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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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.

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

Modernization01

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

Modernization – Our Ever-changing Perspective

From the Age of Enlightenment to Scientific Revolution & Legacy Application

ScientificRev_Legacy

It seems that every generation thinks that the methods they employ are so modern, and that generations past were so old school and out of touch. As technology evolves – and more and more computing power is integrated into our everyday lives – the generation gap seems to widen. Today, we read about cars that one day may drive themselves (a frightening thought), refrigerators that will order food to restock themselves (potentially a fattening thought), and smart houses that will adjust environmental and entertainment settings to our every whim (remember when you actually had to get up to change the television channel).

According to Wikipedia, the basic principles of modernization theory began in the late 1800’s in the Age of Enlightenment with the idea that people themselves could develop and change their society. The origins of this theory are based upon the pretexts of technological advancements, economic changes and social development and the effect they have upon moral and social values and how these lead to continuous progress and improvement in human affairs.

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Happy 2015! Modernize Forward to NonStop X!

When we started working with Tandem/NonStop technology in the 1980’s, we along with the rest of the user community put our faith in this rock-solid computing foundation, with fault tolerance, high performance and scalability at its center stage. Today, those fundamentals remain the key tenets of the platform, while we have witnessed a continuous evolution and modernization of the hardware and software architectures. We anticipate 2015 to be an exciting year as HP highlight their continuous commitment to the NonStop platform with the NonStop X announcement.

Intel XEON

The availability of NonStop X means that the future is brighter than ever for the NonStop community as this platform continues to evolve – to meet and exceed customer expectations. The arrival of this new architecture means faster processing power, higher scalability, new software offerings and room for more mission critical applications. That also translates into new opportunities to modernize your enterprise applications to take full advantage of all that the NonStop infrastructure has to offer. Continue reading

Log Management- Planning Ahead Saves Time and Resources

Busy person“I am too busy to plan!”

It seems like most IT professionals today are so busy keeping up with day-to-day tasks, not to mention myriad unexpected issues that arise; that project planning and time management often take a back seat., Besides, “planning” sounds like such an “open-ended” thing that is frequently deemed a waste of time and lost in the shuffle.

 

In fact, a little proactive planning could save a lot of time and stress in the future. And it does not have to take up a lot of time, e.g. like planning how to better deal with production issues. Continue reading

Make Application Modernization a 2015 Priority

Happy2015

Help Your Business (& yourself) with Application Modernization

It’s that time of year again – when our thoughts turn to the holidays and year-end business gets wrapped up. As we turn the page on the calendar and begin planning for the forthcoming year – many of us will make New Year’s resolutions – and the majority of us will fail to keep them. So, this year, let’s make one we can keep that will benefit both our business and ourselves by making our jobs a bit (and potentially a lot) easier – Application Modernization.

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3 Good Reasons for Application Modernization

Your company’s NonStop application was developed years, if not decades, ago; and you’re wondering whether to move on to new technology which may be a big headache, or update your current system, which you suspect may be an even bigger one. Well, fret no more as legacy application modernization may just be the answer you’ve been searching for… Continue reading

Do you know your Modernization Project requirements?

You guys start coding, I’ll go find out what they want
You undoubtedly have seen the broadly circulated cartoon with this punch line. It’s funny because for many of us it comes too close to reality of many projects that are done with very poorly defined requirements. You have also probably seen the famous “Tree Swing” cartoon of requirements drift that has floated around for years.  In this cartoon, a collection of improbable variations on a simple tree swing diverge further and further from the client’s desire for an old car tire tied by a rope to a sturdy tree branch.  Here are two of my favorite panels from “Tree Swing”.

treeswing

Does it have to be this way?  Let’s find out. The usual way that requirements are documented begins in a requirements meeting, often the first of so many. 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