In the fall of 1994, Chevron Canada Resources (CCR) retired its mainframe computer in favour of a distributed desktop computing environment. While the accounting applications were moving to a different mainframe in San Ramone, all the production department's applications needed to be switched to client-server. The deadline was set as September 25, 1994 to unplug the mainframe so the installation had to be complete or functionality would be lost.
Only a month behind schedule, the production department's switch to client-server was complete and the functionality of the system had been improved.
Customers pushed for the project by demanding a move to PCs and workstations. The key drivers were an effective Graphical User Interface (GUI), greater availability of software and an open systems architecture. The estimated cost savings to Chevron for maintaining only one computer system in-house, as opposed to both the desktop and mainframe solutions, is one million dollars a year.
Merak Projects, a software vendor, worked with Chevron Canada Resources to provide users with unlimited access to data and simple analysis tools for the desktop. HELIOS, a product developed by Merak, was used to integrate the many diverse applications and data sources within the organization. The Chevron system design was based on a central data warehouse on Oracle that had incorporated the Public Petroleum Data Model (PPDM). The data warehouse was made available to all those using HELIOS and Merak's Transport Manager, an application that moves data between data sources and applications. On the desktops were Merak's MAP, FORECAST and WellView™ products.
This paper will detail the justification for eliminating the mainframe, the architecture used in the system design, the transition process and the future direction of the project.