Mainframe Languages

Download Mainframe Languages

Post on 19-Jan-2016

13 views

Category:

Documents

0 download

Embed Size (px)

TRANSCRIPT

  • Moving Mainframe Applications to Windows

    Considering the options to preserve, translate, or rewrite

    Custom Research Note

    Author: Dr. Mike Gilbert, Legacy Directions

    Published: February 2008

    For the latest information, please see www.microsoft.com/mainframe

    Analyst Dr. Mike Gilbert of Legacy Directions Limited wrote this custom research note for Microsoft

    Corporation. Interested readers should contact the author at mike.gilbert@legacydirections.com to

    arrange further discussion or an interview.

  • 1 Moving Mainframe Applications to Windows 1

    Contents

    Introduction .................................................................................................................................................... 2

    Mainframe modernization .............................................................................................................................. 3

    Application migration ................................................................................................................................. 3

    Mainframe programming languages ......................................................................................................... 5

    Windows compilers for mainframe languages .............................................................................................. 6

    Vendor solutions ....................................................................................................................................... 7

    Case study: The Italian Department of Social Security ............................................................................. 9

    Language conversion tools ......................................................................................................................... 10

    Vendor solutions ..................................................................................................................................... 11

    Case study: GDC A/S ............................................................................................................................. 12

    Services and tools to rewrite mainframe applications ................................................................................. 14

    Service providers .................................................................................................................................... 14

    Legacy analysis tools .............................................................................................................................. 15

    Case study: The Schwan Food Company .............................................................................................. 17

    Analysis of language migration options ....................................................................................................... 18

    Windows compilers for mainframe languages ........................................................................................ 19

    Language conversion tools ..................................................................................................................... 20

    Services and tools to rewrite mainframe applications ............................................................................. 20

    Conclusions ................................................................................................................................................. 22

    Looking forward ...................................................................................................................................... 22

    Appendix A: Compiler product profiles ........................................................................................................ 24

    Appendix B: Conversion tool profiles .......................................................................................................... 26

    Appendix C: Service provider profiles ......................................................................................................... 29

    Appendix D: Analysis tool profiles ............................................................................................................... 30

    Appendix E: The Object Management Group ............................................................................................. 31

  • 2 Moving Mainframe Applications to Windows 2

    Introduction

    According to a 2003 report by the Aberdeen Group1, investment in legacy applications, which account for

    upwards of 70 percent of enterprise business operations, consumes as much as 80 percent of enterprise

    software budgets as IT organizations struggle to align those systems to current and future business

    needs. In a September 2006 report2, Aberdeen Group claims that The global economy runs on legacy

    systems that represent hundreds of billions of dollars in investments that enterprises have made over decades.

    Many of these applications were first built 30 or 40 years ago with a life expectancy of 10 years or so, but

    IT organizations have a poor track record of refreshing investment in software infrastructure. Instead, we

    have added to, updated, and integrated these applications with new systems as business needs grew,

    until they became the foundations of present-day business processes.

    But these foundations are still locked in a technology time capsule; they become harder to modernize as

    they are more deeply embedded in their surrounding technology infrastructure. One of the key reasons for

    this difficulty is that the applications are defined by huge volumes of platform-specific source code written

    many years ago. It is not unusual to find a major bank or insurance company that maintains an inventory

    of 80100 million lines of code. This requires a large team of mainframe programmers, but these skills are becoming harder to find.

    Many organizations are now seeking ways to escape from this technology time capsule. Those who have

    decided on a move to a new platform must consider how to make best use of their investment in existing

    applications. This paper presents three options and analyzes the impact that these choices have on the

    business.

    Business leaders will benefit from a high-level understanding of the issues and conclusions addressed in

    this paper, but our intended audience is chief information officers and chief architects who are tasked with

    critical technical decisions that match IT spending (and hence, systems architecture) with business

    benefits.

    The paper aims to raise awareness of the available software solutions that can be used to move

    mainframe language applications to the Windows operating system, and to indicate additional resources

    for the reader who wants to delve more deeply into the subject. In the sections that follow, we describe

    briefly the broader issues concerning modernizing mainframe applications and the options available, and

    we then explore three solutions to the language problem, ranging from recompiling the application on

    Windows to a complete rewrite. A further option, to replace the existing custom code with a packaged

    solution, while entirely viable and commonly adopted for generic business applications, is outside the

    scope of this paper. In each of the three solutions presented here, we provide a list of vendor offerings, a

    selection of vendor and product profiles, and a case study to illustrate the solution. In the analysis, we look

    at the business impact of each of these solutions in terms of cost, risk, skills, agility, and innovation.

    1 IBMs Legacy Application Antiques Road Show. Aberdeen Group. April 2003.

    2 The Legacy Application Modernization Benchmark Report. Aberdeen Group. September 2006.

  • 3 Moving Mainframe Applications to Windows 3

    Mainframe modernization

    Applications written for the earlier IBM mainframe systems and plug-compatibles from Hitachi and Amdahl

    continue to give service today on System i and System z mainframes. Unisys continues to support early

    Burroughs and Sperry applications alongside Windows applications on its latest ClearPath hardware.

    Fujitsu and Fujitsu Siemens help organizations to maintain operations that use applications written for

    early ICL and Siemens mainframes. Meanwhile, the few organizations that are still using Wang, Bull, Data

    General, and older machines run the risk of unrecoverable failures. Many are planning to replace these

    systems with packages or to migrate them to newer platforms.

    Companies may extend and integrate mainframe applications to use these applications in new business

    contexts, but this does not help them to rationalize platform choices. The last decade has seen a huge

    increase in the number of servers deployed to support new business initiatives, but we now recognize that

    uncontrolled growth has created a large cost and carbon footprint. Businesses today want the flexibility to

    support consolidation to strategic platforms.

    In a 2006 report3, Gartner suggests that organizations need a wholesale re-architecting of the application

    platform, and conclude that CIOs and their IT executives must complete enterprise platform migration by 2009. Ultimately, IT organizations that choose a non-mainframe enterprise platform will want to close down their legacy platforms. But legacy applications do not move easily, because they were built on

    mainframe-specific and often proprietary operating environments. This leads org