the interface for real-time communication. The data streams most commonly used on Bull mainframes fall under the BULL VIP 7700 family of terminals.

This means that applications which run on Bull legacy systems can now be integrated, non-invasively and in real-time, with new applications, whether they are composite applications, packaged or web-based.

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