MigrationWare has partnered with Sogeti, one of the largest software service providers in the Netherlands, to assist its client Dela in migrating its software systems from their existing mainframe environment to a Windows Environment.
João de Oliveira, MigrationWare Sales Director, said in addition to Dela's high operational costs of €3.7m annually and its licensing costs, an important motivation for the migration was that Dela's business applications had been developed in IDEAL, an 'end-of-life' environment that did not fit with new architectures and technologies.
Based on the cost benefits and the shorter return on investment, Dela chose to convert to the Microsoft Windows platform and use Micro Focus COBOL technology for its connectivity and excellent development environment.
Proof of concept:
De Oliveira that Dela's decision to build a target environment around the key Micro Focus and Microsoft technologies, enabled MigrationWare to play a significant role in the project.
"Dela felt the conversion of 2700 IDEAL programs was a high risk project because of the many technological changes. To take away this important barrier, an extended proof of concept phase was introduced to provide Dela with the security of a successful conversion," he says.
The proof of concept (POC) entailed converting a representative portion of the source to the target environment to prove that the conversion could be done. The Micro Focus COBOL technology on Windows provided a powerful conversion testing environment with excellent traceability and debugging facilities.
After a successful POC the start point was to run a baseline test using the original DB2 database containing test data on the mainframe.
All screens and reports were captured, all file inputs and outputs retained and together with the before and after snapshots of the DB2 database and were converted to the target database on the Windows platform. Only when the data conversion was successfully completed did the target environment testing begin in earnest.
The next step was to perform parallel tests and comparisons on all aspects of the system. This involved screens, reports, files and database snapshots. Whenever deviations occurred analysis was done to determine the cause and, when necessary, bugs which had occurred due to the conversion were fixed before re-running the test.
"The mainframe was moved out of the Dela building within two weeks of the migrated applications going live. Planning had been very optimistic due to the pressure of an existing lease contract expiring and the prospect of cost savings. With the project taking longer than planned, actual cost savings kicked in two months later than originally expected," he says.
The use of automation tooling to convert source code, database definitions and data, was a critical part of the successful migration project. The higher the levels of automation provided lower risks.
"The results of the migration included identical functionality to the original system, and almost identical look and feel with no additional user training required. The migrated systems provided better performance than the original mainframe systems and although additional code was introduced, the program structure and maintainability remained unchanged," he says.
The Micro Focus environment on Windows increased developer productivity, which formed the beginning of significant cost savings for Dela.
MigrationWare specialises in modernising legacy code and aging IT infrastructure by transforming and extending existing valuable investments in IT onto contemporary, open, more cost-effective environments or software languages. Through its commitment to automating the conversion and migration process, MigrationWare reduces to a minimum the costs and risks associated with IT rejuvenation projects.
MigrationWare and Micro Focus:
MigrationWare is a strategic partner of Micro Focus. MigrationWare's products supplement Micro Focus's offerings which are distributed by Micro Focus worldwide. MigrationWare also partners with Micro Focus on a number of international clients and distributes and supports Micro Focus software in Southern Africa.