Legacy Mainframe Modernization Whitepaper Cover Page

Legacy Modernization Whitepaper

Contents

EXECUTIVE OVERVIEW

COMPETING IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY

The Dilemma

The Criteria

The Solution

MAINFRAMES AND OPEN SYSTEM PLATFORMS

Unisys mainframes

IBM mainframes

Open-systems platforms

MODERNIZATION REQUIREMENTS

Code transformation

Rehosting

Trancode routing

Preprocessing and postprocessing items

Communications messaging system

Database conversions

ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS

Data and database conversions

Groups

Occurring Items

Logical databases and remaps

Embedded datasets

Pointers versus cursors

End transaction statements

Unique keys

Replacing COMS with OpenMCS

Unisys online applications

Open-systems message control

MCS requirements

Introduction to OpenMCS

OpenMCS migration process

Open MCS security schemes

Interoperability

Trend analysis

The smart choice

ASTADIA ROADMAP

Discovery

Scope

Preparation

Orientation

Requirements definition

Design

Analysis

Modeling

Architecture

Transformation

Conversion

Filtering

Testing

Synchronization

Deployment

Installation

Implementation

Transfer

Training

Closeout

ECONOMY THROUGH AUTOMATION

Application portfolio management

Data and database conversion

Code transformation

Rules-Based Transformation Engine

Code generation

Message handling

Open-systems message control

Customer information control system

Terminal emulation

Interface modernization

SERVICES

CASE STUDIES

Michigan Lottery

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

GLOSSARY

Executive Overview

 With all of the disruptive technologies introduced over the past several years, it is easy to forget that legacy mainframe systems still deliver most of the critical services we use every day including the mobile and online services so critical to your digital transformation.

The truth is that you can’t become a digital enterprise without the business processes and data contained on your Unisys or IBM mainframes, for instance. Unfortunately, legacy systems are the biggest roadblock to the progress you need to make.

 This whitepaper is focused on the unique challenges of legacy modernization and migrating a mainframe system to an open-systems environment. It is based on experience gained during dozens of conversions completed over more than 20 years in the industry.

Our goal is to provide enough detail on migration alternatives, risks, and planning requirements for you to have informed discussions at the executive level to build consensus on next steps.

 The report also includes details on several of the proprietary tools Astadia has developed over the years to overcome many of the migration challenges, including OpenMCS, Astadia’s message control system for Linux, Unix and Windows, that provides the necessary transaction processing features of Unisys COMS to support migrated applications.

We hope you find this document useful. Migrating your legacy infrastructure may represent one of the most challenging accomplishments of your IT career and is a critical step in your digital transformation. Choosing the right partner to assist you will be one of the biggest decisions you will make. We hope to hear from you.

Highlights of this whitepaper include:

  • While many Unisys platforms use COBOL, architectural differences between generations makes careful planning critical. Unisys COBOL may contain numerous extensions that make it proprietary to specific hardware. For this reason, Astadia developed the Rules-Based Transformation Engine which converts proprietary Unisys COBOL to industry-standard Micro Focus® COBOL.
  • Unisys mainframes also use Algorithmic Language to handle low-level operating routines and the code is specific to the Unisys operating system. Open systems, on the other hand, use languages such as C, Java, and .Net. Currently, no reliable automated processes exist to convert this code to C, Java, or .Net used in open systems so the code has to be rewritten.
  •  The proprietary Unisys Data Management System (DMSII) is a hierarchical database that includes backup and recovery tools. Migrating and preserving this data to an open-systems standard requires validation, conversion, and even possible modifications to the targeted destination architecture. It is not easy and requires extensive planning.
  •  DMSII also supports occurring items that programs can access with a subscript. Most relational databases, however, do not support occurring items. There are several methods for handling these, each with its own advantages and disadvantages which must be weighed against the overarching strategy.