Modernizing SCOBOL Programs Part 2: Re-engineering using Blu Age

In Part 1 of this blog series, we discussed the benefits of modernizing SCOBOL requesters, and the challenge of handling programs with extensive business logic..

In this Part 2 installment, we will talk about how to approach these business logic embedded programs via re-engineering and the benefits of using a tool like Blu Age.

Re-engineering using framework

Re-engineering is a better approach to application modernization. Instead of selectively rewriting certain portions of the business logic to fit into a random mix of components (e.g. HTML, Java and JavaScript, etc.), re-engineering advocates redesigning the application from the ground up. By re-engineering, we mean applying a combination of human insight and automation power to migrating business logic (e.g. calculations, business rules)
to a modern technology framework.

Re-engineering wheels

A properly re-engineered application carries many benefits, including:

  • Maintainability
    Creation of code based on the new design blueprint using modern development methodology ensures there are readily available resources and tools for it to be maintained easily.
  • High performance
    Test tools are readily available in Open Source or commercial market to measure and tune applications designed with modern framework.
  • Adaptability
    Once an application has been modernized, there is a good chance that its functions will continue to evolve. Adopting a proper design framework will ensure that the new application will continue to adapt to new requirements and can be enhanced easily.

But the challenge remains the same by taking the re engineering approach: You still need to migrate the business logic in the original programs to the new code. This is where a tool like Blu Age can facilitate the process.

Introducing Blu Age – A Powerful MDA Tool

Firstly, as the saying goes:“There is no free lunch.” If you are looking for a magical “EASY” button, Blu Age is not it. Blu Age is not an automatic translator. It does not make the end product magically for you by your clicking a button. But it is a tool that can help you get the job done more easily and more quickly.

Blu Age is a tool that:

  • Helps you analyze your program source with built-in visual tools and annotation features
  • Enables you to define reusable code patterns to automate intelligent code segment identifications and conversions
  • Extracts the business logic from your code
  • Assists you in transforming the business logic to new code in Java or .NET

Re-engineering

What is Blu Age?

Blu Age is a commercial software re-engineering and modernization tool suite that follows the Model-Driven Architecture (MDA) approach to generating program code from Unified Modeling Language (UML2) diagrams. MDA is a software design approach for the development of software systems. It provides a set of guidelines for the structuring of specifications, which are expressed as models. It a standard that was launched by the Object Management Group (OMG) in 2001. Blu Age provides all of the re-engineering capabilities discussed earlier, and more. All of Blu Age’s power is based on generating and approving human-readable models that Blu Age then converts into modern code.

Re-engineering

In short, you use UML diagrams to design your application in Blu Age, and it generates the application for the targeted framework according to your specifications .

Blu Age Components
Blu Age is a tool suite built on Eclipse and contains modules that address different components of the modernization process.

Re-engineering

Blu Age Reverse Modeling (BRM)
  • It automates the process of reading your original code (e.g. SCOBOL source) and identifying the interesting and necessary business logic that it will then convert into the diagrams of your model.
  • As you interact with BRM, it identifies and extracts business rules, calculations, and business logic into Unified Modeling Language (UML2) models, ready for you to review and approve.
  • Once approved, your models feed Blu Age’s Forward Engineering (BFE) with accurate business logic functional specifications.
Blu Age Forward Engineering (BFE)
  • Blu Age then applies its code-generation capabilities to automatically transform your models into complete, modern, high-quality application code in Java or .Net.
Blue Age Delivery (BDE)
  • This ensures the quality of the code delivered by BFE. BDE operates in a modern continuous integration and testing environment that is consistent with the today’s best software engineering practices

Blu Age re-engineering approach is different from both rewriting and translating. Rewriting is a laborious set of tasks, the success of which depends of learning ad properly applying new computer languages and new software engineering techniques. Blu Age lets you focus on ensuring the right business logic is transferred from your SCOBOL program to the new target platform.

Blu Age also differs markedly form automated translators. Automated translator converts the SCOBOL program wholesale, leaving you to read through unfamiliar modern code to determine whether the translation appears successful.

Blu Age puts you in the driver’s seat to determine the steps in mapping over the business logic, while relieving you of the burden of coding in a new unfamiliar language, or trying to make sense of automatically translated code.

So, how does Blu Age methodology work? Read about it in our next blog:

Modernizing SCOBOL Programs Part 3: Blu Age Methodology

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Feedback please

Do you find this tutorial blog helpful? Let us know what you think, and how we can make it even better. Don’t forget, you can subscribe to our blogs (top right-hand corner of the home page) to get automatic email notification when a new blog is available.

Phil LyPhil Ly is the president and founder of TIC Software, a New York-based company specializing in software and services that integrate NonStop with the latest technologies, including Web Services, .NET and Java. Prior to founding TIC in 1983, Phil worked for Tandem Computer in technical support and software development.

HPE is NonStop – We Are, Also!

HPE NonStop PhotoTIC – Bringing Innovative Ideas to NonStop Community…

The HPE NonStop community prides itself on the fact that its systems are based upon fault-tolerant, “always on” technology – that is there for it when its customers need it to be. We too, here at TIC, are proud of the many accolades that we’ve received, with regard to our dependability as trusted NonStop advisors. Our customer-centric focus extends to developing and creating complementary solutions for the NonStop Modernization community, as well as serving that community as needed, no matter the time and place.

In this day of instant gratification, HPE’s “always on” operating system fits right in. We at TIC Software strive to be “always on” as well and have been developing and integrating NonStop Modernization solutions for our customers for over thirty years. In conjunction with our suite of off-the-shelf applications, we continually work with our clients and IT professionals to craft customized technology improvements to meet their ever-changing needs.

“It’s been great working with TIC Software in general, and Phil Ly, their CEO, in particular as he makes a great sounding board for our IT improvement ideas. TIC works very hard to provide the tools and custom development to address their clients’ unique challenges. Papé continually utilizes their tools and consulting in about a 50/50 ratio to address our IT issues.” – Shaun Swift, Director of Information Systems, The Pape Group

Keeping NonStop Modernization current – integrated with the latest technology – is an ongoing endeavor. This commitment demands a level of experience and expertise that comes with working side-by-side with companies utilizing HPE NonStop systems, and experiencing their challenges firsthand. We are happy and proud to continue to meet our customers’ challenges over the years and look forward to many more to come!

Do you find this tutorial blog helpful? Let us know what you think, and how we can make it even better. Don’t forget, you can subscribe to our blogs (top right-hand corner of the home page) to get automatic email notification when a new blog is available.


Ryan Ly PhotoRyan Ly is the chief business development officer of TIC Software. Prior to joining TIC, Ryan worked for over a decade in the entertainment industry – most recently as an agent, Head of the Television Literary Department, and an equity partner at Creative Artists Agency. Ryan is also the founder and principal of Curate, a management, consulting, and client advisory company, which focuses on the technology and entertainment/media sectors.

 

TIC Software for HPE NonStop – NonStop Modernization that’s always working

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Let’s face it; there are few things in life that can be counted on 100% of the time. So when the modern computer age started gaining momentum; HPE NonStop, formerly Tandem Computers, was created to ensure that everyday business transactions could be performed not only online, but reliably via a secure parallel processing architecture.

“The always on operating system has been protecting mission critical processes for over 40 years.” – HPE.com

And right along side of the ongoing evolution of these servers, a dedicated group of consultants and software developers created solutions designed to assist NonStop users in keeping their servers operating at peak efficiency. Through a variety of integrated applications and “modernizations,” firms serving the NonStop business sector created the “NonStop Modernization” market, and helped ensure the continued operating and business success of HPE NonStop Systems.

Continue reading

Modernizing with TOP – The Power of Sorting

The Power Of Sorting

I remember a conversation with a group of colleagues about  10 or 12 years ago on predicting the company values of Google and Microsoft.  While all of us were impressed with Google’s growth in Search power at that time, the common consensus was that Google Search Engine was a “one trick pony”, and just couldn’t possibly compete against a well established company like Microsoft with the ubiquity of its Windows operating system and Office tools.  Well, we were wrong. We underestimated how the power of search has literally changed not only how we look for information, but in how we acquire knowledge.

“Finding the information quickly when you need it”

Similarly, quite often we take for granted the simple power of sorting in the GUI world.  But when one operates in the green screen terminal world of NonStop, its absence quite often hinders one’s productivity in accessing information. But did you know that you can harness the power or sorting and many other GUI features in NonStop by using a software tool like TOP (The Operations Pack)?

The Operations Pack (TOP)  A productivity tool distributed by TIC Software as a training tool to help train the next generation of NonStop Operation Staff

Here is a simple Use Case on the NonStop:

Look for File information

Here is a typical file listing using FILEINFO or FUP INFO.

FILEINFO TACL Continue reading

Data Flow Product Suite – ‘Tele’ Technology with TIC Software

Automating &Report Delivery  via Email, Web, Fax and File Transfer

TIC_tools

Tele is a prefix that combines the meaning of the phases “reaching over a distance,” “carried out between two remote points,” and “performed or operated through electronic transmissions.” The ‘Tele’ family group technologies of TIC Software – has been designed for application modernization These Data Flow products are designed to seamlessly integrate NonStop systems with other platforms via format conversion and data delivery – enabling automated processing and delivery of reports and information and keeping the applications organizations running smoothly. Continue reading

Legacy Application Modernization – You Can Have it All

Obsolescence – it’s a fact of life. Wikipedia defines the term as “the state of being when an object, service or practice is no longer wanted even though it may still be in good working order.” We always want the next big thing; the latest Smartphone, the next tablet, the newest car. But with legacy systems – you can keep the past AND have the latest technology. Have your cake and eat it too…

Modernizing legacy applications with the latest enhancements for web services and communications has enabled many firms in a variety of industries to update their current platforms with today’s technology. Every day, organizations in banking and financial services, government, education, healthcare and manufacturing and distribution and other data-centric sectors, choose to keep their systems current and operating smoothly; and the firm they choose to assist with these efforts is TIC Software. Continue reading

Extend Your NonStop with XML

XML

Extensible Markup Language, or XML, defines a set of rules for structuring and coding documents in a format that are both human and machine readable. XML is developed to be non-proprietary (open standards) and simple to implement for Internet usability. XML design focuses on documents, but is also widely used to represent data structures in applications such as web services. XML has also been employed for such diverse uses as communication protocols, source code configuration and is commonly used for data interchange via the Internet such as FIX and OFX (Finance), SWIFT (Banking), ACORD (Insurance) and many others. Continue reading

Modernization Productivity- Part 3

III Measuring Modernization Productivity – measuring metrics for tangible benefits

Being able to show quantifiable progress and positive results for any undertaking is a good thing. In IT, obtaining data that shows a development project is on the right track to help the business is a great thing. And, when benefits may be measured both during a project’s development process, and after, to assist the company’s effort, that’s an extraordinary thing…

Implementing a mainframe application modernization project can have clear advantages and immediate impact. For both the IT group in particular, and the business in general, the results are beneficial and many. Especially when an innovative automation tool suite specifically designed for the job is brought to bear. Continue reading

Modernization with TIC Software

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Founded in 1983, TIC Software has been designing, developing and distributing IT solutions to address the technical challenges of modernizing legacy applications for over three decades and counting! We’re proud of our history – helping our clients maintain the highest standards with innovative solutions that keep their business IT infrastructure running smoothly.

Our products and services provide our customers with solutions that optimize: data flow and reporting, gateway and communication development, business intelligence and, of course, legacy application development. We’ve been modernizing legacy applications for a variety of companies in myriad industries such as financial services, healthcare and wholesale distribution. We work with technology partners to leverage the most up-to-date IT innovations – to best serve our clients – many of whom have been with us since day one! Continue reading

Learning Modernization – Where to start?

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“Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop”
– “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll

So you want to learn more about using modern tools and programming in modern languages. Your problem is not a lack of information and resources, but rather too much information.  The challenge is: How do you begin? My recommendation is to start by getting familiar with the development standard tool, which in this case is Eclipse.

whereis-resized-600Why should you learn Eclipse?

  • Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
    An IDE is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities for software development. Whether you will be programming in Java or other modern languages, Eclipse is a great development tool to use .
  • It is FREE!
    Eclipse is open source, and can be downloaded free of charge from http://www.eclipse.org. Visual Studio from Microsoft is also an excellent IDE, but it does incur a licensing cost.
  • It is versatile
    Eclipse has many, many features. You can use it for something as simple as a full featured editor, or for more complex tasks such as debugging or automated testing. My advice is: stick with the basic features that you need to get started, and not worry about all the other features until you need them.
  • It is extensible
    Eclipse has an extensible plug-in system, which allows developers or 3rd party vendors to add additional functionality.  For example, the BluAge Modernization tool can generate code from models, as well as reverse model legacy COBOL programs into Java code.  Also check out some of these plug-ins for NonStop from Nexbridge.
  • It works with NonStop
    Besides being able to use Eclipse for developing applications on your desktop, you can also use Eclipse with NonStop.  In addition to supporting Java, the NonStop Development Environment Eclipse (NSDEE) allows you to work with C, C++, COBOL and pTAL.

nsdee

learnLearn once. Use anywhere (including NonStop)!

The advent of NSDEE provides a modern industry standard Eclipse based development environment for NonStop. It allows you to edit -> build -> deploy -> debug C, C++, COBOL and pTAL programs from your desktop. So, by learning how to use Eclipse once, you can apply your knowledge across multiple platforms and technologies!

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Feedback please

Do you find this tutorial blog helpful? Let us know what you think, and how we can make it even better. Don’t forget, you can subscribe to our blogs (top right-hand corner of this page) to get automatic email notification when a new blog is available.

Phil LyPhil Ly is the president and founder of TIC Software, a New York-based company specializing in software and services that integrate NonStop with the latest technologies, including Web Services, .NET and Java. Prior to founding TIC in 1983, Phil worked for Tandem Computer in technical support and software development.