PERI GmbH develops, manufactures and supplies formwork and scaffolding systems for construction projects worldwide. Innovative, high-quality systems with numerous patents have made the family-owned company PERI one of the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of formwork and scaffolding since its founding in 1969. With a turnover of more than 1.3 billion Euros, around 8,400 employees worldwide now work for the company’s success.
However, innovative product ideas are just part of the equation for a market leader: to beat out the competition, engaged, sustainable service with secure quality standards is critical, as well as a dedication to transparency and timely information for business decisions.
Informix Data for Modern Business
To meet its commitment to timely, accurate decision-making, PERI first introduced a business information system at the departmental level with extensive reporting capabilities and flexible output management. Data is acquired from the self-developed ERP system “PSD.” This system is in worldwide use at PERI and uses 45 Informix databases to store data separately by country. Using a combination of SAP BusinessObjects systems, InfoView and the proprietary PDM data management system, PERI provides important reports and a web portal (myPERI) for customer access.
During the first stage, data collection was accelerated from the ERP system’s numerous country-specific databases into the Informix Data Warehouse (DWH). In addition, the previously used Linux scripts, with their hours-long update processing of the DWH and their high load on all systems, were replaced by Syniti’s data replication solution. Updates every 10 minutes significantly increased the timeliness of all connected systems. The current data was channeled into SAP BusinessObjects reports for every conceivable need at the technical level.
Feeding SAP HANA
During the second stage, which has now been completed, SAP-based financial applications are integrated, thus supporting decision-making processes across the company. To achieve this goal, it was important to evaluate the experience of the first stage.
More than 1,300 reports were produced there in a short period of time, quickly yielding the desired results, but at the same time making the entire solution confusing and complex.
Therefore, the company focused first on an in-depth, critical analysis of the reporting system, carefully reviewing the reportsreally needed for the control of the entire company. The result of an approximately one-year analysis was the generation of 120 critical reports.
SAP HANA analytics system, which at the time had just been released to the market, was chosen for presenting and analyzing the results, using its high processing power through column-based storage andin-memory processing. The decision was made that much easier because the Syniti replication solution already in use at PERI supports the SAP HANA database.
The decision to use Syniti (already successfully deployed for the Informix DWH) to feed the SAP HANA database was finally made after official Syniti certification for SAP HANA.
Because of the many ERP source databases, a large number of (>4000) replications had to be configured in Stage 1. Luckily, with Syniti, multiple replications can be configured at the same time and also grouped together. But, with the amount of transformations required for certain columns, PERI’s initial task still seemed overwhelming.
Fortunately, with its documented APIs, Syniti could also provide a customer-friendly solution for this task: A tool developed specifically for PERI using these APIs allows the automated configuration of all replications based on determined specifications. Michael Bleyer, the Stage 1 Project Manager reported, “This feature was very important, otherwise it would have taken a lot of time to adjust the replications.” The ERP system is available to users at full power at all times. Complex DWH queries take between 3 and a maximum of 30 seconds.
While the Stage 1 Syniti solution has been in production for years, the Stage 2 Syniti solution with an SAP HANA target system has been now deployed. The consolidated reports for the entire company are available to management at all times and offer easy customizations thanks to SAP HANA. Most significantly, transaction-based real-time replication with Syniti ensures that the data is always up-to-date and consistent.
Level 2 project manager André Heinle emphasizes that “Syniti’ s clear and intuitive Management Center facilitates operation while allowing the Syniti API and scripting to adapt replication properties to our needs — Thanks to the expert advice provided by the support of Syniti.”
Syniti’ s clear and intuitive Management Center facilitates operation while allowing the Syniti API and scripting to adapt replication properties to our needs — Thanks to the expert advice provided by the support of Syniti.”
Syniti Lays the Foundation for Further Integration
Satisfaction with current reporting across the company is no reason for PERI to rest on its laurels. Now, the goal is to make full use of up-to-date data at all levels and in all areas of the company. This requires systematic action according to the most modern rules of data stewardship, master data management, etc., and the use of modern cloud offerings. As a result, demands are growing on service providers such as Syniti’s Data Replication software.
Consistent Up-to-date Information Through Real-time Replication via CDC
- Syniti proves to be affordable, easily configurable, reliable and delivers compelling performance. With Syniti’s optimal ease of use, the Data Replication support team is happy to help customers and thus keep implementation costs low — very different from offers that require on-site consultancy.
- Syniti uses the source database’s existing transaction log for fast access to the changes made at the data source, thus minimizing the load on the source database. The latest versions also reduce the number of log hits. Despite large amounts of data, there is hardly any network load, as the changes (even for many million transactions daily) are transmitted in small portions throughout the day. Additional investments in hardware and network are therefore eliminated.
- If necessary, the data is transformed during replication by filters, expressions, or .NET scripts