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IMS Guide - GSE AK IMS System Administration
IMS Guide - GSE AK IMS System Administration
Newsletter - August 2022
Newsletter - August 2022
AMELIO Logic Discovery: Understanding COBOL and PL/I
AMELIO Logic Discovery: Understanding COBOL and PL/I
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We have the Tools and the
Know-how to Ensure the
Success of Your Projects

We have the Tools and the
Know-how to Ensure the
Success of Your Projects

We have the Tools and the
Know-how to Ensure the
Success of Your Projects

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Productivity Solutions without
Footprint and Vendor Lock-in

Productivity Solutions without
Footprint and Vendor Lock-in

Productivity Solutions without
Footprint and Vendor Lock-in

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Automate the #analysis, #development, #migration and #modernization of your applications.
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Get to Know Us Now!

The Perfect Way to Better Software:
Automated Software Analysis, Development, Migration and Modernisation

We support you with profound know-how, tailor-made solutions and intelligent software tools in the realisation of your projects.

We accompany you through all phases from consulting, analysis and engineering to implementation and subsequent maintenance in the areas of modernisation, integration, migration, transformation, porting and software architecture.

From RDW’s point of view, Delta is a highly dedicated company with an even higher level of expertise. We have done business with a lot of companies but this is the first time I can, without holding back, truly recommend one: Delta has proven that it is a reliable and trustworthy partner. 
Gerard Doll, Manager ICT, RDW, The Netherlands

Do not hesitate to contact us!Tel.: +49 (0) 2972 97 19-0   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Provinzial

With the tools and services from Delta Software Technology, Provinzial Rheinland finished the complete application and data migration from IBM IMS/DB to IBM Db2, automated and securely, of over 75 IBM IMS databases and over 36,000 artefacts.

Provinzial: Its Modernization Strategy

On their website, the Provinzial Rheinland writes: “Insurances are not sexy – we know that. But it is wise to make provisions.” And further: “The goal of our employees in the office and in the field service: create freedom in the lives of our customers by ensuring a holistic security.” The Provinzial also acts in the same way when modernizing their IT: Create good provision, security and freedom.

Download Provinzial realizes complete migration from IBM IMS/DB to IBM Db2 with Delta

“The Delta solution has its advantages in two points that are particularly important to us: Due to the complete automation of the transformation, the ongoing development of the system, as requested by the business, was uninterrupted during the entire project. Due to the in-place migration and a parallel operation concept, we achieved absolute security and quality during the migration. The guaranteed operational “smoothness” in the project, despite the complex modernization, is certainly a unique feature of the solution.”
Stephan Kaiser, Program ‘sponsor’ Provinzial

The central IT systems of insurance company Provinzial Rheinland (Provinzial) are self-developed applications on an IBM mainframe. In the medium term, Provinzial wants to move to an open platform (UNIX/Linux). The first step in their modernization strategy is to migrate all applications and data from IBM IMS/DB to IBM Db2.

Due to the volume of the Provinzial application systems, the amount and complexity of the required changes, the tight schedule as well as their experiences with the manual conversion of some programs and databases, Provinzial decided on a tailor-made and fully automated solution with the tools from Delta Software Technology (Delta).

 

amelio_factory.jpgSuccessful Migration with Delta

With Delta’s solution, Provinzial was able to successfully migrate all applications and data completely and absolutely secure from IBM IMS/DB to IBM Db2 and … at a fixed price.

These advantages of the Delta solution were particularly important for Provinzial:

  • Tailor-made solution: Provinzial was free to design the new data model and choose between alternative transformations. This allowed them to directly influence the performance of the applications and ensure that the new data model would be fit for the future.
  • Complete replacement of IMS/DB: No emulation, but clean applications as if they had originally been developed with IBM Db2.
  • No Freeze: The repeatability of the processes allows the undisturbed parallel further development and maintenance of the modules that will be transformed; blockade times were eliminated.
  • Maximum security: This was ensured by the rule-based and automated implementation of all changes, meta-level tests (verification of the transformation rules and complete testing of the transformation results prior to the actual modification of the sources) as well as a continuous, completely closed process (“clean room”) from the analysis to the transformation - instead of implementation “by human hand”.
  • Flexibility: Data and application transformation were decoupled and could be performed independently of each other.
  • No “point of no-return”: In the case of new recognitions, extensions of the set of rules or new program versions, modules that had already been converted simply went through the transformation process again.
  • Audit-proof: Every application and data transformation were automatically and completely documented.
  • No follow-up costs, no “footprint”, no “vendor lock-in”: After project completion, there are no licensing or maintenance costs for tools or new runtime components.
  • Implementation in-budget at a fixed price

“We were impressed by the efficiency and flexibility the AMELIO factory was set up and continuously optimised with. The very good and close cooperation with the Delta managers and employees also contributed significantly to the success of the project.”
Ralf Prediger, Provinzial Project manager

The Highlights of the Delta Solution

The change from IBM IMS/DB to IBM Db2 is a paradigm change that affects not only the storage of data, but also the entire program logic for the data accesses in all applications. In addition to the data transformation, extensive changes to the programs were therefore necessary. However, the functionality, interfaces and data structures were not allowed to be changed.

IMS/DB zu IBM DB2The following highlights describe how Delta met Provinzial’s high requirements.

Clean Relational Data Model and Migration of the Data

Due to the technological differences of the database models, implicit definitions of the accesses, structural features and others, a 1:1 transformation of the hierarchical system IBM IMS/DB to the relational IBM Db2 is not possible.

Delta determined the IMS data model that was actually used in the sources and data structures as well as all dependencies and interrelationships. A proposal for the new IBM Db2 data model was automatically generated from this information. On this basis, the experts at Provinzial developed the new relational data model, that will also meet future requirements.

The data model and the mapping rules created by Delta provided the basis for the transformation of the data as well as for the generation of the IBM Db2 accesses, so that changes to the data model automatically and identically affected the application and data transformation.

Service programs generated with Delta ADS were used to migrate the data from IBM IMS/DB to IBM Db2.

AMELIO Modernization PlatformFully automated transformation with AMELIO Modernization Platform

In an iterative process, Delta built a customised transformation factory for Provinzial with the AMELIO Modernization Platform. This factory works rule-based and fully automated according to a clean room concept. All changes are implemented consistently and audit-proof in all sources without any manual interventions. The transformations were perfectly tailored to the requirements of the project. Operational features, standards or special implementation rules for the performance improvement were also considered.

The complete automation of the transformation guarantees maximum security on the one hand, and on the other hand it enables flexibility and short reaction times for new requirements. In addition, the testing effort is drastically reduced by the rule-based working method.

Implementation of Data Services

In-Place-MigrationData services were automatically generated for the accesses to IBM Db2. They deliver the data and status values exactly as required by the programs - despite the paradigm change.

The logic of the programs and the interfaces were not changed, naming conventions and programming guidelines were considered. The decoupling of application and data accesses has the additional advantage that changes to the data model must not have any effect on the programs.

Extra Security and Flexibility through Special In-Place Migration

The migration was performed step by step as a so-called in-place migration. For this purpose, all data accesses were performed simultaneously on both database systems, i.e. for IBM IMS/DB and also for IBM Db2. For control purposes, a switch system was implemented that would have allowed the re-activation of the old system in production at the push of a button at any time in the case of an error. In this way, all data could be compared automatically and all programs could be verified - and not only in the test environments, but also in the productive environments.

Subsequently, AMELIO CleanUp Factory was used to remove again all code components for accessing IBM IMS/DB and for the switch control of the in-place migration step. The result is clean sources, just as if they had originally been developed for IBM Db2.

 

“Thanks to Delta's transformation strategy, Provinzial succeeded in migrating absolutely securely from IBM IMS to IBM Db2. At the same time, this solution gave us absolute flexibility, as components that had already been transformed and those that had not yet been transformed could be used productively together without any problems.”
Ralf Prediger, Project Manager of Provinzial

Performance

The change from extremely fast IMS databases, whose application programs are often precisely aligned with the storage structures, to the more flexible Db2 databases, which are suitable for ad-hoc requests, often leads to losses in performance. Provinzial also feared this. However, due to the automated migration and the possibility to individually adapt the transformation rules, there were no performance losses. The specifications for the performance of the migrated applications were met to Provinzial’s complete satisfaction: A goal that was achieved in particular thanks to the good cooperation with the Provinzial project team.

Delta Tools for Tailor-made fully automated Migration

The following tools from Delta Software Technology were used for the fully automated transformation of the applications and migration of the data:

  • AMELIO Logic Discovery
    The comprehensive assessment of the applications with AMELIO Logic Discovery provided the information on all the project's sticking points, for the migration strategy, a precise planning and the reliable cost calculation.
  • AMELIO Modernization Platform
    The tailor-made, fully automated transformation with AMELIO Modernisation Platform guaranteed the consistent and audit-proof migration of the applications.
    In this project, AMELIO was also used to gain additional security and flexibility in the project through in-place migration.
  • AMELIO CleanUp Factory
    Clean, fully automated removal of all superfluous code.
  • Delta ADS
    Automatic generation of the data transformers for the migration of all data from IBM IMS to IBM Db2.

Provinzial

The Company Provinzial

The Provinzial Group is a public insurance group. With a gross premium volume of more than 6 billion Euros, it is one of the ten largest German insurers. The former Provinzial Rheinland Versicherung AG (Provinzial Versicherung AG since the end of 2021 following the merger with the westfälische Provinzial), which is headquartered in Düsseldorf, offers its private and corporate customers products and advice on all insurance topics, including home, liability, motor vehicle, accident, life, pension, occupational disability, health, long-term care, legal protection, and more.

 

Download Success-Story

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With the tools and services from Delta Software Technology, Provinzial Rheinland finished the complete application and data migration from IBM IMS/DB to IBM Db2, automated and securely, of over 75 IBM IMS databases and over 36,000 artefacts.

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Further Informations

Hier finden Sie weitere Artikel zum Thema:

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Together with Delta Software Technology GmbH, Gothaer Systems is consolidating its IMS databases into IBM DB2.

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Download Language: Englisch - Version: MT21082.01

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Safe Replacement of IMS Databases: How to Succeed!

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Gothaer VersicherungenGothaer Systems migrates its IBM IMS Databases to IBM Db2 together with Delta Software Technology.

Automatically migrating from IBM IMS/DB to IBM Db2 was Gothaer Systems' task. The goal of operating only one database system on the mainframe brought Gothaer Systems and Delta Software Technology together. Delta offered the solution of know-how, suitable tools and services for this task. By building a tailor-made factory with the AMELIO Modernization Platform, the necessary steps for the transformation could be implemented automated, well calculated and at low risk.

Download IMS Replacement: In Time – In Budget – In Scope

Gothaer’s motives

The maintenance and costs of two database management systems on the mainframe (IBM z/OS) are expensive, tie up resources and slow down innovation. The knowledge or knowhow carriers about IMS/DB will soon retire and young developers in this field are hardly available. For these reasons, Gothaer Systems (Gothaer) sought to migrate its IBM IMS/DB stored data to new IBM Db2 structures. The IMS/DB calls in existing database access programs (COBOL and Delta ADS) were to be implemented automatically in such a way that the IMS databases were completely replaced. The runtime behaviour and the performance of the converted programs were not to be impaired.

“By migrating from IBM IMS/DB to IBM Db2 together with Delta, we have successfully mastered the next big step in the ‘Smarter Mainframe’ project.”
Burkhard Oppenberg, CIO, Gothaer Systems

Due to the volume, the scope of the required adaptations, as well as a tight timeframe, a manual transformation did not seem advisable. High demands were placed on the quality of the adaptations to be implemented in order to reduce the test effort and duration. These requirements were met by an automatic transformation. For this purpose, Delta Software Technology (Delta) used the AMELIO Modernization Platform (AMELIO) and built a tailor-made transformation factory for Gothaer.

AMELIO Modernization PlatformAdvantages of the Delta Solution

For Gothaer, the following advantages of the Delta solution were particularly important:

  • Tailor-made (automated) transformations
  • Transformations can be retraced and reproduced at any time.
  • Further development and maintenance are not impaired
  • No freeze periods
  • No foot-print or vendor lock-in, hence no follow-up costs for licensing
  • Implementation in budget with a fixed price

IMS/DB zu IBM DB2Large-scale Project successfully completed

Transformation of programs and data models according to customer requirements

At the beginning, all applications were analysed for data accesses and an initial set of rules was defined for how the new Db2 accesses should look and how affected code should be transformed. In addition, proposals for the relational data base models were created by Delta and coordinated with the Gothaer. Data services for the data accesses and data transformers were then generated from the models fully automatically.
Thus, in close coordination between Gothaer and Delta, the AMELIO Modernisation factory was successfully trained and continuously expanded. Coding standards and specifications by the DB administrators were also considered. During the setup phase, the regular maintenance and further development continued at Gothaer. The resulting new versions of source modules were included into the ongoing AMELIO work. After successful transformation of the applications, they were handed over to Gothaer for meta-level testing and release.

Approval and Test of the Applications

To verify that the factory was working correctly, an application test was performed based on the meta-level test concept. This concept is based on the fact that if the factory correctly implements a rule once, it will always implement it correctly. With a factory approach, the tests can therefore be limited to a test set of representative test cases that cover all analysis and transformation rules. As a result, Gothaer was able to drastically reduce the testing effort and save expensive testing time.

“With Delta, we have found a reliable partner. A constructive cooperation with ideas and ‘short paths’ has made this project a success.”
Stephanie Bethmann, Project Management

Conversion of Data Access and Data Transformation

The changes in the COBOL and ADS programs should be as small as possible. For this reason, the accesses to the Db2 databases were outsourced to data services generated by Delta. In doing so, existing data services from Gothaer were used. This decoupling of application and data access has the additional advantage that not every later change to the database model has a direct impact on the calling programs.

Based on the new data models, data transformers could also be created fully automatically, which transferred the data from IMS/DB to Db2.

 

In 2 Years from IMS/DB to Db2

The conversion was implemented in manageable packages and not with a big bang. In 2 years time, all requested IMS databases and all of their data and applications have now been successfully transformed to Db2 and are in productive use.

“As ProjectOwner, I am particularly pleased that the well-calculated IMS/DB replacement with Delta went so smoothly and on time, and that the result is convincing across the board.”
Michael Buchwald, ProjectOwner

The Project from Gothaer's Point of view

The Gothaer is more than satisfied with the project, all work carried out at a fixed price. They appreciate the flexibility with which Delta responded to challenges and how easy it was to provide the factory with changed versions. The performance was considered and optimized together in order to be able to guarantee the usual performance with Db2 as well, and thus to achieve the best performance potential of the applications.

In addition, the new data models meet the current requirements, they are future-proof and enable new and more flexible accesses. For example, attributes can now be addressed individually in SQL queries instead of using predefined keys.

The meta-level testing is also mentioned prominently - massive cost savings could be realized here, since each change did not have to be viewed manually.

The entire migration project ran smoothly and without any downtime – on the contrary: Gothaer was able to further develop the applications in parallel.

At Gothaer, the replacement of old technologies is a further step in the modernization of its IT landscape. The complete connection of today’s operative systems on the host - in the context of new projects - is made much easier and makes a decisive contribution to the digitalization and the accelerated implementation of new technical requirements.

Gothaer VersicherungenAbout Gothaer Systems

“Gothaer Systems is the central IT service provider of the Gothaer Group. We ensure that Gothaer is always at the cutting edge of information technology: through innovations and continuous further development of technology and organization. We also provide the infrastructure for accessing data and business processes. This is how we ensure a high level of IT quality within the Group - and thus support Gothaer’s business.”

AMELIO Modernization Platform

Get to know AMELIO and Delta

Due to the high degree of automation, transformations can be repeated, comprehended and reproduced at any time. Freeze periods are reduced to a few hours. The migration can be divided into packages and the result is applications that can be continuously used and maintained without footprint and vendor lock-in.

  • Would you like to learn more about modernization projects or are you planning refactorings?
  • Do you want to migrate an application package to a new platform?

Like Gothaer and other customers, go the well calculated, secure and perfect way with Delta and consolidate your database systems. We would be happy to show you the possibilities offered by the AMELIO Modernization Platform. We are looking forward to your contact.

 

Download Success Story

Download Language: Englisch - Version: MT21097.01

MT21097-01

Gothaer Systems migrates its IBM IMS databases to IBM Db2 together with Delta Software Technology

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Futher Informationen

Here you can find more articles on the subject:

 

Download Language: Deutsch - Version: MT11082.01

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IMS-Datenbanken sicher ablösen: So gelingt es!

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RDWExisting applications have accumulated a lot of technical debt over the years. Removing it could speed up maintenance significantly. In reality the task of improve the software by removing the obsolete parts is seldom performed. The risk of introducing errors and the cost of testing is the biggest reason for not doing anything.

RDW wants to reduce technical debt in its decennia old applications. Goal is to improve flexibility and make them fit for the future.
But:

  • What measures are possible or necessary?
  • Which parts of the source code can be deleted, which need to be rewritten and how?
  • Which correlations and effects do exist?
  • And what is the best way to proceed?

AMELIO Logic DiscoveryTo answer these and a lot of other questions for an application of about 5.500 programs and 8.5 million lines of code without doubt, RDW decided to use AMELIO Logic Discovery.

RDW has the Advantage of the New Release

RDW also profits from the new features in release 2.0. AMELIO Logic Discovery now offers two new perspectives. KnowledgeBase and CallTree are the addition to the existing perspectives that enable to (re)gain insight in the application.

AMELIO Logic Discovery offers new, flexible and structured views on our applications. Especially the logical views help us to find and understand the bottlenecks in our application.
Marcel Rozema (Senior Software Architekt, RDW)

Can we help you understanding your applications?

Are you also, like RDW, feeling the need to improve understanding of your application, want to reduce technical debt or modernize and are looking for a secure way towards that goal?
Contact us and we are glad to show you what our AMELIO portfolio can offer you.

About RDW

RDW ICT is the IT service provider of the national vehicle authority of The Netherlands. Their main tasks include the inspection and registration of vehicles, market authorisation of vehicles, administration of driving licenses, information services for the police – in total more than 300 million transactions annually.

Also read ... 

Download Language: Englisch - Version: mt21093.02

mt110930

Existing applications have accumulated a lot of technical debt over the years. Removing it could speed up maintenance significantly. In reality the task of improve the software by removing the obsolete parts is seldom performed. The risk of introducing errors and the cost of testing is the biggest reason for not doing anything.

 Read more

Download


 

 

Away from the Mainframe at the Push of a Button:
Delta’s AMELIO Modernization Platform Enables Large Building Society to Replace Platforms Securely

A leading building society consolidates its platforms and has therefore replaced their IBM mainframe with Red Hat Linux. The migration of the central, strongly interconnected applications, however, involved particular risks, e.g., due to parallel changes and further development. Also, the performance in the new environment was a major concern. With the AMELIO tools from Delta Software Technology, this company successfully migrated its highly critical core application.

The project management particularly praised the good cooperation with the manufacturer. Delta offered the project at a fixed price and was nevertheless very flexible in responding to special requests. Due to the good cooperation with Delta, the transformed application exactly meets the company's requirements.

The Business-critical Centrepiece

The building society sees its social mandate in fulfilling people's desire for home ownership. In order to perfectly support its services, the heart of the IT applications, the core booking system, was developed in-house: Several thousand programs with millions of lines of code process data in one thousand database tables and perfectly support employees in their daily work for several million customers.

Platformchange with AMELIO Modernization Platform

Requirements: Absolute Security and Parallel Further Development

As part of the corporate-wide platform consolidation, the core booking system was to be migrated from the previous IBM zOS CICS platform with DB2 databases to Red Hat Linux with Oracle.

The importance of the application resulted in additional requirements for the migration solution:

  • No disruption of the day-to-day business
  • Permanent availability of the subsystems for parallel changes and further development, no blocking, no freezing
  • Consistent adoption of changes and further developments of the productive application for the migration
  • Audit-proof documentation of all changes

However, the migration of the core booking system was only part of an extensive overall project. This meant that changes that resulted from other sub-projects had to be considered in the transformation of the core booking system on time. It was also necessary to react flexibly to schedule changes in other projects.
 

AMELIOThe Tailor-made Solution with AMELIO

The financial service provider decided to work with the modernisation specialist Delta Software Technology. Delta offered the company a tailor-made and at the same time fully automated transformation of its core booking system with AMELIO tools at a fixed price.

The Delta tools used:

  • AMELIO Logic Discovery
    Complete analysis of the application in advance to determine all the key points and pitfalls for the project.
  • AMELIO Modernization Platform
    This adaptive transformation factory works rule-based. As a result, it can be perfectly tailored to the requirements and it also implements operational peculiarities, standards or special rules to improve performance.
    Delta's AMELIO Modernization Platform works fully automated applying a clean room concept: All changes are implemented consistently and in an audit-proof manner in all sources without any manual intervention.
  • Data Transformers
    Based on the results of the application analysis with AMELIO Logic Discovery, Delta generated tailor-made data transformers that performed the migration of all data.

AMELIO Modernization PlatformWith AMELIO Modernization Platform, Delta has configured a highly specialised transformation factory that is perfectly tailored to the project and that automatically, i.e. without manual intervention, implemented the specified mass changes to the programs of the core booking system.

This approach enabled the company to transform new versions of their sources, which emerged from maintenance and further development or by the effects of other projects, at any time during the duration of the project.

Performance

The project management was impressed by the efficiency and flexibility with which the AMELIO factory was set up, continuously optimized and adapted to their needs.

Just one example for the good cooperation and the flexibility of the solution: Everyone who leaves the mainframe worries about the performance of the applications. During the course of the project, performance tests showed that the components in the new environment behaved differently than expected. Delta changed the transformation rules for certain accesses and simply transformed the application again. And the problem was solved!

Planning Reliability and Fixed Costs

Before the project started, Delta performed a complete assessment of all sources with AMELIO Logic Discovery. Through the results of this assessment, the financial service provider has already gained important knowledge for the planning and implementation of the project:

  • Which transformations are required?
  • What are the key points and pitfalls?
  • What are the dependencies?
  • How can packages be tailored to bring them into production piece by piece instead of a big bang?
  • And what about the project schedule? Which timeframe is realistic?

Moreover, this preparation gave the company additional security with regard to costs:
After the detailed assessment, Delta offered the entire transformation at a fixed price and nevertheless responded to additional requests during the project with extraordinary flexibility.

Successful Transformation In Time and In Budget

With the AMELIO tools from Delta Software Technology, the financial service provider was able to securely migrate the centrepiece of the system, the large, business-critical application developed in COBOL, from the mainframe to the new environment in parallel with ongoing operations.

The following advantages were particularly important for the company:

  • During the entire project, the normal maintenance and further development could continue undisturbed. The resulting changes were neatly adopted into the transformation of the application.
  • The solution considered the company's own standards and the project management was free to choose between implementation variants.
  • The Delta solution also helped optimising the application for the new platform. New insights into the runtime behaviour of the application in the new environment could automatically be applied for the transformation of the entire application.
  • The partial packages were taken into production step by step - without a big bang.
  • The application performed well in the new environment
  • No footprint, no vendor lock-in: Delta’s tools are no longer required after the transformation. The company does not incur any follow-up costs.

A degree of automation of 99.5% was achieved by using the AMELIO Modernization Platform, i.e. 4,478 programs of 4,500 programs were transformed completely automatically. 22 programs required a special solution. They were modified in advance before they were also transformed completely automatically.

The company's project manager and the managing director of Delta Software Technology, Dr. Daniela Schilling agree:
"The open communication and the excellent cooperation between all employees and those responsible made a significant contribution to the success of the project."

Delta Software Technology

Delta Software TechnologyDelta Software Technology is a specialist for automated solutions that help their customers to develop and modernise their individual IT applications securely and sustainably.

Delta's tools and tailor-made solutions are particularly characterised by reliably calculable costs as well as sustainable and future-proof investment security. Customers reduce costs and risks for the maintenance, modernisation and re-implementation of their applications and gain flexibility, freedom of choice and security.

 

AMELIO Modernization PlatformExisting applications have accumulated a lot of technical debt over the years. Removing it could speed up maintenance significantly. In reality the task of improve the software by removing the obsolete parts is seldom performed. The risk of introducing errors and the cost of testing is the biggest reason for not doing anything.

RDW has been able to take up the task of removing technical debt in a secure manner. Delta’s AMELIO Modernization Platform plays a key role in this endeavour.

Technical Debt hampers Application Maintenance

The Netherlands Vehicle Authority (RDW) is a long-time user of Delta ADS, Delta Software Technology’s software development product suite. In the past decades, the key applications have grown and also been migrated to different platforms. All these changes over the years have decreased the maintainability of the application portfolio. To improve the maintainability of this application portfolio the decision was made to invest in the removal of technical debts (and 'Clean Code').

The task of discovering and safely removing technical debts is a complex one. To remove or change code from a program that you have written yourself might be an option but if it has been written years ago by a predecessor that is not available to consult is another question. It is not without reason that many programmers do not trust themselves to perform these type of program changes. They have a rightful fear of cascading side effects of a change.

AMELIO Modernization Platform

Another obstacle arises because removing the technical debts involves many programs that are depending on each other to work correctly. The fact that all these programs must be changed at the same time leads to freezing them all preventing all other functional maintenance that is needed for the business.

Database Access – an Example of Reducing Technical Debt

RDW had implemented a new architecture for the database access in their applications which co-exists with an older way of accessing the data. This hybrid architecture was more and more considered to be a technical debt. A manual change was started for the less complex situations but in general a large portion remained and with the manual approach the completion would have taken many more years.

The remaining 9,000+ data access calls (of originally 16,000) contained also the most complex ones, some of them not yet made available in the new architecture. RDW decided to make use of Delta’s AMELIO Modernization Platform to perform an automated replacement of the remaining old data access architecture by the new one.

Transformation Step-by-Step

Knowing that the new data access architecture did not yet support all features of the old architecture, the chosen approach was to use the AMELIO Modernization Platform to create a learning factory to discover and perform all the necessary changes in the application sources. That didn’t have to be perfect for all possibilities in the beginning. No time was lost with specifying everything in all detail, the specification for the already performed manual transformation was used as a starting point. As a first step, the simpler data access types were analysed and transformed with the goal to make the programs productive even when they still contained other or more complex data access types using the old architecture. The next step was to remove the next type of data access, where the result from the previous step could be input as well as programs that were not handled by the factory before. This iterative process continued until at the end also the most complex data accesses were transformed.

"In the end our decision paid off. Using an automated approach also means almost no freeze and the possibility to change implementations at a very late stage. It enabled us to improve on the end result without any problem. With a manual approach, we would have passed the moment to do something in a different way long before."
Roland Römer - Product Owner RDW

Continuously Moving Forward

After the migration to the new Data Access architecture the AMELIO Modernization Platform will now be used as an environment to perform other mass changes in the application sources that will reduce the technical debt.

"We now see Delta’s AMELIO Modernization Platform as a kind of washing machine. As long as we chose the right program it will remove a ‘stain’ (technical debt) from our applications. It’s a great solution for when we have mass changes that need to be carried out on our application portfolio."
Gert-Jan Theuwissen - Division Manager RDW ICT

RDWAbout RDW

RDW ICT is the IT service provider of the national vehicle authority of The Netherlands. Their main tasks include the inspection and registration of vehicles, market authorisation of vehicles, administration of driving licenses, information services for the police – in total more than 300 million transactions annually. RDW repeatedly has been awarded as the best and most innovative government organization, for best management and best annual results.

Convince Yourself

Interested in reducing the technical debt in your applications? Contact us and let us prepare a demo with some of your sources.

 

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mt110930

Existing applications have accumulated a lot of technical debt over the years. Removing it could speed up maintenance significantly. In reality the task of improve the software by removing the obsolete parts is seldom performed. The risk of introducing errors and the cost of testing is the biggest reason for not doing anything.

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msg Systems ag SchweizOn behalf of a large insurer, msg Systems ag Switzerland was looking for an analysis tool to rewrite parts of a business-critical core application. For this purpose, a tool should be found that automatically extracts the business logic from the application and displays it clearly so that it can be understood more quickly and transferred into a new language.

There are special hurdles to overcome in modernization projects: On the one hand, some of the original developers are no longer available. Instead, the applications are maintained by their "heirs" who, however, know nothing of the origins and the reasons for certain decisions. On the other hand, the existing documentation is used to support the maintenance. But for modernization or rewriting information is required that the documentation usually does not provide. Thus, the only reliable source is the source code itself. The problem is aggravated when a service provider wants to understand or modernize a customer's application. So how can the knowledge necessary for modernization be transferred and possibly even regained?

The msg is confronted with this task - for a large insurance company, parts of a business-critical core application should be rewritten. The existing application was developed in COBOL and PL/I, partly native and partly generated with Delta ADS. The msg decided to evaluate the performance of AMELIO Logic Discovery. A part of this application has been removed and analyzed and assessed manually and automatically. It quickly became clear:

"AMELIO Logic Discovery helps and presents everything very clearly!"
msg Systems

AMELIO Logic DiscoveryAMELIO works model-oriented and makes the analysis results available as language-neutral documentation. AMELIO is configurable and can be perfectly adapted to the needs of a (modernization) project.

Clear Recommendation for AMELIO

The msg is convinced that AMELIO is a great help with modernization and offers support with the conversion. The knowledge of an application can be built up faster, easier and more securely so that it can be rewritten more efficiently.

About the msg Group

The msg systems ag Switzerland is part of msg, an independent group of companies with more than 8,500 employees. The msg group is active in 28 countries in the automotive, banking, consumer products, food, healthcare, insurance, life science & chemicals, manufacturing, public sector, telecommunications, travel & logistics and utilities sectors and supports its customers in their digital transformation.

See for Yourself

Do you also have business-critical core applications and are looking for a way to analyze them fully automatically and reliably?
Then contact us. We would be happy to show you the capabilities of AMELIO Logic Discovery using your examples.

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