MANMAN bears down on the end of its Infor life

MANMAN, the ERP and manufacturing software first run in the 1970s, celebrates a milestone next month. On June 30, 2020, the app’s owner Infor cuts off all remaining support.

In a world where legacy datacenters still thrive, losing support is not a crushing blow. Tim Peer at Envy Systems supplies good independent support for MANMAN on OpenVMS. Terry Floyd at The Support Group, along with his son David, bolsters HP 3000 MANMAN users. Terri Glendon Lanza of ASK Terri is another good resource. By all accounts, support from the MANMAN lab is minimal today.

When June 30 arrives, Infor will end its journey with MANMAN. The application has had at least five vendors own it. Created by ASK Computer Solutions in 1977, the app suite moved data from untold billions of products and materials across many midrange systems. In the era when people used midrange to describe servers, DEC and HP boxes served up MANMAN data.

Infor has thrown in its official towel. “Finally, upgrading MANMAN to newer hardware would require a complete rewrite of the MANMAN software,” an Infor release states. “Unfortunately, after analysis, is not an economically viable option.”

Vendors often choose to part ways with products. In this case, Infor warned its customers about this support shift back in 2018. One interesting element of the support shutdown is how Infor wants customers to consider sticking with the vendor. Infor has a cloud solution, it notes. CloudSuite Industrial would be a good alternative, according to the marketing department at Infor.

“If your organization has not considered cloud, now is the time to start,” the end of support notice suggests. “We plan to offer an attractive and affordable program for MANMAN customers that want to move to one of our cloud products. For example, we recommend that you explore Infor CloudSuite Industrial.”

Infor goes on to tell its customers that legacy is the problem. “MANMAN is based on legacy technology using hardware platforms that are no longer supported by their vendors,” Infor’s notice states. “As such, Infor believes there is a real risk in using the MANMAN software to manage your enterprise.” Yes, it’s always the risk that a vendor is watchful about, especially when the vendor cancels an enterprise-grade product.

MANMAN is supported by knowledge and code from the CAMUS user group at camus.org. Infor’s internal requirements are getting in the way of further support. Make no mistake: the HP 3000s with no vendor support have been that way since 2011. All the while, Infor has collected support revenue from MPE/iX customers. Everything grows old, sometimes too old to turn a profit. CAMUS has resources to help MANMAN feel younger.

Image credit: Lenny Kuhne at Unsplash

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