If you spend any time in the fast growing Russian IT market there is one name you will no doubt be familiar with. I am not talking about Microsoft, Oracle, HP or even IBM. A company with a very short name “1C” is an icon of the Russian IT economy. Founded in 1991, 1C helped the newly formed Russian companies to get proper accounting and other financial management footing to be able to compete on the local markets and to enter and, in many cases, lead in the global economy. 1C is a major software distributor and an award winning game developer. If you like combat flight simulators you have to try IL-2 Sturmovik.
However, 1C is best known for their very comprehensive business software suit called 1C:Enterprise. You can find 1C:Enterprise in just about every Russian company from a street vendor to the largest corporations and government organizations and everything in between. As a matter of fact a very recent report by IDC on the Russian market for Enterprise Application Software (EAS) positions 1C as the number 2 vendor in the Russian market by revenue, leaving Oracle, Microsoft and others well behind. When the number of customers or the number of seats in the install base is taken in to account, 1C is the market leader.
The success of 1C:Enterprise can be attributed to the power and, more important, the flexibility of the 1C:Enterprise platform. It is indeed the platform that allows more than 5000 of the 1C partners throughout Russia, Baltic states, Germany and Eastern European countries to deliver highly customized solutions to their customers in all industries.
IBM and 1C have been working together for quite some time now to optimize 1C:Enterprise platform when used with DB2. In addition to local support provided by the IBM Developer Relations team in Russia, 1C:Enterprise platform development team has direct links in to the DB2 development laboratory. DB2 development team uses 1C:Enterprise to verify and validate functionality and performance of the DB2 products. Both companies have modified their respective products to ensure that a combined 1C:Enterprise – DB2 solution delivers top level of performance, reliability and scalability. For example, DB2 has an environment variable DB2WORKLOAD that can now be set to 1C to have DB2 highly adopted for the 1C:Enterprise workload. And 1C:Enterprise sets the value as part of the product installation and configuration.
This has been a lot of work for both 1C and the IBM DB2 development teams. But it is the 1C partners and customers who are reaping the benefits. Internal measurements show that DB2 allows for a great increase in the number of users that 1C:Enterprise can handle. And customers have experienced significant performance improvements and in some cases performance improvement can be best described as “dramatic”. One example is a 1C:Enterprise implementation at Arktos, HVAC equipment manufacturer, described in this article (in Russian). The project was performed by BIT, a 1C business partner. Arktos wanted to improve the overall responsiveness of the system, automate database backups and drastically reduce recovery times that it would encounter in case of failures. BIT migrated the 1C:Enterprise at Arktos to DB2 Express-C and as a result Arktos saw an average speed improvement of most business operations of 10x. I think the quote in the article describes the benefits very well:
Oleg Ilyin: “The installation of the new system allowed us to accelerate most of our business processes, which led to significant reduction in time required to complete most business transactions – 5 to 10 times on the average. For example, the time required to process financial month close transactions was reduced from 4-6 hours to 10-11 minutes. With the help of the DBMS (DB2 Express-C) we now have an automated, fast and reliable process for recovering data and restoring system in cases of failure of the information system.”