Legacy Application Modernization | System i, AS400, iSeries Modernization Products from LANSA

By: Lansa  09-12-2011
Keywords: web application

IBM System i application modernization products from LANSA

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Legacy application modernization is a broad term covering many different interpretations, methodologies and implementations. The modernization method you choose depends on your situation which will be driven by factors such as business initiatives, application architecture, time, cost and skills. LANSA is aware that one size will not fit all IBM System i (AS400, iSeries) application modernization projects and offers a range of products:

    These legacy application modernization products are not mutually exclusive. You can combine them to create a modernization solution that will extend the life of your existing applications whilst meeting today’s business requirements.

    What does legacy application modernization mean?

    Legacy application modernization means taking an application built in the past and changing it to be more appropriate for today’s business opportunities. Modernization means changing a legacy application to become a modern application.

    Comparing the characteristics of legacy and modern applications provides insight into what must change in the legacy application during the modernization process.

    Legacy Applications Modern Applications
    • Text-based user interface – users need to learn
    (not readily understandable)
    • Graphical user interface that is intuitive and
    • Concealed tree-like hierarchy
    • Navigation through fixed structures
    • Standalone applications make integration difficult • Simplified integration with other applications
    including office tools like Microsoft Word and
    • Large applications – often with a single code
    base – where any change is a change to the
    whole application
    • Application architecture is tiered – applications
    built from reusable components – change occurs
    at the component level rather than the whole
    • Constrained by device type (such as a 5250
    • Available on multiple devices with a browser –
    personal computers (Windows and Web) and
    mobile devices (smart cell phones and portable
    • Decreasing skills and vendor support • Readily available skills and universally
    • Requires specific IT expertise to make changes • Development languages and tools widely known
    • Tied to server and database technology • Multiple platforms and database independent

    Flexible options to meet your legacy application modernization needs

    The modernization process retains the existing application and allows you to move components of the application into new environments – by Web-enabling the user interface or opening up parts of the application as a Web service. A benefit of legacy application modernization is keeping what you already have, you know how it works and it supports your specific business requirements. Modernization will improve the ROI on the investment already made in the application.

    LANSA offers IBM System i (AS400, iSeries) application modernization products that enable you to modernise as much or as little of your legacy application as you need, all the way through to full application replacement.

    Renovate: Add Web GUI to existing application

    Legacy application modernization through renovation converts the 5250 application into a Web application. The 5250 application remains intact and the outcome from the renovation is a Web application with a graphical user interface. Both RAMP and aXes are suitable for renovation projects.

    Reuse: Enhance existing application, new functions and a GUI

    Reuse takes the existing 5250 application as its base and extends the application with new functions and a graphical user interface. RAMP provides the framework for modernising a 5250 application with a graphical user interface and extending its functionality. LANSA Open for .NET is appropriate when you want to include functions from the 5250 application in a Windows application.

    Replace: New application, new functionality and a GUI

    Replacing a 5250 application provides a new application with a graphical user interface but it can be an expensive project. Gradual replacement is a safer approach. You begin by reusing the whole 5250 application, and then gradually introduce new functions while retiring the equivalent functions in the original application. RAMP is the ideal modernisation tool for gradual replacement.

    RAMP – a staged approach to legacy application modernization

    RAMP also lets you rapidly consolidate multiple legacy applications into one graphical application framework and replace your existing programs with new components in a timeframe that makes sense to your organization.

    This modernization method is advantageous for a staged approach to a complete application replacement or partial legacy application modernization.

    With RAMP you do not need the source code.

    aXes – Web-enabling legacy applications quickly

    This modernization method is suitable for situations where you need to be "on the Web" quickly and then take time to extend and enhance the application.

    With aXes you do not need the source code.

    LANSA Open for .NET – access IBM System i from modern Windows applications

    The .NET applications use the same set of business rules already in place for the legacy applications. Applying the same business rules to both applications from a central point is particularly advantageous. The .NET developer does not need to code the business rules in the .NET application. Therefore, when the rules change you do not need to redeploy the .NET components.

    One modernization strategy is to write Windows applications as front-ends for your legacy systems. This modernization method is suitable when you want to take advantage of the capabilities of the Windows platform but retain the functionality of your legacy applications.

    With LANSA Open for .NET you do not need the source code.

Keywords: web application

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