Roc Challender, Programmer/Analyst | P.C. Richard & Son



P.C. Richard & Son

P.C. Richard & Son is an appliance and electronics retailer that sells products at various locations as well as online. Hear how Roc Challender uses GoAnywhere to give internal users the freedom they need while keeping tight control over data security.


I'm Roc Challender, and I'm working at P.C. Richard and Son. My official title is programmer/analyst, but I guess my main job there is handling third-party software relations with a lot of different companies like Linoma Software [now Fortra].


What was life like before GoAnywhere?

I think what was happening was we had RPG programs that were creating batch FTP scripts, kind of ad-hoc all over the different applications that we run.

I had the opportunity to consolidate all of that. I wanted to bring all of our PGP keys under one roof, and all our certificates under one roof.


How did implementing GoAnywhere change your workflows?

So, the first thing we did was to take all of the user IDs and passwords for all these different servers that we were talking to and put them in one place that we could secure and keep everybody out of, so that people could build FTP transfers, but they didn't need to know passwords, they never needed to see user IDs.

I could come in and build it, and then they could come in and do whatever they needed to do later on by building simplistic projects.


To what extent were your users generating ad-hoc file transfers?

We're talking about a lot of stuff that was being done ad-hoc that's now been automated – that's been consolidated – that's been much more secure than it was years ago.


How has GoAnywhere simplified file transfer processes?

I would say we're probably up around five to six hundred projects a day. They're just pulling out to remote FTP servers to see if they have data, and when they have data, they pull it in.

We do a lot of business on the internet, and a lot of that is interaction with advertisers and vendors, where people are creating files for us. They're creating invoices or they're creating purchase orders on remote servers, and we're going out and polling around to all these different servers, finding the data and bringing it in.

But there's also us just doing our normal pushing out data. We're also invoicing and we're also pushing out a lot of purchase orders, and I've built a lot of these very generic kinds of projects.

We're getting into the swing of using the SQL to transfer the data directly into our application files. You know, I've got a couple of things where GoAnywhere has to look for files on three different servers, and only if all the files it needs are on all those three different servers – if everything is ready to go – then it starts calling other projects that actually go out and log on and start pulling the data and merging files and then SQL inserting into our applications and calling programs on the i Series and doing all that.

All of these GoAnywhere projects are being driven from CL programs right inside the application, and they're seamless with the application itself. So the data transferring, inbound and outbound, is entirely part of the normal application flow, and all of that is monitor-messaged, and you catch it. There's no doubt. If it works, you know it worked. And if it didn't work, you'll know. You're going to get a monitor – you're going to raise a flag. You can send email, you can hang the job with an escape message, or send a message to the operator, whatever you need to do.


How are you using GoAnywhere to import and translate data?

We're pulling files that are Excel, and we're translating from Excel into fixed-width files that we can insert into our database. The big data translation are the HTTP data pulls because that's XML data. So, we've got XML data coming in and that's getting translated. Now we're pretty much using GoAnywhere's XML parser and parsing that stuff out and pretty much loading it right into our database and running the i Series programs from GoAnywhere, and that's a big help.


What's your impression of the support team?

I think my experience with Linoma support is phenomenal. I deal with at least a dozen software vendors on a regular basis. And I would say – absolutely – that Linoma Support, the guys, are the best of anybody I deal with. They're the best technical, as far as knowledge of the product, as far as being helpful, as far as being right there with the right answers. I think the products are so sound.


What do you like best about GoAnywhere?

Of all the products I install or upgrade on a regular basis, I don't even worry about installing an upgrade for GoAnywhere. I don't even think about "I have to be backed up six ways to Sunday and I've got to be ready to roll it back when something blows up."

You can get people right up to speed very easily. You've got a lot of good controls. You can get everything under control and very much consolidated very rapidly. You can take your time and learn the deep end of what GoAnywhere can really do. You don't have to do those things right away.

When you get into a scrape and you need help, you're going to get real human beings and they're going to help you out. They're going to talk to you and things are going to work out, and that's like bottom line.


What would you say to someone looking for a file transfer management solution?

I definitely want to say to somebody who considering buying a product, they'd really be doing the best possible decision in buying GoAnywhere as opposed to buying something else. I think … I'm absolutely convinced – you really couldn't do better than Linoma [now HelpSystems].