This case study of a PC-DOS®/Mainframe system highlights a unique method to reduce the dependence on the Mainframe Computer System by individuals preparing written engineering proposals for prospective customers. With the development and implementation of the Engineering Proposal System (EPS), data storage and remote communications are now the only two functions processed by the mainframe computer.

Two key areas for success were user involvement and proper training. While most of the individuals preparing the proposals had worked on the mainframe for some period of time, very few had worked on PC's. An EPS users' group was established to bring together the needs of the end user and the needs of the programmers. This group remains active in enhancing and troubleshooting the current system.

The problems involved with a totally dependent mainframe system, as well as communications problems experienced with remote locations, are discussed herein. Satellite and phone modem communications are also briefly discussed. Several hardware configurations were necessary to respond to various needs created by the engineers' location and working environment.

The existing PC system, its components and the method used to automatically combine all the components into a high quality end product are covered here. Since this is a case study, all aspects of the product experience are explored.

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