The Challenge

The fact that documentation had to be done ground up, covering hundreds of modules, and processes, and sub-processes that involved numerous stakeholders, made it an overwhelming task.
The following factors added to the complexity.

  • The sheer number of modules to be covered, each comprising Data models, Jobs, Archives, Reports, Configurations, Workflows, Process Flows, and many more.
  • The huge (and mostly unstructured) data that piled up over a decade made Understand and document existing business functionality an onerous job

The Process

Nalashaa adopted a methodological approach and started off with a series of discussions with the executives and departmental heads to understand the objectives and motivations for the migration. The unavailability of proper documentation was the primary challenge the team was facing while supporting the machine. But a migration necessitated thorough documentation of the end-to-end process Nalashaa’s solutions team analyzed the existing documentation and prioritized the needs to map the data, shortlist workflows of interest, and identify dependencies and process gaps.
The following modules were zeroed in for the first phase of documentation.

Purchase Management
  • Cash Purchase Receipts
  • Purchase Order Creation, Approval, and Dispatch
  • Goods Receipt Creation
  • Debit Note Creation
  • Purchase Reporting
  • Binding Contract
  • Goods Delivery
Order Management
  • Order Entry
  • Order Enquiry
  • Pricing
  • Reports
  • Allocation – Batch/Manual
  • Packing and Pickup
  • Shipment
Inventory Management
  • Excess Inventory
  • Inventory Shortages
  • Dead Stock
  • Inventory Turnover
  • Warehouse Master
  • Stock Tracking
  • Inventory/Products history
  • Cycle counting
  • Vendor management
AR/AP Management
  • Customer Master and Invoice Record
  • Accounts Receivable Ledger
  • Accounts Receivable Aged Listing
  • Customer Statements
  • Invoice Dispute Management
  • Individual Collection Letters
  • Requisition and PO Creation
  • PO authorization and sharing
  • Invoice Receipt
  • Invoice Approval
  • Invoice Posting in the System
  • Invoice Payment
  • Supplier Reconciliation
Logistics Management
  • Inbound/Outbound Transportation
  • Warehouse Management
  • Fleet Management
  • Third-party Service management
  • Supply and Demand
  • Driver’s Log Record
  • Route Management

The Approach

  • Process Name and Boundaries: Each RPG process was assigned a suitable name, with its description and objective well-recorded.
  • Process Prioritization: To understand the functioning of the existing setup, all RPG processes were prioritized based on their business value.
  • Process Input/Output: The type, format, and source of the data fed into each process were recorded along with the nature of the output. All activities and steps to execute the processes in the AS400 system were tracked.

Stakeholders and Flowchart: Stakeholders and owners of all RPG processes were consulted for their inputs, and a detailed flowchart was created for easy comprehension.

For the ease of planning and execution, the documentation of the selected modules was split into three primary categories – Data, Business Process, and DevOps. Each process was assigned a suitable name, and its description was recorded along with its objective. To get a clear picture of the existing features, a top-down approach starting with the major component and drilling down into subsets of functionality was zeroed in on.
For each of the three categories, the team divided the documentation task into different categories, as listed in the table below.

Data Documentation

Data Sources Relationships Audit & Archiving Reports
  • Data Source-Business process/Transaction mapping
  • Structure, constraints, and business validations
  • DML mappings per DS
  • Frequency and transaction volume
  • Data Model assessment
  • Core & reference entities
  • Relationship and dependencies
  • ETL, job manipulations with entity mappings
  • Alerts & audit events
  • Archiving process jobs
  • Recovery process & jobs
  • Audit reports, actions, and alerts
  • Structure & frequency
  • Canned and Ad hoc reports for business users
  • Report subscriptions
  • Report count rationalization
ETL Extracts Jobs
  • ETL f/w design & structure
  • Data load process & Listing of business rules
  • Audit, exceptions, notifications, etc.
  • Timing, SLAs, stakeholder identification
  • Formats, standards, and data dependencies
  • SQL based extracts
  • Data extracts creation and distribution process
  • Data dependency
  • Inventory scheduled jobs
  • Job monitoring process & success/failure reporting
  • Security expectations
  • Frequency, Batching rules
  • Audit/Exception logging

Business Process Documentation

Process Flow Document Management Integrations Screens & Mappings
  • Process blueprinting
  • Task flow (action level)
  • Touchpoints and dependencies
  • Boundary conditions and Exception management
  • Identify unstructured data formats
  • Document structure, purpose, storage, and process
  • Privilege rules and management
  • Lifecycle and retirement
  • Integration inventory and mode
  • Technological prerequisites
  • Custom parsers/adapters
  • Transform & target maps
  • Screen navigation
  • Journey mapping with roles
  • Inventory screen elements
  • Validations & exceptions


Roles and Permissions Authorization Configurations Deployment Change Management
  • Resource-Level Access & Subscriptions
  • User Profile Information & Applications
  • Dev, QA, UAT & Prod
  • OUTQ and Third-party tools
  • Authorization List, User Roles, and Permissions
  • Environment Roles
  • Printer Admin Roles
  • Third-party applications and their roles and permissions
  • Client, Servers, and Jobs
  • Customer Customizations
  • Tools and Subscriptions
  • Data Refresh Prod to QA
  • Objects Promotions and Process
  • Application/Object Dependencies
  • Continuous Integration
  • Team Co-ordinations
  • Application Failures
  • Version Control of Prod Artifacts
  • Impact analysis
  • Approval Board
  • Implementation plan
  • Review & reporting
*Additionally, to make maintenance of the system easy for the client’s team, we created an Object Flowchart that summarized all Business Rules within each program, allowing the teams to follow the flow of each program with a pictorial representation. A visual depiction of the interaction between objects helped the team understand how the system works. This also helped the new members to understand the system structure better.


  • End-to-end system documentation helps the RPG team in system maintenance and updates.
  • The team is better equipped to address user queries with the necessary coding.
  • With processes and sub-processes well documented, the learning curve of new RPG team members is cut down significantly.
  • In the case of migration, comprehensive documentation helps ensure the replication of the processes and functionalities in the new system.
  • This is a good interim modernization option until the migration is executed successfully.

Technology Stack

  • RPG
  • DB2

How to start the journey?

To choose the right AS400 support for your business, we would like to understand your needs better. The form below is a great way to start that!

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