Displaying items by tag: transformation

As we enter a new year, it’s only natural to look back on what we accomplished in the past 365 days. Many of those accomplishments centered around explaining what TSRI does in a way that nearly everyone can understand. Software modernization and refactoring solutions are, by their very nature, complex concepts. Teams of specialized engineers are required to successfully complete each project, and even the simplest automated transformations can take months to get all the right pieces put into place.

In this blog, we highlight some of the most informative pieces published in 2021. These materials were designed to help make the automated modernization process easier to understand and navigate from start to finish. We hope you’ll find them useful as you consider your organization’s IT plans and modernization initiatives for the coming year.

 

GETTING READY TO MODERNIZE!

 

Modernizing to the Cloud 
Scott Pickett, TSRI’s Vice President of Product Operations and Service Delivery, conducted a live presentation that discussed how automated modernization can help organizations move their applications to the cloud. The presentation resulted in a complete series of videos, all of which are accessible from the post linked above.

 

Check out this article featuring a downloadable Checklist: Preparing for Cloud Modernization to help you assess your organization’s current assets, including your existing codebase, databases, and other tools that may be installed on your mainframes and other legacy technologies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MODERNIZE WITH LESS DISRUPTION

One of the major risks of any modernization is the amount of time a system will be taken offline during cutover to the new environment. Any downtime becomes a disruption to the business, whether that means lost revenue or maintaining security of mission-critical systems. This post, 4 Tips for Modernizing with Minimal Business Disruption discusses ways that organizations can mitigate disruption, and also explains how proofs of concepts, step-wise automated migrations, and proper planning play into maintaining continuous uptime.
 

Common Misconceptions About Modernization (And What to Do About Them)
Application modernization is a game changer in any organization. Oftentimes, perceived obstacles, such as prolonged system downtime, get in the way of bringing mission-critical applications to modern programming environments. This article helps to dispel many of those notions.

 

Automated Refactoring: The Critical Component to Achieving a Successful Modernization
When any application gets modernized, the codebase shifts from a legacy language such as COBOL or PL/1 to a modern language such as C# or Java. However, just because the language is up to date doesn’t mean the system will operate more efficiently. That’s why refactoring is so important: this automated, iterative process eliminates dead code and redundancies while streamlining the entire application. It’s truly the key to more secure, robust applications.

Microservices Offer Robustness and Security in Modern Systems
Many, if not most of the clients who modernize their mainframes with TSRI started out with monolithic systems. All functions in the workflow relied upon one another, and if one area went down, the entire system went down. Modern software architecture operates using multiple tiers that interoperate with one another, but aren’t dependent on each other. That means if one area goes down, the entire system doesn’t go down with it. A component of this structure, known as microservices, makes for easier software maintenance and also protects organizations while allowing for faster go-to-market strategies for new applications.

Cloud Migration and Containerization: 3 Steps to Reduce Risk and Ensure Success
An important benefit to automated modernization is how the business logic of the transformed application never changes. Sometimes, particularly when modernizing to the cloud, the legacy application may still require some usage. Rather than keep the mainframe in operation or employing some other inefficient, insecure method, transforming to a containerized modern codebase can keep those application instances separate from the rest of its processes. This method increases security and efficiency while allowing for further system development in modern languages.

As you contemplate modernizing your mainframe or embedded-system applications in the new year, we hope these articles will provide you with the knowledge you need to move forward.

 

TSRI is Here for You

As a leading provider of software modernization services, TSRI enables technology readiness for the cloud and other modern architecture environments. We bring software applications into the future quickly, accurately, and efficiently with low risk and minimal business disruption, accomplishing in months what would otherwise take years.

See Case Studies

Learn About Our Technology

Get Started on your Modernization Journey Today!

Published in Education
Monday, 13 December 2021 15:42

An Eye-Opening Experience at AWS re:Invent 2021

Modernization’s hot.

If there’s a single takeaway from TSRI’s experience as a sponsor and exhibitor at AWS re:Invent 2021 in Las Vegas, it’s that enterprises and governments alike have their minds on software modernization. If they haven’t started the process of migrating their mainframes and legacy applications to modern architectures to the cloud, then they will be soon actively moving in that direction.

“Virtually every CIO who has a mainframe application is now looking to migrate,” said Scott Pickett, TSRI’s Vice President of Service Operations and Product Delivery, who attended the conference at the end of November.

“Mainframe modernization was the centerpiece of activity for the conference-goers we interfaced with at AWS re:Invent,” echoed Greg Tadlock, TSRI’s Vice President of Sales. While modernization comes in many different flavors—mainframes can be transformed in multiple ways (replatforming, redevelopment, or refactoring, for example.), software modernization is a niche inside the modernization industry. It’s a niche that TSRI has embraced for over two decades and doubled down on earlier this year through validation and selection as a launch partner of the AWS Mainframe Modernization competency. Mainframe application modernization is clearly a movement that has entered the mainstream. “The validation that we made the right decision to be a launch partner with AWS on their Mainframe Modernization competency was confirmed at the re:Invent conference,” Tadlock said.

René Wagner, left, and Scott Pickett at the TSRI booth
René Wagner, left, and Scott Pickett at the TSRI booth

What TSRI Learned

As a company, TSRI has mainly focused on migrating legacy systems to modern languages and architectures, whether on-premises or on the cloud. One thing that surprised the on-site team at re:Invent were the questions about round-tripping. In essence, a round trip is a refactoring of applications originally written in software languages that most modernizations currently target, Java or C#. Both languages have been in use for two decades (or more) themselves, and the technology landscape has changed significantly during that time.

“They came to us specifically because they saw refactoring and the need to take their older Java or C# apps and get them refactored to targeted cloud services, microservices, and containers,” said Kory Caze, TSRI’s Lead Account Executive. It’s a service TSRI has begun to offer, and will certainly become a focus area in the coming year.

The refactoring or transformation of nearly any legacy language to modern languages is certainly one the core values TSRI offers to the modernization market. The capability to modernize more than standard IBM COBOL applications can be useful for, say, an airline that needs to modernize their FORTRAN applications—an opportunity that actually presented itself at the conference this year.

“There are so many software languages and technologies out there, that you can't have a one-size-fits-all solution for,” Kory said. In fact, TSRI’s Director of Business Development, René Wagner, had three different inquiries about doing a transformation from MUMPS, a relatively obscure mainframe language originally developed for healthcare operations—all within 10 minutes of each other! “It's like the most random language,” said René.

 

The Necessity of AWS Cloud Migration

Knowing that several companies have joined AWS’s Mainframe Modernization competency is reassuring to smaller companies like TSRI. They have a significant role to play in bringing major corporations and public sector agencies to the cloud quickly and efficiently, according to René.

“If you went over to the modernization area [at re:Invent] and you asked Amazon, ‘Who do you use to transform your systems to modernize the mainframe?’” René said, “their answer was, ‘Oh, we have an ecosystem of partners that we utilize to get this work done.’”

Everyone on the TSRI team saw live, in action, that modernization will be important over the next few years. Migration to the cloud, they all said, is not a matter of if, but when.

“That was kind of the feeling that I got,” René said. “Modernization is happening, and these people have bled enough on what they currently have.”

 

TSRI's re:Invent booth, including a few collectibles.
TSRI's re:Invent booth, including a few collectibles.

The Future of Cloud

While TSRI has begun to focus more of its efforts on cloud migrations, with AWS as a leading platform, the re:Invent conference opened the company’s eyes to plenty of opportunities that the company’s leadership might not have considered even a year or two ago. Being on the floor as a first-time sponsor and having the ability to demonstrate what the company can do, through Application Blueprint® demonstrations, or walking booth visitors through case studies, has opened a lot of doors for the TSRI team.

“The AWS mainframe migration announcement validates the tools, capabilities, and shift that TSRI has undergone, as well as in the industry,” said Scott Pickett, TSRI’s Vice President of Service Operations and Product Delivery.

Next year should be even more interesting.

If you were unable attend AWS re:Invent 2021, you can still access the materials TSRI shared that show what we can do to help your organization modernize to the AWS cloud. Download this information to get started!

TSRI COBOL to Java for AWS case study  

Case Study: Modernizing a Critical ILS-S U.S. Air Force System for AWS

   

TSRI’s approach to modernizing mainframe technology for AWS

 

Checklist: Preparing for Cloud Modernization

 

TSRI is Here for You

As a leading provider of software modernization services, TSRI enables technology readiness for the cloud and other modern architecture environments. We bring software applications into the future quickly, accurately, and efficiently with low risk and minimal business disruption, accomplishing in months what would otherwise take years.

See Case Studies

Learn About Our Technology

Get Started on your Modernization Journey Today!

 
 
Published in AWS

Downtime, lack of agility, and vendor lock may keep organizations from modernizing their aging legacy applications, but plenty of other roadblocks, whether technical or psychological, can also stand in the way from an organization from undertaking a high-stakes modernization effort. For example:

  • One TSRI defense client had been using the same COBOL mainframe applications for nearly 50 years. The agency expected that migrating away from this mission-critical system would require downtime that could have led to data loss, mission interruptions, and catastrophic security failures.
     
  • Another client, a large European bank, used mainframe applications that could have served them well for another decade or longer. However, upstart digital competitors were running circles around this financial powerhouse. They needed more agility.
     
  • Another defense client wanted to migrate its applications to Amazon Web Services but worried about limited options. Their mainframe used a proprietary architecture and applications, and the agency was locked into long-term contracts that would have prevented them from undergoing a transformation. This agency needed assurances a transformation could be done—and done properly.

 

 

Understanding and Overcoming the Misconceptions and Fears


If you’re a change maker in your organization — whether on the business or IT side — you probably see the need to modernize your applications. Throughout our 26 years of modernizing critical applications, we have found that many perceived obstacles are actually misconceptions, fears, uncertainties, or doubts that arise due to a lack of information.

Here are the most common misconceptions and obstacles, and how we help our clients get around them:

 

Obstacle 1: “It Will Cost Too Much!”
Cost almost always rises to the top of the list. From an OpEx perspective, once a modernized system goes into production, your organization can achieve savings quickly and dramatically. One client reduced its IT operations costs from over $1 million to tens of thousands of dollars—per month. While not every transformation will yield remarkable savings like that, your organization will recoup its modernization costs quickly.

In addition, because an automated transformation is much less likely to produce the inevitable errors produced by humans—we are, after all, only human—that means far lower instances of cost overruns.

 

Obstacle 2: System Downtime
Many organizations see time to market and system downtime as major concerns. Undertaking an automated modernization will be the fastest, most reliable alternative nearly all the time. As opposed to rewriting all or most of the code in the target language by hand, a fully automated transformation can take months—if not years—off the timeframe to bring the modernized application into production. Such automated modernizations also can give you the option to run your applications in the legacy and modernized environments side by side for testing, and then flip the switch to put the new environment into production with very little, if any, downtime—which means no disruption to the business.

 

Obstacle 3: “If it Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix it!”
Organizations may also face the dilemma of making change if there isn’t a need to change. Such attitudes can be embedded into an organization’s culture, and convincing top management to commit to large expenditures where much of the beauty lies under the hood can be a heavy lift. However, external issues may force a modernization—oftentimes when it’s too late.

Most enterprise companies and government agencies running mainframes historically had armies of programmers that maintained their systems. As the decades rolled by, however, most of those programmers retired from the workforce while computer science programs shifted to educating on modern, object-oriented languages like C# or Java. As one client discovered for PL/1, a much more obscure mainframe language, the agency that ran the application found only a single person in the entire country capable of supporting the application. That was clearly not a sustainable solution.

Even more challenging, the language or platform itself may have survived past its reasonable lifespan. TSRI has modernized applications originally housed on mainframes built by Wang. The company ceased to exist in the 1990s and its subsequent iterations no longer supported a version of COBOL proprietary to its systems. At that point, modernization wasn’t a luxury—it was a necessity.

 

Obstacle 4: The Knowledge Gap
Finally, when a legacy system has been in service for 40, 50, or even 60 years, the original developers will doubtfully still be a part of the organization. Institutional knowledge can be passed down, but most IT leaders won’t have a clear view of what their systems can do. The transformation engine that takes on an automated modernization can also generate documentation that provides a detailed blueprint of an application today and how it will function in the modern target language. Those insights will help the engineers who maintain the application understand how a modernization can achieve their business goals.

 

Face the Fear and Reap Big Rewards!

Undertaking a drastic change like modernizing an application comes with risks and likely some trepidation, but it also creates opportunities that might never have been possible by continuing to maintain a legacy system. Completion of a successful transformation will not only save your organization money and give you better access to development resources, it will make your organization more agile and provide you with modern tools to better serve your end users.

 

TSRI is Here for You

As a leading provider of software modernization services, TSRI enables technology readiness for the cloud and other modern architecture environments. We bring software applications into the future quickly, accurately, and efficiently with low risk and minimal business disruption, accomplishing in months what would otherwise take years.

See Case Studies

Learn About Our Technology

Get Started on your Modernization Journey Today!

Published in Best Practices
Friday, 22 October 2021 10:43

COBOL to Java - Department of Homeland Security

A major integrator contracted with The Software Revolution, Inc. (TSRI) to transform 1.8 million lines of DATACOM COBOL code and comments into Java/JEE to support the modernization assessment for a major federal timekeeping system. As a major military organization with multiple security requirements, TSRI needed to meet NAVWAR coding standards, which ensure that modernized mission-critical systems like NAVSSI will work as smoothly on its target architecture as it did on the previous mainframe architecture.

Customer: Department of Homeland Security

Source & Target Language: Cobol to Java

Lines of Code: 1,800,000

Duration:  8 months

Services: Code Transformation, Automated Refactoring, Installation and Testing Support, Remote Support for Customer Acceptance, Transformation Blueprint®

 

 

Published in Case-Studies
Wednesday, 15 September 2021 11:00

Ada to C++ L3 VTT

L-3 Communications Corporation awarded a sole-source contract to TSRI for modernization of the the U.S. Army’s Variable Message Format Test Tool (VTT).

  • Customer & Integrator:  L-3 Communications
  • Source & Target Language: Ada and C++
  • Lines of Code: 77,344
  • Duration:  6 Months
  • Services: Code Transformation, Automated Refactoring, System Integration & Test Support, Final “To-Be” Documentation

Published in Case-Studies

As Scott notes in this video, the latest in our Modernizing for the Future series for undertaking a cloud modernization, “One of the benefits associated with using an automated technology is that none of it is done by hand.” In this video Scott introduces the idea of automation when it comes to modernization and how taking this avenue will preserve the functionality and logic of the legacy applications. The benefit is that the application will operate exactly the same way it did previously, but with capabilities to expand into a more tiered approach so the application can take advantage of the best the cloud has to offer.

 

Originally aired live on May 18, 2021.

Additionally, having the automated transformation preserve the functionality means once organizations are ready to put the cloud applications into production, the data layer remains consistent so this can be done gradually with very little downtime in the production environments. That minimal business disruption greatly reduces the risk of data loss and technical failures. And from there, automated and semi-automated refactoring can begin to improve the quality and functionality of the application—all in a cloud environment.

 

Be sure to view our other videos in this series:
Videos 1 & 2: “Setting Project Scope” and “Setting Up Development Sandboxes”
Video 3: Selecting Cloud Vendors and Your Target Language

 

As always, TSRI can help answer any questions you may have about modernization, automation, and making sure your systems are ready to deploy in modern computing environments. 

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TSRI is Here for You 

As a leading provider of software modernization services, TSRI enables technology readiness for the cloud and other modern architecture environments. We bring software applications into the future quickly, accurately, and efficiently with low risk and minimal business disruption, accomplishing in months what would otherwise take years. 

See Case Studies 

Learn About Our Technology 

Get Started on Your Modernization Journey Today! 

Published in Cloud
Friday, 28 May 2021 11:18

Fortran to C++ Lockheed Martin ISPAN SWPS

TSRI came aboard as a member of the Lockheed Martin (LMCO) team that bid on the I-SPAN modernization program. TSRI's role was to demonstrate the technical feasibility of fully automated approaches to re-engineering and transitioning classified modules from the MGPS system into an open, flexible, scalable, and extensible software environment.

  • Customer & Integrator: US Strategic Command & Lockheed Martin
  • Source & Target Language: Fortran to C++
  • Lines of Code: 80,000
  • Duration:  6 months
  • Services: Code Transformation, Automated Refactoring, Assessment, Testing, UML Documentation
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Published in Case-Studies
Friday, 28 May 2021 11:18

Ada to C++ US Navy DSR MFIP

The Navy contracted with Digital Systems Resources (DSR), a division of DEC, to modernize the MFIP, so the Mission Computer Upgrade (MCU) program office contacted the U.S. Office of Naval Research (USONR) to identify a viable, cost-effective modernization solution. The USONR recommended that TSRI employ its architecture-driven JANUS Studio® modernization solution. USONR believed this toolset could be the only resource capable of accomplishing the MFIP modernization within schedule, performance, risk management, and cost constraints.

  • Customer & Integrator: US Navy & DSR
  • Source & Target Language: Ada to C++
  • Duration:  5 months
  • Services: Application Blueprint®, Transformation Blueprint®, Engineering Support, Automated Transformation

Published in Case-Studies
Friday, 28 May 2021 11:18

Ada to C++ - GDAIS NUWC WCS

TSRI was contracted by General Dynamics (GDAIS) to automatically transform the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Submarine Weapon Control System (WCS). TSRI used its JANUS Studio® automated toolset to transform and refactor WCS Ada code to functionally equivalent C++ code.

  • Customer & Integrator: Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) & General Dynamics
  • Source & Target Language: Ada to C++
  • Lines of Code: 2,449,466 (Classified)
  • Duration:  12 months

 

Published in Case-Studies
Tuesday, 13 April 2021 12:36

Ada to C++ - US Navy - Modem Control Software

TSRI was engaged to modernize US Navy SATCOM Multi-band Terminal (NMT) Modem Control System (MCS) from Ada to C++. To provide SPAWAR with the best modernization approach, Raytheon selected TSRI to transform the existing MCS Ada code into C++ and to re-factor
the C++ toward the desired target architecture. TSRI's fixed-price "integrator ready" deliverable was selected by Raytheon for its low technical risk,
shortened schedule, and low cost.

  • Customer & Integrator: US Navy & Raytheon
  • Source & Target Language: Ada to C++
  • Lines of Code: 190,000
  • Duration:  5 months
  • Services: Automated Code Transformation, Application Blueprint®, Transformation Blueprint®, Engineering Support, Automated Refactoring

Published in Case-Studies
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