How Accenture’s Data Modernizer Tool Accelerates the Modernizing of Legacy and Mainframe Apps to MongoDB
January 21, 2021 | Updated: January 27, 2023
As companies scale their MongoDB estates and apply them to more and more use cases, opportunities for deeper insights arise—but first come issues around data modeling.
It’s one thing to start modeling for a green field application where you have the ability to apply modeling patterns. But it’s a different matter entirely to start from an existing relational estate and take into account multiple data sources and their business requirements in an effort to create the ideal MongoDB data model based on explicit schema (table and relations) as well as implicit schema (access patterns and queries).
Unfortunately, this is a fairly common obstacle. Perhaps an application has been around for a while and documentation hasn’t kept up with changes. Or maybe a company has lost talent and expertise in some areas of a monolithic app. These are just a couple of examples that demonstrate how time consuming and error-prone this effort can be.
MongoDB and Accenture are excited to announce a modernization tool which enables faster MongoDB adoption by accelerating data modeling. As part of its mainframe offload and cloud modernization initiatives, Accenture’s Java-based data modernizer helps companies arrive at a recommended MongoDB document data model more quickly and efficiently. Using this tool results in a faster operational data layer for offloading mainframes and faster implementation of MongoDB Atlas for migrating applications to the cloud while also transforming them. Accenture and MongoDB are long-standing strategic partners, and this investment is another addition to our joint customers’ toolkits.
“This modernizer is the right tool for teams who are focused on changing business requirements as they rethink their applications for the cloud. With on average 50% faster data modeling and 80% data model accuracy straight out of the tool, developers can work on modernizing instead of spending weeks figuring out the right data model to simply meet existing business requirements that have not been explicit.” (Francesco De Cassai)
How it Works
The modernizer analyzes access logs and relational schema from Oracle and DB2 databases, whether they’re powered by mainframes or not. This allows teams to obtain critical insights before kicking off development activities, thereby better informing the process.
Additionally, the modernizer combines the implementation of modeling patterns, development best practices such as document sizing (best, average, worst case), and naming conventions, while also providing confidence levels to predict the accuracy of the model it’s suggested. The tool combines Accenture’s deep expertise and lessons learned from numerous successful projects.
Our customers are investing in a new approach to managing data: Data as a Service & Data Decoupling. This strategic initiative focuses on consolidating and organizing enterprise data in one place, most often on the cloud, and then making it available to serve digital projects across the enterprise. MongoDB Atlas unlocks data from legacy systems to drive new applications and digital systems, without the need to disrupt existing backends as companies modernize and migrate to the cloud. With this tool and MongoDB capabilities, MongoDB and Accenture allow organizations to get the most out of their data.
Find out more about the MongoDB & Accenture partnership here.
How MongoDB’s Technical Services Team Solves Customers’ Complex Problems
I sat down with Blake Deakin , Area Vice President for Technical Services, to get a deeper understanding of the complex and unique customer problems his team solves every day. Here, we explore how the Technical Services team has grown, the challenges they tackle, and what skills make someone successful in this role. Ashley Perez: As the Area Vice President of Technical Services, can you share insight about your team? Blake Deakin: Although our Technical Service team is a global operation, I specifically oversee the Technical Services team for the Americas. This covers the United States, Canada, and our new office in Argentina. Technical Services has been around for more than nine years now. Ultimately, the reason for Technical Services is simple: to give our customers access to “on demand” subject matter expertise to clear blockers and advise on best practices. This makes it easier for customers to fearlessly build important parts of their business on MongoDB, whether it’s a net-new application, feature expansion, or the replatforming of an existing system. We have the flexibility and situational awareness to help our customers rapidly adapt to their changing needs. AP: How quickly has the team grown since you’ve been here, and what’s the culture like? BD: I’ve been here for almost 3 years, during which time the team has basically doubled in size. The people on the team are varied, ranging from those in early stages of their careers to individuals who have worked 20 or 30 years in software in a variety of roles. Some are even former founders of companies — typically CTOs. Our employee retention is unusually high, so there are different tenured Engineers working together, passing along successive knowledge from different “epochs.” Our Engineers continue to grow each other’s skills, building on an extremely strong nucleus of engineering talent. The team is collaborative by necessity. The overall technology landscape is growing in complexity, as is our product portfolio. The result is that there is a vast body of knowledge we need to make available when working with our customers, so accessing the right knowledge within our organization at the right time is critical. Our other defining characteristic is our commitment to technical excellence. When you have customers who are often solving truly novel, world-scale problems, it’s crucial to provide them with the correct answer quickly so they can continue their work unimpeded. The default operating environment of our customers is often one of tight deadlines, high-velocity change, and competing priorities. We seek to help our customers feel confident that MongoDB products are a reliable and indispensable component of their tech stack that helps them adapt and exploit opportunity. COVID-19 obviously has created some unforeseen complexity in terms of how we operate as a team. Interestingly, our team didn’t slow down because of the shift to going fully remote during lockdowns. This situation revealed how well we can work this way even if we’re not face-to-face, at least in the short term. AP: Is it a challenge to keep this consistent team culture despite being scattered across multiple countries? BD: We’re quite lucky in that our core work requires global collaboration. It’s common for a customer issue to “travel around the world,” with engineers across geographies each owning a piece of resolving a customer’s issue. Everyone works together by default and has high expectations of one another, which creates a virtuous cycle that sustains and reinforces how the team operates. Everyone across the globe speaks the same language in terms of how we help make our customers successful. Our team members actually did a fair amount of jet-setting prior to the pandemic to help build a cohesive and collaborative team. We have a significant amount of spiritual adjacency to the Product Development organization and have participated in the engineering offsite over the years, which was an opportunity for the entire Americas team to get together and bond. These events are multiday offsites during which the product roadmap is discussed, there are workshops for acquiring new skills, and there is a lot of opportunity for social interaction. Aside from the offsite, we often hosted regional summits on a specific technology interest that Engineers from our separate teams would travel to. This was especially useful for us to get a handle on up-and-coming technologies, such as Kubernetes. I feel lucky that the team has the initiative and autonomy to do things like this. I think it’s emblematic of how Engineers at MongoDB have the freedom to create and pursue their interests. AP: You mentioned the team deals with a lot of different problems. Can you share some examples? BD: With all the interesting problems we’re constantly faced with, it’s hard to pick. However, during COVID-19, there have been some extremely urgent customer needs we’ve helped address. For example, a video chat app we support basically went to #1 on the European mobile app store charts overnight and ran into a bunch of immediate challenges with lockups and crashing. With the app having gone from 70K concurrent users on average to 1.7 million over the course of a month, that kind of rapid scale put a tremendous amount of pressure on the system, and many technologies simply couldn’t keep up. Even for us, it was a challenge to figure out a non-disruptive approach for scaling up. But this is actually the kind of thing at which we excel: calmly working in high-pressure environments and helping rescue customers from problems they couldn’t predict. Trends such as these are fickle. If this customer had failed the scale-out, its users would have moved on to another platform. Another great example was Sanoma Learning . We actually made a video about it. I won’t spoil the story, but this one was particularly great to share with friends and family. I feel as if a lot of us in tech struggle to explain what exactly we do when talking to the important people in our lives, so stories like this make it real for them. AP: With such a range of customers and problems, what skills are important for team members to have? BD: First and foremost, we need impressive intellectual and experiential horsepower on the team. We’re dealing with applications that have huge numbers of concurrent users, large transactional volumes, and strict latency requirements so users have a responsive experience. To make systems run like that at a global scale, you need people who understand complex problems and who can work comfortably across the tech stack. Not everyone knows everything, but it’s typical for people on the team to bring deep experience in areas such as networking, storage, development patterns, drivers, operating systems, distributed systems, security, and so on. The breadth of knowledge is large, but the operating environment is arguably more difficult; our Engineers often are solving problems in high-stakes situations with time sensitivity and typically reputational or revenue consequences for failure. We need to adopt many different tactics and approaches to drive customer success. We work with everyone, from household name brands to the next big startup, which drives a significant amount of variation in how we engage. Customers often have different goals, expectations, and tolerance for risk. One thing that keeps our job interesting is that although many customers encounter similar issues, those issues rarely present in the same way. A big part of the diagnostic art is figuring out how to come up with a strategy that rules in or rules out causes in the most effective and efficient manner while maintaining trust with the customer that you’re driving their issue to closure quickly and methodically. AP: With the retention of your team being so high, how can someone grow their career at MongoDB? BD: Technical Services provides a ton of career transformation and growth opportunities, whether someone remains with our team for a long tenure (and many do; our average tenure hovers around five years, and a large number of founding members are still with the company) or takes the skills they gain working with us to go on to other things. The type of work we do gives people a crash course in the marketplace’s most important technologies, so our people are extremely well positioned for whatever they decide to do in the future. AP: What skills or tools are team members given to help them transform their careers? BD: We provide everyone in the organization with access to a technical learning platform that includes recorded videos and O’Reilly books. The library is extremely extensive, and it’s one of the preferred ways for people to augment their skills. Our Leadership & Development team also is regularly adding to its overall portfolio of training, which is available on a self-paced learning platform that the learners can manage. The team has an aggressive delivery lifecycle, pushing out lots of valuable foundational learning. Additionally, we build Engineer knowledge by encouraging ongoing cross-training within the team, providing opportunities for people to do “lightning talks” or “deep dives” on topics of interest. We also budget for paid training provided by third parties across several subject areas, from basic professional development to technical skill areas to leadership, as well as stipends to attend technical conferences that offer professional development tracks. AP: MongoDB products help our customers innovate faster, but how does the team innovate internally? BD: We have extremely rapid product delivery lifecycles as a company, so there’s always something new to learn. A crucial part of how we get the job done every day is by developing tools and automations that make diagnosing customer issues easier — everything from visualization tools that help us understand and reason about the vast amount of telemetry we have about our customer environments (which help drive issue identification and resolution) to automated pipelines that produce candidate diagnoses before an Engineer ever looks at the customer’s issue. While it isn’t necessary for everyone on the team to have experience building tools like these, it’s definitely helpful and one of the opportunities we provide our Engineers to keep their development skills sharp. AP: In closing, can you share why someone would be excited to join the Technical Services team? BD: There are two main reasons. One is the opportunity to solve really big, really interesting problems for our customers. All companies are becoming software companies, and there’s a good chance you’ll work on something, see it in the news, and then say, “Hey! I helped make that happen .” For me, that’s one of the most gratifying things about working here. The other is that we’re an organization that celebrates continual skills growth. Everyone is constantly learning, and we have some of the brightest engineering minds working within Technical Services, which means plenty of opportunity for you to learn too. Interested in pursuing a career at MongoDB? We have several open roles on our teams across the globe, and would love for you to build your career with us!
Congratulations to the 2023 APAC Innovation Award Winners
I’m thrilled to announce the nine winners of the 2023 MongoDB APAC Innovation Awards . The MongoDB Innovation Awards honor projects and people who dream big. They celebrate the groundbreaking use of data to build compelling applications and the creativity of professionals expanding the limits of technology with MongoDB. This year, we have broken the awards down regionally to celebrate organizations in APAC, from startups to industry-leading enterprises, across a wide variety of industries, who are delivering big results. We are delighted to announce the winners below: 2023 MongoDB APAC Innovation Award Winners: Positive Impact Open Government Products Open Government Products (OGP) is an in-house team of engineers, designers, and product managers, who is a part of the Singapore Government, and is responsible for building technologies for the public good. OGP used MongoDB’s developer data platform, MongoDB Atlas to create its digital form builder, FormSG. Used by the Singapore government and public healthcare institutions, FormSG securely collects data from residents and businesses and helps public officers to create digital government forms in minutes. It eliminates the use of paper forms and the manual process of transcribing physical documents, which had raised concerns around data privacy and protection. During the pandemic, FormSG enabled public officers to collect more than 100,000 daily temperature declarations nationwide. Today, FormSG has served more than 120,000 public officers from 155 agencies and it has created more than 500,000 digital forms to help the government collect data on travel and health declarations by visitors to the country, applications for COVID-19 swab tests, and applications for financial assistance. Organization Transformation Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is one of Australia’s largest banks, with around 7,000 employees helping more than 2.2 million customers achieve their financial goals. The bank has been on a multi-year journey of transformation using MongoDB's developer data platform to improve efficiency and deliver a better customer experience as they fulfill their vision to become Australia’s bank of choice. Recently, the cloud team launched Ready-Set-MongoDB (or RSM). This event-driven framework allows developers to streamline the consumption of internal or external APIs, and applies data transformations and storage automatically within a MongoDB collection of their choice. Using MongoDB Atlas Search, the bank also enabled developers to gain insights across its multi-cloud deployments, identifying cost savings, and providing inventory information to account owners and technical stakeholders. Within the first 18 months of launching these programmes, the automation had saved the organization more than 1,100 developers days. It also helped reduce human involvement, removed stale data, and allowed engineers to focus on the things that matter. The development of Ready-Set-MongoDB is ongoing and improving, as new Bendigo multi-cloud challenges arise and new MongoDB products are released. The application is a perfect representation of how Bendigo's Technology Department is using modern technology, rapid development, and innovation-led problem solving to drive organizational transformation. Heroes in Health Redcliffe Lifetech Private Limited Over the last few years, Redcliffe Labs has become India's fastest growing technology-driven diagnostics service provider. Redcliffe Labs is on a mission to serve 500 Million Indians by 2030 with fusion of technology and world- class laboratories. The company already serves thousands of people daily, with more than 73 labs and close to 1500 walk-in centers across 180 cities. Redcliffe Labs has relied on MongoDB Atlas’ flexible document model to power its innovative Smart Health Report, a patient resource that provides a number of indicators and trackers to gauge holistic health. The MongoDB developer data platform's best in class security, compliance, and privacy controls allows Redcliffe's team to confidently handle even the most sensitive patient data. MongoDB Atlas takes care of many of the traditional database management challenges, which means that developers can spend their time building diagnostics for patients, rather than managing databases. Redcliffe Labs is focusing on incorporating next-generation technologies in the diagnostics space with an AI platform that will make Interactive Diagnostics reports, Advanced Health Profiling and more detailed Diagnostics and Health Alerts. Industry Disruptor Cathay Pacific Cathay Pacific , Hong Kong’s home carrier operating in more than 60 destinations worldwide, has been on an impressive journey to become one of the very first airlines to create a truly paperless flight deck. Until recently, a flight from Hong Kong to New York would require a crew to review more than 150 pages of finely printed text and charts before their flight and make ongoing updates throughout the trip. In 2019, Cathay Pacific conducted the first zero paper flight, removing 50kg of manuals, charts, maps, and flight briefing paperwork. They achieved this enormous feat with the help of one seamless and highly customized iPad application: Flight Folder. Built on MongoDB Atlas, Flight Folder is designed to improve the pilot briefing experience. MongoDB helped consolidate dozens of different information sources into one place, and made it possible for flight crews to easily share their experiences with others. It also included a digital refueling feature that helps crews become much more efficient with fueling strategies – saving significant flight time and costs. The use of MongoDB Device Sync enables seamless syncing and no data loss even when the app goes on- and offline mid-flight. Since the Flight Folder launch, Cathay Pacific has completed more than 340,000 flights with full digital integration in the flight deck. In addition to the greatly improved flight crew experience, flight times have been reduced, and digital refueling saves eight minutes of ground time on average. All these efficiencies have helped the company avoid the release of 15,000 tons of carbon. From Batch to Real-Time Adani Digital Labs Adani Digital Labs is the India-based digital innovation arm of the larger Adani group. The lab’s team's mission is to create one single platform – a SuperApp called AdaniOne – to empower a billion stories in India. To address several use cases and the huge scale that will be required by the superapp, the Adani Digital team selected MongoDB Atlas as its the main transactional database that will further enhance the application. A key component of the app is how it can bring together disparate data in order to provide a single view of activity across the application. In the first process, developers had taken out the data in batches and sent it to their database However, this was too slow and unpredictable as far as business requirements are concerned. Also, the consolidated view of customer history, orders, inventory, and supply chain network updates was likely to impact their customer's ability to generate revenue. Therefore, in order to find a better solution, Adani Digital Labs built a more modern architecture in line with MongoDB. Using MongoDB's Change Streams and the data platform's native Kafka connector, they created an event-based architecture that pushes the data out in real-time for analysis. Adani Digital Labs is still in the early phases of the SuperApp's rollout and collaborating with MongoDB as its developer data platform continues to help the firm to grow and deliver insights in real time. Industry 4.0 Dongwha Founded in 1948, the Dongwha Group has evolved from a singular focus on the wood and timber industry into a global leader across a number of sectors including building materials, chemicals and media. As part of its wider digital transformation strategy, Dongwha required smarter factories that would improve and optimize their production efficiency. Dongwha built an innovative Smart Factory Software platform that collects and analyzes data to enhance quality and production management capabilities. Originally, the platform was built with the community version of MongoDB. However, in order to scale and adapt, the team recently migrated to MongoDB Atlas in the cloud. This enabled them to store large volumes in the fastest and most secure way, optimize their solution for time series data, and make it easy to run machine learning across their data. Dongwha completed the migration seamlessly, without any disruption or downtime to their factories, and it has now been launched across five different sites. Over the last year, the application has significantly increased its availability and reliability while performance has improved by as much as 6x . As they look to the future, Dongwha plans to roll out the software to more of its international factories. Digital Native myBillBook India is home to more than 60 million small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) but only a small portion of those SMBs are taking advantage of digitization and many still operate using pen and paper. In addition, many businesses in India still struggle with fluctuations in internet services, outages, and latency. FloBiz is on a mission to change that with myBillBook , a one-stop solution that helps SMBs create professional invoices, manage stock, collect payments, automate reminders through smart banking, engage with their customers, manage staff attendance and payroll and generate more than 25 business reports for accounting and decision making. The app is also mobile-first, so businesses can access them from their mobile devices and allows users to manage billing and inventory in both online and offline environments. The myBillbook app is powered by MongoDB Atlas, providing the flexible and scalable foundation for the business to do everything from building new features to performing complex analytical queries. In addition, MongoDB Realm, the mobile database within the data platform, supports offline usage and syncing to ensure there is never data loss or functionality for users due to poor internet connection. Because of its success in supporting customers with business critical operations, more than 6.5 million business owners in India are now using myBillbook for their billing, accounting, collection and business growth. Customer Focused KASIKORN Business-Technology Group Established in 1945, Kasikornbank (KBank) is one of the largest and oldest banks in Thailand. Their mission is to strive towards service excellence and empower every customer’s life and business. One of KBank’s subsidiaries, KASIKORN Business-Technology Group (KBTG) , developed a mobile banking application – MAKE by KBank. MongoDB Atlas’ flexibility and ease of development enabled MAKE’s development team to choose the best type of database for its tasks, to automate data tiering with Atlas Online Archive, and to reduce hours spent on operational maintenance. With more time to focus on delivering new innovations to customers, they created unique features like Cloud Pocket which can allocate funds into unlimited customizable pockets for separate usage. They also built Pop Pay, a feature that allows users to easily search for nearby friends and transfer money by clicking their profile picture as well as “Expense Summary" a spending analysis services that helps inform and manage users’ financial habits. As of January 2023, MAKE has acquired more than 1 million users, and increased the number of transactions in MAKE from 900,000 to more than 7.5 million in a span of one year. Massive Scale China Mobile China Mobile provides mobile voice and multimedia services via its nationwide mobile telecommunications network across mainland China and Hong Kong. It is the world's largest mobile network operator by total number of subscribers. The telecommunications leader is using MongoDB to support one of its largest and most critical push services, which sends out billing details to more than 1 billion users every month. Prior to MongoDB, the tech team relied on Oracle, but as the user numbers increased, performance degraded. Despite large investments, it was still taking too long to do basic requests like finalize and deliver bills to users. In 2019, after comprehensive testing, China Mobile migrated to MongoDB. By taking advantage of MongoDB's native sharding, they were able to improve performance by 80% and go from 50 Oracle machines, to just 12 machines for the same workload. The service now handles all current requirements and is set up to scale with future growth. With the support of MongoDB, China Mobile is growing steadily,with more than 168 million monthly users and has one of the highest customer satisfaction scores in the China Mobile group.