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Francis Marion University (FMU) is a state-supported university that has liberal arts based programs for undergraduate and graduate studies. FMU's student administration system was started in the 1970s when they leased IBM S/34 computer resources from a local service bureau. The student administration of the university has a lot of business logic and is information heavy but it had 5250 screens, and RPG codes that worked in the S/36 mode. Faculty and staff of the university used IBM's Client Access and BOSaNOVA terminal emulation to access these screens and access to data was difficult. Function keys of the systems were mapped inconsistently depending on the application. The company decided to use its team of four developers and deployed LANSA services so that they are able to provide modern applications and online services to the staff, faculty members and students alike. With this solution the university does not have to rely on a package vendor and could work with their existing staff. Both, LANSA and RAMP are easy to learn. For a programmer who knows LANSA, it was easy to get familiar with Visual LANSA development and undertake rich-client deployment. Another developer of the company had only RPG skills and was comfortable with LANSA in a few weeks. The university chose RAMP and Visual LANSA because of their framework approach. This gave the system an intuitive and consistent end-user environment. It made for the framework to be generated automatically generated and make the development more productive.
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