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Step-by-Step Refactoring

How can I create a continuous connection between the legacy and new application and data worlds while converting my applications to modern languages?

A use case not just for the automotive industry.

Our featured customer, a major player in the automotive industry, manages a substantial portfolio of legacy COBOL, PL1, and assembler applications. They embarked on a strategic journey to modernise their software stack by transitioning to Java. This decision was driven by the impending retirement of experienced personnel and a need to reduce costs associated with their existing mainframe infrastructure.

The Challenge

Throughout this transformation process, this customer faced two significant technical hurdles that demanded innovative solutions.

Shared Data: Seamless data availability between the refactored x86 applications and the legacy mainframe applications posed a complex problem. Traditional data synchronisation methods using change data capture proved costly and risky due to potential inconsistencies.

Critical Assembler Modules: Certain critical assembler modules couldn’t be automatically refactored, potentially jeopardising project timelines.

The Solution

To overcome these challenges, our team devised tailored solutions:

Hybrid Data Access Solution: We proposed integrating a relational database component using standard DRDA protocols. This approach allowed the refactored applications to access local data and, when necessary, retrieve data from the mainframe remotely. This innovative hybrid data access model ensured data availability while minimising synchronisation risks. Also, a data migration pipeline facilitated a gradual and risk-free migration of application data from the mainframe environment to the x86 environment.

Assembler Module Transformation: To mitigate the risk of project delays posed by the manual conversion of critical assembler modules, we introduced an integration platform approach based on the capabilities of the Software Defined Mainframe®. Because of LzLabs’ Java interoperability patterns, assembler modules can be converted to Java while being able to talk back to the remaining assembler applications on the runtime environment.

This ensured seamless interoperability between the refactored Java applications and assembler modules. Our customer gained the flexibility to selectively convert essential assembler modules to Java manually, ensuring a smooth transition.

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The Summary

In conclusion, our customer’s ambition to transition legacy applications to Java was met with formidable technical challenges. However, our innovative solutions, including implementing a relational database component for hybrid data access and re-hosting assembler modules with the LzLabs Software Defined Mainframe®, successfully addressed these challenges. The result? Reduced risks, enhanced interoperability, and greater flexibility throughout the conversion process.

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