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RBS/RATEX Direction Update
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  1. RBS/RATEX Direction Update Larry G. Daniels, CSP, EVP/COO RATEX Business Solutions, Inc. 2250 Hickory Road, Suite 10 Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462 (800) 417-2839 x 4128 lgdaniels@ratex.com

  2. Outline for Session… • High-level overview of the yearsince meeting last inVancouver 2003. • Cover RATEX enhancementsto be released in soon R7.70. • Overview significant RATEXredevelopment projectnow underway. • Provide general planningparameters for the year ahead.

  3. The Past Year in Review… • A challenging and unpredictableyear on many fronts. • Operations of RBS remainstable at the Plymouth Meetingfacility. • Solid staff, application training,development, etc. • Cooperative marketing effortprovided significant new interest. • Market indicators prompted a new focus onour product research & development.

  4. RATEX Release R7.70… • A significant portion of RATEX maintenance clients are now on R7.x level. • Next RATEX R7.70 includes: • Serialized inventory in GM. • Gift card support inPOS*Liberty. • GM EDI support w/The DouglasStewart Company and NACSCORP/Ingram-Micro. • Extended Database support for catalogsw/Matthews Medical Books and J.A. Majors. • Cumulative group of patches and bug fixes since R7.x originally issued.

  5. 850 855 857 810 852 College Store 832 Store-Vendor Integration Focus… • EDI development forbook and generalmerchandise categoriesremained a keydevelopment effort. • Product catalog opportunities expanded within the Extended Database for store buyers. • Refocus on PUBNET as potential vehicle to new vendors and services. • EDI work has stabilized and becomingsmaller part of overall effort.

  6. RATEX Redevelopment Project… • Concept of redevelopment was originally researched and reviewed with the RBS Board in 2001. • But most technology/tools formulti-value rapid application andgraphical product developmentwere not-yet ready. • Feasibility of undergoing a projectof the size and complexity oflegacy RATEX seemed too risky at that time. • Continued with assessment of potential vendor partners and tools none-the-less.

  7. Pulling the Trigger… • Market indicators in late-2002 suggested the time was right to redevelop RATEX. • Tools for GUI MultiValue connection,particularly w/UniVerse,matured well beyondscreen-scrappers. • Rapid applicationdevelopment for 4GL codeconversion feasible. • Approval to go ahead by the RBS Boardin early 2003.

  8. Selection of Partner/Tools… • Field of prospective development partners and tools was narrowed to three: • OHM’s Wade. • Stamina’s Visage. • Avexxis’ AvRAD/Delphi. • MultiValue and developmentconsultant was engaged toprototype and provide independent assessment. • Avexxis was selected from criteria outlined. • Combined RBS/Avexxis project team commenced RATEX redevelopment project in May 2003.

  9. Purpose/Scope of Project… • Convert all “legacy” RATEX modules to consistent 4GL (excluding POS*Liberty in first phase of project). • Provide a common look and feel in both character and GUI user interfaces to RATEX. • Combine redundant areas of applications such as course adoptions and book inquiry. • Completely redesign small set of applications such as accounting and mail-order. • Support new 127x40 character based density and 1024x768 graphical screen option.

  10. Requirements of Project… • Maintain the full set of functionality and general process flow of legacy RATEX. • Obtain the benefits of supporting character-based and graphical user interface options. • Minimize RATEX clients conversion factors: • Utilize large portion of existing hardware. • Support existing user BP’s without conversion. • Minimize the number of data file changes. • Minimize the overhead for client seats both in terms of dollars and hardware/software upgrades. • Allow clients the opportunity to obtain and utilize the AVRAD rapid application development tools.

  11. Redevelopment Timeline… • The RATEX redevelopment project is a cooperative effort between RBS and Avexxis organizations as follows: • 5/03 project design & team formation. • 7/03 first preview of project at the RUG Conference. • 8/03 plan and project final review by board. • 10/03 & 11/03 regional meetings to preview and provide first system conversion detail. • 1/04 provide initial developer training on AvRAD. • 1/04 begin integration of redesigned applications. • 3/04 full system demonstration at NACS CAMEX. • 6/04 installation of beta code at test stores.

  12. RATEX Graphical MenuPreliminary Example…

  13. Character Based to GraphicalUser Interface Preliminary Examples…

  14. Frequently Asked Questions… • Q. Will this be a new release or upgrade?A. A significant new release of the RATEX system fora TBD fee reduced for existing RBS/RATEX clients. • Q. Will there be new maintenance agreements?A. Likely yes using a new value-for-value mode. • Q. Will RBS continue to develop legacy RATEX?A. No, other than bug fixes it will end at R7.70. • Q. Will RBS continue to support legacy RATEX following the release of the redeveloped system?A. Yes, for a period of time but there will be a sunset. • Q. How can I get more detailed information?A. RBS clients will begin receiving newsletter updateson the project later this summer withprogressively more detailed information.