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ModernizationInPlace™ Approach Overview

General Nov 08, 2013 Comments Off on ModernizationInPlace™ Approach Overview

110613_1950_LegacyModer1.png

Modernizing and/or Migrating legacy applications to Cloud Architecture Saves Time and Money

The same technologies that make the Cloud work also represent best practices for a modern IT environment. These components typically consist of a front end platform (fat client, thin client, mobile device), back end platforms (servers, storage),  and a network. Combined, these components make up cloud computing architecture. We believe including legacy applications in this cloud architecture through modernization is the best course.

Transformix focuses on modernizing Legacy applications so that they are cloud architecture compatible through the following steps:

   The Transformix Approach

A recent McKinsey Quarterly survey of global executives on the impact of participatory Web 2.0 technologies (such as social networks, wikis, and microblogs) on management and performance. The survey found that deploying these technologies to create networked organizations that foster innovative collaboration among employees, customers, and business partners is highly correlated with market share gains.

Also, several sources including JD Power and Forrester report that a utility with 1.5 million customers can save $1,387,500/yr by implementing customer self service using mobile and web applications. The savings are much more dramatic with 3 million customers the utility can save $2,775,000/yr. Therefore, even if it cost the utility $1,387,500 to modernize their existing application which is unlikely, the ROI is less than one year!

What we hear most often, in the context of cloud, typically has nothing to do with Legacy applications. The promised benefits from cloud hosting are mostly focused on applications other than Legacy. The most important reasons for this are that typically Legacy applications do not run on platforms that are hosted in the cloud and their architecture is usually not suited to the kind of integration needed for cloud-based usage.

Also at issue are newer technologies such as mobile and web applications in the organization. Mobile devices, web applications and social media use, necessary by organizations with Legacy applications, present additional challenges. Similar integration issues make the use of these technologies with Legacy applications more difficult than with newer application types.

Legacy staff skills can also be at odds with the use of technologies normally associated with cloud and modern applications. Maintaining these skills is becoming increasing difficult due to the aging of those with the requisite skills and the lack of new developers who are willing to take their place.

Cloud technologies (architecture components), those hardware and software components that are used for networking and interoperability, are not normally associated with legacy applications. However, 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 and can make it so that legacy applications can gain compatibility with newer applications. More specifically, it can mean that Legacy applications can be adapted in a way that makes them suitable for integration with newer and cloud-based applications.

  Legacy applications can be made to play well with others through modernization.

Transformix specializes on helping originations with legacy applications position those applications on equal footing with newer applications by modernizing them to be Cloud compatible.

Transformix Legacy Migration

General Nov 08, 2013 Comments Off on Transformix Legacy Migration

Development-Skills

Migration retains the look and feel and program runtime behavior of the application

Software migration (re-hosting) is the process of moving from one operating environment to another.  In its purest form, software migration targets functional equivalence.  That is, although the operating system, the database, the file system, utilities and third-party tools might have been replaced, the application continues to behave as it did in the source environment.  This is sometimes referred to as a like-for-like migration.

Transformix Migration Steps are:

  • Assessment
  • Proof of Concept
  • Planning
  • Engineering
  • Migration
  • Testing
  • Validation
  • Deployment

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Legacy Modernization to Cloud Architecture

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

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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.

     

transformix-sayings-(1)

  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.

 

Development Staff Skills Modernization and Consolidation

General Nov 08, 2013 Comments Off on Development Staff Skills Modernization and Consolidation

Legacy-migration

Modernizing Legacy applications can be done in such a way so as to modernize not just the code and data but the developers and their tools as well.

Typical solution approaches have the following features:

  • Common development languages
    • IBM EGL
    • JAVA
    • Javascript
  • Legacy development
  • New development
  • Modern UI Development (Web, Mobile, Rich Client)
  • 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.

  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”.

<strong>The IBM solution approach has the following features:</strong>

  • 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.

    transformix-sayings-(1)

  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.

 

  Modern Application Development Tools

There is no doubt that application development has changed. The web has become a gigantic application server and user interaction is increasingly focused on the web browser and various mobile devices. We feel it is important to highlight a selected few modern development tools that are not usually present in a Legacy development environment.

  Web 2.0

Web 2.0 is a collective term that refers to a series of technological improvements for using web and browser technology. These improvements are based primarily on two major paradigm shifts in the way people use the Web – Thin client computing and User-generated content.

Selected examples of features considered to be part of Web 2.0 are listed below:

Portals – Portals can make use of the Thin Client and User Generated Content technological improvements. In Thin Client computing, data and applications are stored on web servers. A user has access from any computer via a web browser, thus turning the Web into a gigantic application server. Portals also make it possible for users to control what content they get and, in some cases, incorporate user generated content.

Web applications – A broad range of new applications make it possible for users to run programs directly in a web browser.

The ability to develop interactive web applications that access data and services will become increasingly important for most organizations. Tools must be available to help do this.

  Mobile

Smart, hand held device CIOs need to find ways to leverage mobile in a positive way for the enterprise. This includes developing new mobile applications, working with business leaders on new mobile business strategies, and securing enterprise data. Suffice to say, Mobile is such a big trend that it must be a core component of every organization’s IT strategy.

The ability to develop mobile applications is also becoming increasingly important.

  IDE Features and Capabilities

The figures below are used by IBM to describe tools used to develop in EGL, the key development language in their Enterprise Modernization Solution. Below are just a few of the many great features of modern development tools.

Source Editing

A fully integrated source code editor provides syntax highlighting, content assist, code formatting, quick fix, import organization, folding, and more to make writing code fast and simple.

Visual Editing


A true WYSIWYG visual editor for visual editing and previewing web UIs. The Design tab contains an embedded browser that supports the visual construction of UIs by dragging and dropping widgets from the Palette, moving and deleting widgets and more. Because the Design tab is an actual browser, what you see in the Design screen is what you get. The Preview tab provides a live, running version of the UI.

Rich Widget Library


Included out of the box is a variety of UI widgets, including standard HTML widgets. And with the popular, open source Dojo toolkit built in, you have the ability to create rich, compelling UIs.

Debugging


Using the integrated debug tools, developers can fully debug applications (end to end) by setting breakpoints in code (regardless of whether that code is targeted for Java, JavaScript, or both) and running the application from the IDE. Developers can step through the code, view variable values, and more.

IDE Test Server

With an integrated IDE Test Server, applications can be fully tested and debugged from within the IDE without configuring or deploying to a conventional server.

Database Access


These products support accessing SQL relational databases, such as MySQL and Derby, from tools-generated Java services and libraries.

Web Services


With support for consuming services that return XML or JSON, developers can create new applications and services that utilize existing services.

Batch Programs


In the IBM solution, EGL supports creation of batch-style Java programs that can be run from command line, offering the ability to perform post-processing on a database, report generation, and more.

  Web Service and Integration

Most people who have a smart phone or a tablet use web services. Google maps are a good example. There is an increasing need for what used to be ordinary internal applications to “consume” external web services and incorporate them in what used to be internal applications.

The Need for a Common Development Toolkit

So, what do our requirements look like now?

  • Modernize existing Legacy assets
  • Leverage modern cloud architectures
  • Leverage cloud infrastructures
  • Leverage existing knowledge and skill sets
  • Attract new skills
  • Leverage a common development environment for all development teams
  • Better leverage development spending by combining Legacy development with new, mobile and web development into a common toolset.
  • Achieve development platform independence
  • Reduced number of development tools to meet modern needs

Earlier in this document we made the assertion that modernizing Legacy applications using cloud architecture and a cloud compatible toolkit can reduce development and management complexity which saves time and money.

If you place the Legacy application in a network where it has access to the cloud, you can achieve these objectives.

Adopting a Cloud Architecture Strategy for All Applications

General Nov 07, 2013 Comments Off on Adopting a Cloud Architecture Strategy for All Applications

 

Adopting a Cloud Architecture Strategy for All Applications

Information Technology is not a sport for wimps. It is a complex business that is getting increasingly more complex with time. If it is viewed as a whole, it is almost daunting.

Change is constant and we who are part of the Information Technology industry are controlled by the events, products, and demands created both inside and outside the field. In addition, staffing issues and maintaining infrastructure for all of the new and existing technologies, while at the same time keeping the extended data center in production, complicate and make our task that much more difficult.

What we hear most often, in the context of cloud, typically has nothing to do with Legacy applications. The promised benefits from cloud hosting are mostly focused on applications other than Legacy. The most important reasons for this are that typically Legacy applications do not run on platforms that are hosted in the cloud and their architecture is usually not suited to the kind of integration needed for cloud-based usage.

Also at issue are newer technologies such as mobile and web applications in the organization. Mobile devices, web applications and social media use, necessary by organizations with Legacy applications, present additional challenges. Similar integration issues make the use of these technologies with Legacy applications more difficult than with newer application types.

Legacy staff skills can also be at odds with the use of technologies normally associated with cloud and modern applications. Maintaining these skills is becoming increasing difficult due to the aging of those with the requisite skills and the lack of new developers who are willing to take their place.

Cloud technologies (architecture components), those hardware and software components that are used for networking and interoperability, are not normally associated with legacy applications. However, 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 and can make it so that legacy applications can gain compatibility with newer applications. More specifically, it can mean that Legacy applications can be adapted in a way that makes them suitable for integration with newer and cloud-based applications.

These applications can also be configured for seamless integration with mobile, web and social media. Moreover, an opportunity exists to retool the application so that more uniformity is achieved in both Legacy and its staff development. This results in the opportunity to have legacy and newer developers work as teams and share skill sets.

Solution

Component

Modern Application

Legacy Application

Modernized Legacy Application

Application and Data Integration

Yes

No

Yes

SOA enablement

Yes

No

Yes

User Experience Modernization

Yes

No

Yes

Development Environment Modernization

Yes

No

Yes

Development Staff Modernization

Yes

No

Yes

Cloud Compatible Infrastructure

Yes

No

Yes

Cloud Hosting

Optional

No

Optional

Figure 1 – Goal for the Legacy System

 

A whitepaper is available on this site that explores the benefits of modernizing Legacy applications in such a way so as to modernize not just the code and data but the developers and their tools as well.

Part of the solution is to use modern development IDE based workbenches and, in some cases, bolting a cloud like infrastructure to the existing application using web services that talk to the terminals.

In other cases the solution is achieved by migrating the application and modernizing other aspects of it. Included is changing COBOL code to JAVA that is maintainable by both COBOL programmers and new JAVA programmers. This paper also discusses the economic and time saving benefits of such an approach.

The goals for the approach presented in this paper are highlighted in Figure 1. Our main emphasis is to put Legacy applications on the same, or a similar footing to newer, modern applications.

What follows is a brief explanation of this:

Application and Data Integration: Making tools available so that the Legacy application data, and any needed applications, can be accessed securely by servers and clients outside of its own traditional network. In addition, to make it so the Legacy application can access data, applications and services external to itself.


SOA enablement: Create the ability to offer resources from the Legacy application as web services.

 

User Experience Modernization: Provide the ability to create web, mobile and social media interoperability with the Legacy system and applications.

 

Development Environment Modernization:
IBM, Microfocus, Oracle and others
have shown that the same or similar tools can be used by both Legacy and new developers. The skills overlap can be of great benefit to organizations that take advantage of them. This approach helps to address the skills shortage of Legacy developers and helps prepare for the future so that new developers are available to maintain and enhance the Legacy applications once the current developers retire.

 

Development Staff Modernization:
Legacy development tools usually lack the productivity of a more modern development and deployment environment.

 

Modernization provides an opportunity to modernize the tools and the skills of the development staff.


Cloud Compatible Infrastructure: Other things in this list are made possible after the infrastructure is modernized to a cloud – For example, the architecture.

 

 

 

Cloud and Cloud Architecture Adoption

General Nov 06, 2013 Comments Off on Cloud and Cloud Architecture Adoption

Modernizing legacy applications so that they could work in a cloud computing architecture environment has many benefits that are independent of those offered by hosting providers. 

Transformix focuses on modernizing Legacy applications so that they are cloud architecture compatible.

 

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