Monday Jun 18, 2012

Mainframe modernization - Getting it to work

Interesting read on a very old (1950s) Medicaid system that the State of NC is struggling to modernize. The new language for the modern system is COBOL. This is causing some 'heads to turn':
State of NC modernization to COBOL

Monday Jun 11, 2012

Unidata and RDB migrations to Oracle

Have a couple of unique migrations that don't come along to often. They are Unidata and RDB migrations. The top three things that make these migration more challenging are:
1. No automated data migration tools - Because these migration don't happen that often, there are no tools in the market place to automated the data migration.
2. Application is tied to database - The application needs to be re-architected/re-engineered. Unidata Basic and COBOL for RDB. TSRI can migrate Basic to Java and PL/SQL. Transoft can migrate DEC COBOL to Java.
3. New client hardware potentially involved - Many Unidata and RDB based systems use 'green screens' as the front end. These are character based screens that will run on very old dumb terminals such as: Wyse and DEC 5250 terminals. The user interface can be replicated in a web browser but many times these old terminals do not support web browsers.

Tuesday May 22, 2012

The COBOL Brain Drain

Cover Story in this edition of Computerworld:
COBOL Brain Drain
Some notable things from article:
1. 48% of companies still use a lot of COBOL. The highest language usage beating even Java!
2. COBOL is being used in 53% of cases for new applications.
3. Move off mainframe / COBOL is not happening any time soon (this is my interpretation) as the article mentions this a couple times 5-10 years people will start
to retire...which means more like 10-15 years.
4. Thought this was funny but sad. US government had IBM look at a System/36 environment to see if should be migrated off this system. IBM concluded it would
be to complicated and costly. This is like hiring Microsoft to see if you should move from Window/SQL Server to Linux/Oracle.

Monday May 14, 2012

The market for CICS COBOL mainframe applications

Most interesting quote from a mainframe ISV development shop:
'No one is buying CICS COBOL applications anymore'

Tuesday May 08, 2012

Progress Divesting mainframe integration software

Will be interesting to see which company picks up Progress DataDirect Shadow product:
Shadow for sale

Thursday Apr 05, 2012

Dell - Consolidating migration market place ?

First acquisition was re-hosting and now re-architecture:
Dell acquires Make Technologies

Wednesday May 25, 2011

COBOL Cloud

Think about all those mainframe applications moved off the mainframe into open systems cloud computing. Well, Micro Focus is offering enterprise cloud for mainframe COBOL applications that are re-platformed off the mainframe: http://cloudservices.microfocus.com/main/default.aspx/MFECS/MFECS.html Pretty interesting given that the mainframe was the original cloud platform. It just that it used TSO(time sharing option), OS390, VSAM, CICS, IMS-TM, JCL, ISM-DB, and in some cases DB2. Some of these technologies (like VSAM) are just not flexible and easy to retrieve access. On a related note, Micro Focus is 'in play'. Rumors of potential buy out by private equity or even IBM or Oracle.
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Migrating legacy client/server and mainframe technologies to the Oracle cloud.

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