Application transformation

Simplify Your IT Infrastructure, on IBM Mainframe as well as on IBM POWER Hardware

Today many companies suffer from the high degree of complexity and plurality of their application systems and the infrastructure needed for operation. Now that data processing centers and servers have been consolidated, the application landscape also needs to be. The goal for the next few years is to radically simplify the necessary infrastructure, say goodbye in time to dying technologies, and successfully master the alteration of generations in development. Application transformation will build the bridges you need – economically and securely.

Consolidation with 4GL Languages in Cobol or Java

Many important applications have been developed with 4GL languages. They are distinguished by their high degree of functionality and good development productivity. Most of these 4GL languages are no longer actively developed by manufacturers and will not survive the next 5–10 years for lack of assets.

Existing developers will be going into pension at that time and young developers are not really motivated to occupy themselves with these endangered languages. Often enough, this slow process of extinction is accompanied by high support and licensing costs.

Application transformation migrates these programs securely to strategic languages like Cobol or Java.

The advantages:

  • Works with many languages like Natural, RPG, APS Cobol, Delta Cobol, etc.
  • Language diversity is reduced to the strategic languages Cobol and Java
  • Depending on the manufacturer, significant support and licensing costs can be cut
  • Particular attention is paid to good maintainability and the possibility of migrating existing developers
  • The future of the application is secured
  • High degree of security and profitability thanks to automation

After successful migration, your program is once again compatible with your IT strategy.

zIIP Enablement – from Cobol to Java

In many companies with mainframes, the subject of downsizing is fiercely discussed. It is often said the mainframe is too expensive and no longer state-of-the-art. What is overseen is that IBM offers a highly modern integration platform for Cobol and Java, which can also be very economical: zEnterprise. Through the specialty engines for the database and Java processing in particular, zEnterprise offers an outstanding combination of performance, efficiency and security.

It opens ups totally new possibilities for optimizing the cost of the modernization of Cobol applications. By transferring particularly resource-intensive programs to specialty engines, MIPS usage can be optimized. The cost pressure for downsizing can thus be reduced and the mainframe remains an attractive platform.

The corresponding transformation of the Cobol programs is automated to a large extent. The programs can either be directly migrated to Java, or the open source business language EGL can be used. EGL is originally from IBM and uncouples the application logic from the technology layer. This makes the code easier to maintain than Java code, and less dependent on the technology. EGL is an Eclipse open source project.

The advantages:

  • The mainframe becomes more economically attractive and the demand for risky downsizing projects is reduced.
  • Applications are technically modernized, making them more sustainable.
  • The savings gained here can be used for specialized modernization projects.
  • Existing developer teams are migrated along the way (particularly via EGL) and can also do Java development down the road.
  • Modernization can be done smoothly and in small steps with a fast ROI.

Detailed information about zIIP Enabling can be found in e.g. the ATOS testimonial.

Job Control Language (JCL) on alternative platforms

Some customers need to run mainframe applications on an alternative platform or a backup system.

The Job Control Language (JCL) poses a particular challenge here. When you have thousands of JCL programs to port, the JCL converter can cut costs and minimize project risks through its high degree of automation. At the same time, the maintainability of the target code to be generated (e.g. AIX shell scripts) is decisive for long-term costs. Intelligent, application-specific converter settings (e.g. removing/maintaining PROCs) have significant qualitative benefits here.

Apart from the JCL conversion, in these projects we also provide the necessary know-how for mapping mainframe-specific functional calls (e.g. SORT), changes in character sets and sorting sequences (ASCCI–EBCDIC).

Custom-Tailored Transformation Solutions

Every company is characterized by a high degree of individuality in application development. This ranges from programming standards and tools, to architecture. Seldom are transformations exactly the same in two different companies. There are often entirely different goals for partial optimization, better understanding of existing applications, full transformation or even reengineering.

Our specialists have the experience and tools it takes to cater to your particular needs.

The advantages:

  • Optimal solution for your transformation problems
  • High degree of efficiency through automation
  • High maintainability through involvement of existing developer team in the design
  • High-performance tools for the analysis and improvement of software quality
  • Comprehension and transformation of even exotic languages
  • Secures the future for your strategic programs

How we proceed:

  • We analyze the application.
  • We draw up a rough concept including an initial cost estimate.
  • We refine the plan and costs through a detailed analysis referred to as transition assessment.
  • We create a prototype from one small part of the application and check the security of the procedure (proof of concept).
  • Step by step, we rebuild and review the entire application.

In short: Not a big bang, but a smooth transformation with clear-cut advantages!


Useful Products

Standardizing Macro COBOL Generators
Macro COBOL converter for
- Telon
- Delta
COBOL to EGL converter
zIIP/zAAP enabler
Rational Migration Extensions
RPG to EGL converter
JCL Converter

For further informations feel free to download our whitepapers:

documentStandardizing Macro COBOL Generators
(1.9 Mb)

(0.69 Mb)

References for this topic

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documentEuropäische Reiseversicherung AG
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