Friday Jun 22, 2012

Progress 4GL and DB to Oracle and cloud

Getting from client/server based 4GLs and databases where the 4GL is tightly linked to the database to Oracle and the cloud is not easy. The least risky and expensive option (in the short term) is to use the Progress OpenEdge DataServer for Oracle:
Progress OpenEdge DataServer
This eliminates the need to have to migrate the Progress 4GL to Java/J2EE.
The database can be migrated using SQLWays Ispirer:
Ispirer SQLWays ProgressDB migrations tool

The Progress 4GL can remain as is. In order to get the application on the cloud there are a few approaches:
1. VDI - Virtual Desktop is a way to put all of the users desktop in a centralized environment off the desktop. This is great in cases where it is just not one client/server application that the user needs access too. In many cases, users will utilize MS Access, MS Excel, Crystal Reports and other tools to get at the Progress DB and other centralized databases. Vmware's acquistion of Wanova shows how VDI is growing in usage. Citrix is the 800 pound gorilla in the VDI space with Citrix WinFrame (now called XenDesktop). Oracle offers a VDI solution that Oracle picked up when it acquired Sun.
2. Hypervisor Server Virtualization - Of course you can place applications written in client/server languages like Progress 4GL buy using server virtualization from Oracle, VMWare, Microsoft, Citrix and others.
3. Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (aka: Terminal Services Client)
The entire idea is to eliminate all the client/server desktop devices and connections which require desktop software and database drivers. A solution to removing database drivers from the desktop is to use DataDirect SQLLink

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

Wednesday Jun 13, 2012

Migrating C/C++ embedded SQL code

When moving from Sybase C Embedded SQL to Oracle C Embedded SQL, there are no tools are process. Since Embedded SQL is a standard it should be pretty straight forward. The biggest challenge is going to be SQL that is Sybase specific. I would map the process out as follows:
1. Change include files from Sybase Embedded SQL libraries to Oracle Pro*C in each module.
2. Make sure the C code does not test for Sybase specific error messages. Fix where needed.
3. Run all modules through the Pro*C pre-compiler. Fix any embedded static SQL that does not make it through the pre-compiler using the SQL Developer scratch pad editor.
4. Compile using C compiler.
5. Test run the application fixing any dynamic SQL that does not work against Oracle using SQL Developer scratch pad editor.
SQL Developer can be downloaded here:

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.

Thursday Jun 07, 2012

Advantages of relational databases over VSAM, ISAM and hierarchical data stores

When migrating companies from legacy environments to the cloud, invariably you run into older hierarchical, flat file, VSAM, ISAM and other legacy data stores. There are many advantages to moving these databases into a relational database structure. The most important which is that most cloud providers run on relational database models. AWS, for example, supports Oracle, SQL Server, and MySQL. The top three 'other reasons' for moving to a relational database are:
1. Data Access – Thousands of database access tools from query creation to business intelligence.
2. Management and monitoring – Hundreds of tools for management and monitoring of the database.
3. Leverage all the free tools from relational database vendors. Free Oracle database tools include:
-Application Express – WYSIWIG browse based application development and deployment.
-SQL Developer – SQL and PL/SQL development. Database object maintenance.
Adding number four based upon feedback:
4. Data quality, integrity, referential integrity and even business logic is embedded in the database.
What is interesting is that Big Data NoSQL databases and XML databases are taking us back to the days of VSAM (key value databases) with NoSQL and IMS (hierarchical) with XML databases?

Thursday May 31, 2012

AWS web site up and running

Not to much effort and have the cloud migrations web site up and running on AWS EC2 public cloud:
Cloud Migrations .ORG
Cloud Migrations .NET

Monday May 28, 2012

noSQL Hadoop addes ACID with HBase HDFS

noSQL / Hadoop gets ACID and random read access using HBase:
HBase on Apache
However, as this document notes:
1. Relational databases still have many features like typed columns, secondary indices and transactions.
2. Moving from an RDBMS to HBase is not simple. It is an application re-write for the most part.

Friday May 25, 2012

Cloud open source standards and frameworks

Interesting article on cloud standards and frameworks for IaaS and PaaS:
Cloud IaaS and PaaS open standards

Monday May 21, 2012

Oracle Fusion in the cloud

Great quote in this article, "Let somebody else have the headaches":
Oracle Fusion in the cloud

iPad and tablets - Back to thick client devices and 3270 vendor lock in?

I just keep thinking that the proliferation of iPads and tablets in the enterprise is leading us back to the path of thick client computing. Don't get me wrong, I love the iPad and believe it is a great device....for emails, surfing the web, playing music, playing games, and getting directions. However, it is as thick of a client device as you can get. In addition, just like 3270 screens were proprietary, they are a proprietary platform. It seems like just yesterday everyone was rushing to get off of client/server systems and move to thin client machines with browser based access.

Sunday May 20, 2012

HP and Dell make major moves in modernization and cloud

HP and Dell in same story about my two favorite topics: legacy migrations and cloud computing. I did not realize that Dell is also make a play in the modernization and cloud space in regards to legacy 3270 terminal migration/modernization to newer thin client hardware (Wyse terminals). Did not think of this terminal modernization market before but there is definitely a lot of money to be made selling terminal hardware modernization! Read more: HP and Dell cloud and modernization plays

Wednesday May 16, 2012

RISC to x86 migrations - Or CISC to RISC

Migrating from RISC based systems to x86 (CISC based systems) is another type of cloud migration along with application, database, and mainframe z/OS migrations. However, the steps, best
practices, process, methodology, and tools used are the same. The components of the current RISC based architecture that need to be migrated remain the same:
1. On line application
2. Batch application
3. Integration Infrastructure
4. BI and reporting
5. ETL processing
7. Operating System
Note on OS migration: Although an operating system migration is often assumed (UNIX to Windows/Linux) in a RISC to x86 migrations, this does not necessarily need to be the case as Solaris and HP-UX (announced) run on x86.
It may also be the case you are already running Linux on your RISC system so there is no need to migrate the OS. However, you will probably be upgrading to a
newer release of Linux.
8. Operating System scripts and tools
9. Application, network, database and operating system management and monitoring products and tools
10. Other infrastructure software such as DR, replication servers, gateways, back up and recovery ....
11. Hardware refresh - Of course, you will need to purchase, install, configure and test the x86 based hardware platform. This is a great opportunity to consider hardware infrastructure that is
better suited to the cloud such as blades (Dell, CISCO UCS, Sun/Oracle) or engineered systems (Exadata and Exalogic).
Ultimately the question is how long will it take, what are all the activities involved, and how much will it cost. The answer to these questions is based more on the OS migration that is being done
then the move from RISC to x86. Will the application language or 4GL product run on Linux/Windows? What is the impact of moving the database from one OS to another ? (this should be minimal as all major relational databases run on x86). The biggest impact (for the application migration) could be Unix specific KSH or CSH scripts. You may also be running management, monitoring, or older job scheduling tools that
only run on UNIX/RISC.
As you can see, nothing is different here from what I have blogged about regarding mainframe, client/server, and application cloud migrations.
Intel has a comprehensive RISC migration white paper here:
RISC Migration

Tuesday Mar 27, 2012

SQL Server 2012 price increase - what is the impact to migrations ?

SD Times as well as other publications have been discussing the pricing change that is coming for Microsoft SQL Server 2012 when it was released on March 6th.
SD Times SQL Server 2012 license changes bring new concerns.
It will be interesting to see what impact this has on folks that are considering Oracle or looking to migrate from Sybase to SQL Server or Oracle.

Friday Mar 16, 2012

Deploying Oracle in the cloud

http://searchoracle.techtarget.com/news/2240113336/Book-outlines-strategies-for-switching-to-Oracle-in-the-cloud

Thursday Mar 15, 2012

Running applications in the cloud not designed for the cloud

The question of what to do with applications that were written for the mainframe or client/server based applications that do not fit into a shared service model of the cloud has come up a lot in the last few weeks. This is something that is addressed in chapter 8 of the Migrating to the Cloud book. The bottom line is: The issue you face with moving client/server applications to the cloud via rehosting is “where will the applications run?” Currently, your applications are installed on client PC machines or other thick client devices; the Apple iPhone is in the thick client category as you actually download an application that runs on your iPhone; the application now needs to be hosted on a central server accessible through the Web. A handful of products from Oracle and third parties are available for hosting client/server applications in the cloud. Third-party solutions include Citrix XenApp (formerly Citrix WinFrame Server, Citrix MetaFrame Server, and Citrix Presentation Server) and VMware Server. Oracle solutions include Oracle Virtual Server, Oracle Tuxedo, and Oracle Exalogic. Oracle Tuxedo is the leading open systems transaction processor (TP). It supports both COBOL and C/C++ applications, as well as Ruby and Python. Oracle Tuxedo can run on Oracle Exalogic to provide you both the application runtime environment (Tuxedo) and the cloud hardware infrastructure (Exalogic). Oracle Tuxedo can also be deployed on Oracle Virtual Server for a virtualized cloud environment. We will discuss Oracle Virtual Server and Oracle Exalogic in detail in the “Target Hardware and Software Stack Options” section later in this chapter. [Begin WARNING] A client/server application cannot just be moved to a virtual server and be considered cloud-ready. The application is now accessible by many users, so it must be multiuser and multithreaded. Oracle Tuxedo and Oracle WebLogic Server are both multiuser and multithreaded. A single-user C, C++, or Java application can be made multiuser by running this application in Oracle Tuxedo or Oracle WebLogic Server as these application server containers are multiuser and multithreaded. When using Oracle Virtual Server, it needs to be placed into a grid middle tier environment. This environment could consistent of a cluster of commodity hardware components with a load balancer in front of the configuration for managing load balancing (multithreading) and multiuser connections. This virtual server grid can then run hundreds of images of the same application so that the application can service hundreds or thousands of users. [End WARNING]
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