ProGen Plus Snapshot in Productivity

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Hoshizaki America

Hoshizaki America is the North American arm of the world's second largest manufacturer of commercial refrigerated food service equipment with sales of nearly $1 billion. 51 of the top US Foodservice chains use Hoshizaki ice machines. Hoshizaki's IBM iSeries model 270 hosts Mapics, and serves 160 users.

Snapshot in Productivity

10 questions for Konrad Underkofler, IT Director Hoshizaki America

BCD: What applications did you develop with ProGen Plus?

Name: "We developed an inventory management system and a warranty system."

BCD: How much effort was involved?

Name: "It took two months with two people."

BCD: Was any training necessary?

Name: "Nope, we just jumped in there and did it ourselves."

BCD: What led up to your selection of ProGen Plus?

Name: "ProGen produces really nice RPG code and internal documentation- if you understand RPG and look at ProGen's output, it makes sense. They also make good use of RPG features. With Lansa and SYNON, when you look down at the code, you have no idea what it's doing- they rename all the fields. Other products emphasized getting off of green screens and we wanted green screens. We have actually written green screen applications to supplant GUIs."

BCD: Was it easy to use?

Name: "That was the nice part about it-- the people we actually have doing the work are more familiar with business than they are with programming. What it enabled us to do is have non-programmers do programming. The traditional way of approaching this is by saying you need to know how to do a subfile. With ProGen we haven't needed to know how to do a subfile in years."

BCD: What are a few things you really liked about it?

Name: "It is very easy to make user friendly applications. ProGen is a pseudo code type of application where you take a template and you lay your logic down over the top if it. It's readable and maintainable. It really does generate bulletproof code.

ProGen also prints out a nice report on the logic within your program. When we want to make changes, its a lot easier to get into because you are really reading clean and structured code.

BCD is very active at soliciting customer input. A lot of the features they put in the product are features that customers have asked for.

Whenever you evaluate a code development tool, you try to figure out what it can't do. Over a couple of years we haven't found anything that it really couldn't do."

BCD: Did it generate 100 percent of the executable code?

Name: "We had to go outside of it to generate a couple really obscure things. We wanted to calculate standard deviation and ProGen didn't have a program template for that."

BCD: Are you using any other BCD products?

Name: "We also have Catapult and WebSmart"

BCD: Did BCD's Technical Support team give you satisfactory answers when you called?

Name: "They are good at teaching over the phone. Also, if the person who you're talking with doesn't have the answer, they escalate pretty well to someone that knows."

BCD: What would you like to tell others about your experience with BCD Products?

Name: "Their process of enhancing the product is pretty good. They add the features and functions necessary to support whatever people want to do. They're reliable too."