Interface Engine comparison

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  • #49832
    Todd Lundstedt


    Hey gang.

    I hope this isn’t too taboo of a subject.

    We have Cloverleaf and Openlink at our shop. I and my co-worker have been tasked with deciding which interface engine to use, and then get busy converting stuff from the one to the other.  I did a quick search on Openlink on the forums, and it looks like we have some Openlink users here.

    We just went through a demo of Cloverleaf 5.6 (some neat stuff there, including opening up live SMAT files!) and of Openlink 23.5.  In case you are an old-time Openlink engineer, there are a couple of really cool new features:

  • transaction linking – the ability to find a message in the archive (SMAT) file and with the click of one button, find destination (or source) messages.

    inbound archiving – finally, Openlink protects the message from source to destination.  While it isn’t a recovery database that prevents resends of messages, at least it’s something.

  • Openlink GUIs, while more rigid in design, appear to be light weight, more responsive, and less troublesome than ye ‘ole Javapig from Cloverleaf (sorry devs, compile it for the platform if you aren’t going to support more java enabled client platforms  😀  😀   ).

    In this discussion, I don’t want to get into the financial aspects of Cloverleaf vs Openlink or even what modules are or are not included in the price.  But if you have experience in both, I would appreciate reading your opinion of the capabilities of the two products, specifically with regard to stability, reliabilty (corruption concerns with the Jet configuration database), configuration, monitoring, and anything else that you would like to point out.

    Our environment:

    Cloverleaf 5.5 running on AIX with HACMP

    Openlink 23.2 running on Windows in a MS Cluster environment.

    Thanks in advance!


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    • #63775
      James Cobane


      While I haven’t personally worked on OpenLink, I have three teammates that have/do.  We are currently in the process of completing the migration of the interfaces from OpenLink to Cloverleaf.  We have two facilities that we’re running their interfaces on OpenLink and have completed the migration for one of the facilities and are in the process of completing the migration for the other.  From what I’ve ascertained from their feedback is that the Cloverleaf is much more reliable, and more comprehensive with respect to the toolset.  I’ll survey them for more detail and let you know what I find out.  I know that the version of OpenLink we have is older than the most current, so that is one caveat I should mention.  We are currrently running Cloverleaf 5.4.1 on AIX 5.3; we are planning to upgrade to 5.6 by summer.

      Jim Cobane

      Henry Ford Health

    • #63776
      garry r fisher

      Hi Todd,

      I used to work for SMS so OPENLink was the IE of (no) choice with it been an SMS product.

      I worked on OPENLink 22 and Cloverleaf 3.8 and both had/have strengths and weaknesses. I have no axe to grind regarding Java:-) but I thought the tools and GUI in OPENLink held together better than in early Cloverleaf. I think the new Cloverleaf IDE is far better than OPENLink.

      The main issue I had with OPENLink was in Cloverleaf terminology UPOC’s. In those day’s you had to have Microsoft C++ to build a UPOC. I much prefer Tcl.

      My ex boss still works for Seimens who bought SMS and uses OPENLink and he tells me it has changed a lot.

      My preference is Cloverleaf and Tcl for most things but for SMAT/Archive files OPENLink beats Cloverleaf hands down and I wish Quovadx would copy the OPENLink method.



    • #63777
      Todd Lundstedt

      garry and James,

      Thanks for the input.

      garry, I echo your feelings with regard for UPOC control for the most part.  

      When you see 5.6 Cloverleaf, you might be impressed with the SMAT functionality, it is making strides towards the marvel that is Openlink archive management.

      I am building a pros/cons spreadsheet between the two for my management.  If anyone wants it, PM me here.

    • #63778
      James Cobane


      I think one of the biggest things to look at is the reliability of the platform itself.

    • #63779
      Todd Lundstedt

      Support is something I hadn’t considered to put into the Pros/Cons list.  I have to admit, coming from operations and working with Siemens support on Invision dayend, I have never been impressed with Siemens support.  I still remember back in the day when calling their support, if one of two particular people answered, it was SOP for us to hang up and dial again.   😳

      We have been lucky with the Openlink side, though.  There’s a guy there that really knows his stuff and helps us fairly well.

      Stability and reliablity is going to have serious weight in my spreadsheet, though.

    • #63780
      James Cobane

      As promised, here are comments from my dual OpenLink/Cloverleaf resources:

      – “thought that the user exits in Openlink were a little easier to use – than writing a Tcl.  Other than that, Cloverleaf seems a lot more easy to understand”

      – “Cloverleaf NetMonitor view means a whole lot more than the operations view in Openlink”

      – “Openlink and the Invision world were very tightly entwined and that sometimes caused issues”

      – “The EPT is a very strange and not wonderful thing.  Routing on the connection in Cloverleaf makes so much more sense and is apparent…..visually.”

      – “The one thing that openlink has is  LU2  – which it seems we only need to work with OBF.”

      – “Also – the help keys on Openlink are very good and you don’t have to go to a full document and search when you just have a question on 1 field.”

      – “from experience so far, I’d say that Cloverleaf is better.”  

      – “… just know that my interfaces (on OpenLink) connected to ECIN and WorX were constantly queueing, erroring or had size constraints that I couldnt figure out…Those same interfaces on the Cloverleaf have been running without any problems.”  

      – “And, if an error happened from another mapping (on OpenLink), it would affect the whole engine (Server Down).”

    • #63781
      Tom Patton


      We use clover and openlink also (5.3 and 23.2) and share the same feelings that James has expressed.

      Our engine preference is Clover but we find Openlink does have a place.

      – We are a Siemens shop (Invision and Soarian) and keep Openlink to take advantage of any model maps that might be published.  (although I am not sure this saves us work).

      – Openlink handles the LU 2 or OBF transactions

      What I find on the downside to Openlink is the Jet engine and the seemingly constant corruption of the archives.  If one fails, the engine just falls over..

      I like the archive viewer and look forward to seeing what has been done in Clover 5.6

      I prefer the Clover netmonitor as it gives an indication to operations where transactions are coming from – and going to – more of a workflow view.

      And I really like all the UPOCs in Clover and the ability to touch and manipulate the msg at any step using tcl.  It is straight forward and clear what a developer intended – which is never the case in Openlink.  If you don’t believe me, check how much odd logic you might have on a stable field like gender in Openlink…

      I hope that helps…

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