GSIS sues Questronix and IBM

GSIS fails running their software made by Questronix running on IBM DB2. GSIS sues Questronix and IBM. That’s sounds like GSIS bought fresh milk from the grocery store, then it expires. They still drink it without looking at the expiration date. They get stomach aches, then they decide to sue not only the grocery store, but the farm and probably even the cow. More here at ABS CBN News.

Added info as shared to me by Bert Peronilla through Facebook who has a PhD in Computer Science:

I like your analogy on the GSIS, IBM, Questronix situation. Here are some technical details as I understand them as of today (July 24, 2009.)
GSIS claimed that the application crashes were found by IBM Toronto Lab to be caused by an “overflow” condition when the table space exceeds the limit of 2 TB. This limit of 2 TB for a table space in one partition for DB2 Version 9.1, (which is the one used by GSIS,) is documented in IBM manuals for this version of DB2. Proper performance monitoring of the application should have alerted GSIS that they were approaching the 2 TB limit. However, this was not caught by GSIS and this led to the “overflow” error.
DB2 should have caught this “overflow” condition and issued a WARNING message, followed by a graceful shutdown of the application instead of allowing the application to crash. IBM has sent a DB2 special build to remedy this error which was installed on the GSIS system as of May 26, 2009. Questronix claims that this “overflow” error is no longer occurring after May 26, 2009.
IBM cannot be sued for this error because it is clearly documented in all IBM software contracts that it does NOT guarantee that the software is free of bugs. If GSIS obtained their DB2 directly from IBM and had a Maintenance Agreement with them, IBM will try to fix any program errors to the best of their ability, and if they are not able to do so, this gives the customer the opportunity to try to get their money back. Only for what they paid for DB2; IBM contracts have a Disclaimer that they cannot be sued for any consequential or any other damages.

I like your analogy on the GSIS, IBM, Questronix situation. Here are some technical details as I understand them as of today (July 24, 2009.)

GSIS claimed that the application crashes were found by IBM Toronto Lab to be caused by an “overflow” condition when the table space exceeds the limit of 2 TB. This limit of 2 TB for a table space in one partition for DB2 Version 9.1, (which is the one used by GSIS,) is documented in IBM manuals for this version of DB2. Proper performance monitoring of the application should have alerted GSIS that they were approaching the 2 TB limit. However, this was not caught by GSIS and this led to the “overflow” error.

DB2 should have caught this “overflow” condition and issued a WARNING message, followed by a graceful shutdown of the application instead of allowing the application to crash. IBM has sent a DB2 special build to remedy this error which was installed on the GSIS system as of May 26, 2009. Questronix claims that this “overflow” error is no longer occurring after May 26, 2009.

IBM cannot be sued for this error because it is clearly documented in all IBM software contracts that it does NOT guarantee that the software is free of bugs. If GSIS obtained their DB2 directly from IBM and had a Maintenance Agreement with them, IBM will try to fix any program errors to the best of their ability, and if they are not able to do so, this gives the customer the opportunity to try to get their money back. Only for what they paid for DB2; IBM contracts have a Disclaimer that they cannot be sued for any consequential or any other damages.

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5 thoughts on “GSIS sues Questronix and IBM

  1. i just saw the GSIS ad against IBM on tv. quite shocked that it’s gone that far. Just my 2 cents.i work for a local software company (an IBM partner). At first I was hesitant to use DB2 (i think our first try at it was at ver. 8)..It took me a while to really get into it but the longer you get yourself around DB2, the more you appreciate it especially when you’re not a technical person (im no compsci or any IT related course graduate). some of our applications for the local market run on DB2..we do encounter problems with DB2 but all we had to do was report these to IBM -Technical Support..these guys (i think their technical support’s in Malaysia) won’t stop or give up until the problem reported has been resolved. and I think DB2 has a performance monitoring facility (health center) that allows you to check the status & capacity of the database. if i were gsis, id probably question the guys over at the IT Department. looks like they weren’t paying attention to DB2. –just my 2 cents.

  2. Assuming your assumption is true Pong, and knowing how some government agencies might operate, if you made a big mistake in your work, you’re screwed, and in an attempt to make you situation better, you start doing some “blamestorming” and start passing out the blame to someone else.

  3. Here’s a trivia:

    GSIS is using DB2
    SSS is using Oracle
    PAG-IBIG is using Ingres
    Philhealth is using Oracle
    Tourism is using MS SQL
    TESDA is using Oracle

    Why could this government agencies can’t just use the same DB platform and share common knowledge? They could have avoided such problem they have now, maybe.

    IMO, it is solely the responsibility of the person in-charge in GSIS’ EDP department to know the limitations of DB2, that includes reading DB2 documentation.

    The government is spending thousands of pesos for these people’s training to keep these people one step ahead on their jobs but what happened state otherwise.

  4. Isnt it obvious that the goverment GSIS specifically is the one to blame? Poor IT department people i think there was no backup redundancy plan made on their system. If you know that your sytem is so critical then plan ahead its high availablity, we all know machines and softwares are not created perfect thats why you have to have a maintenance and support on the part of the vendor. GSIS just suddenly pops infomercials on TV and radios that its IBMs fault up till now suing 100M pesos wow thats a lot. Im not sure if their system is still up maybe its not that critical thats why they are still apologizing to members that are affected i hope their contrinutions are still intact, theres a buzz that this was planned to hide some of the members contributions that were lost

  5. it’s like buying a new appliance at home..and you have to take care of it..gsis should have took care of it..implementing BEST IT PRACTICE..my god!..it’s a government institution!..should have been aware of the COBIT, ITIL and Sarbanes-Oxley

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