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A Modern Legacy

Past investments help Noritake Co. deliver next-generation apps ahead of schedule

Past investments help Noritake Co. deliver next-generation apps ahead of schedule
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BUSINESS: Distributor of everyday and fine-china tableware
CHALLENGE: Putting a more modern face on its legacy application while enhancing functionality
SOLUTION: Using a series of solutions from Business Computer Design (BCD) to create a Web-friendly B2B site, improving internal reporting capabilities and increasing staff productivity
HARDWARE: An IBM System i* 525
SOFTWARE: BCD’s WebSmart, Nexus Portal, EZ-Picken’s, Clover and Catapult

Legacy applications—no matter which hardware or operating system they run on—often get a bad rap, simply because of their name, as if “legacy” meant old and outdated. In fact, that type of software can be more valuable than newer, fancier, off-the-shelf solutions. Legacy applications are tried-and-true solutions, and many have been used for a decade or more. Users continue to develop them year after year and build in logic that applies directly to how they run their businesses.

That’s why many companies choose to modernize their software rather than replace it, seeing their legacy applications as an inheritance of sorts, a valuable gift handed down from one generation of users to the next. And that’s how Noritake Co. Inc. views its core RPG-based software: a road-worthy solution that fits its business model perfectly.

Until recently, however, that solution had a green-screen interface and lacked some functionality the company had on a wish list. To address these and other issues, the company turned to Business Computer Design Int’l Inc. (BCD) and its many modernization solutions. Now, after having worked with BCD to enhance its core application, Noritake has a legacy application it’s sure to pass on to further generations of users.

“We’ve had calls from customers telling us that our competitors don’t have anything like this. That puts us at a definite advantage.” —Larry Haynes, senior programmer analyst, Noritake

Jim Utsler, IBM Systems Magazine senior writer, has been covering the technology field for more than a decade. Jim can be reached at



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