Business Services Participates in Decommissioning of Purdue’s Mainframe - 10/22/09

Purdue’s IBM mainframe computer that for decades housed all of Purdue’s critical business enterprise systems, programs, files and records is headed for a permanent leave. When its plug is finally pulled early in 2011, the legacy data still needed for long term retention will have been copied to an SQL server environment.

Cheryl Gray, manager for Human Resources Operations, is serving as Business Services Computing’s contact on the decommissioning project. She reports that the project is well underway. All the financial data files have already been migrated from the mainframe and verification that the conversion worked correctly is taking place. The Human Resource and Payroll files are in progress. 

As file conversion is verified, system owners are asked to sign off that the files can be removed from the mainframe permanently. These files are being moved to comply with data retention periods, and only a few people will have access to retrieve data from the SQL server on an as-needed basis.

ITaP developed SAS programs to move the files from the mainframe, so one person can move a maximum of 80 files per day. With four programmers involved in the move, the decommissioning team expects to complete its work by the end of 2010.

Under the direction of the project manager, Julie Miller of IT Enterprise Applications, the project is ahead of schedule, according to the Oct. 5, 2009, edition of MyPurdue News. All Physical Facilities system data files also have been moved off the mainframe and, in addition to HR files, Miller’s team is ready to focus on moving student data, the article reported.

Prior to HR systems (PEDB) being decommissioned, there will be an alternate way to find position and salary history that was not converted to SAP, Gray said. A project on the Business Systems priority list addresses this need.

Project sponsors are Lee Gordon, assistant vice president for Student Services, Technology and Assessment; Dan Gentry, director of Development Information Services; and Mike Szczepanski, director of Business Services Computing.

For more information, please contact Cheryl Gray by phone at 494-7388 or by email at