Legacy Modernization to Cloud Architecture

General Nov 08, 2013 Comments Off on Legacy Modernization to Cloud Architecture


Modernization involves substantial changes to the application.

The definitions of migration and modernization overlap. However, a key difference is that modernization allows for more substantial changes to the application than migration allows.

Modernization might include:

  • User Interface Upgrades
    • Mobile
    • Web
    • Rich Clients
  • Web Services Integraion
  • Data source Upgrade -RDBMS
  • Social Media Integration
  • Programming Language Conversion
  • Utility and 3rd Party Products Replacement
  • Integration and Networking
    • Web Services
    • RSS feeds
    • SSH


  What needs to be modernized?

It is not just legacy application artifacts (code, data, and documentation) that are candidates for modernization. There is an opportunity to modernize developers, development tools and infrastructure.

The most important message in this whitepaper is that by consolidating the use of resources in IT, it is possible to save both time and money. Our quest starts with a vision of what IT should be like after modernization.


  IT Infrastructure

Changing an infrastructure to one that supports cloud computing architecture has far reaching implications for modernizing developers and development tools. The most common platforms for cloud hosting are Linux and Windows. With these environments come plethora of software, both commercial and open source, that can lead to an advanced set of development tools.

Once the infrastructure changes, or is supplemented by cloud compatible platforms, as is illustrated in Figure 4, options for improvement in other areas change as well. The networked – cloud-like architecture creates is part of what makes it possible to change such things as web and mobile enabling of legacy applications as well as how development for those applications is done.

110613_1950_LegacyModer1.pngFigure 4 – A Changed IT Infrastructure – Cloud Architecture that includes Legacy Applications


  Applications and Application Development

IBM uses the term Enterprise Modernization to offer a set of tools and services that provide “A simple, robust, unified approach to end-to-end construction of application and services that shields developers from intricacies of runtimes and middleware”.

The IBM solution approach has the following features:

  • A common development language that they call Enterprise Generation Language (EGL).
  • Legacy development
  • New development
  • Web, mobile and web services development
  • The ability to consume outside web services
  • A common toolset that is shared for all types of development
  • A common strategy and toolset to test and deploy applications to all environments.



  Benefits of Legacy Modernization Solution

When one looks at the advancements that have been made in development tools and networking, one can see that by modernizing Legacy applications in a strategic way, it can help simplify some of the complexity in today’s modern IT environment. This also enables Legacy applications for compatibility with newer applications.

More specifically, the modernization approach means that Legacy applications are adaptable for integration with newer and cloud-based applications. At the same time these same applications can be made more suitable for mobile, web and social media integration as well. Moreover, there is an opportunity to retool the application so that more uniformity is achieved when developing Legacy and new development staffs. Legacy and newer developers can also work as teams and share skill sets.

Some of the benefits of modernizing Legacy applications in a strategic way are:

Reduced cost:  Lowers high maintenance cost of existing Legacy platforms and development tools, resulting in substantial savings in IT budgets.

Lower risks:  Reuse of business rules and data is less risky than alternatives.

Enhanced flexibility:  Creates a flexible IT environment with new architectural paradigms such as web services; aligns IT systems to dynamic business needs.

Modern development tools:  Legacy and new developers can use the same or
similar tools, enabling both to develop Legacy applications.

Shorter development times:  Modernizes development tools and retrains developers which lead to shorter development times.

Minimized disruption:  Reduces the risk when modernizing Legacy platforms by combining two decades of development experience with contemporary platforms, a proven modernization framework and rich domain knowledge.


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