Many business applications have been running reliably for decades on legacy IT systems and represent a major investment for an organization. Usually IT has spent years developing and enhancing business-critical applications to meet the precise needs of the organization and give them a competitive advantage in their industry.
Replace, Migrate or Emulate
When IT has decided these applications can no longer be kept on legacy systems, there are basically three choices
- Replace the application with new packaged software and migrate the current data
- Migrate the application and data to a modern operating system, typically Windows or Unix
- Emulate the legacy hardware in software, leaving the legacy applications untouched
For organizations with generic requirements, the option to replace with packaged software is usually more cost-effective in the long-term if extensive customization is not required.
But for organizations that use IT in more strategic ways to directly support their specific requirements, they cannot afford to discard their business-critical applications and must either migrate or emulate.
There are several factors to consider when deciding between migration and emulation for legacy systems. Emulation is usually quicker and easier, but only addresses concerns with legacy systems hardware. Migration offers a more complete long-term solution, but takes more work.
Platform, Data, and Application
To migrate a legacy application to a modern IT environment, every architectural layer within the system must be addressed from business user interfaces and functionality down to the systems hardware and chipsets.
- Business analysis to capture key requirements and test cases.
- Data analysis to model and replicate current data, archived data, data formats, metadata and data interfaces.
- Systems analysis to determine upgrade paths and dependencies between applications software, operating systems, and systems utilities including network layers, APIs, file systems, security, configuration, and physical media.
Having audited and analyzed the legacy application, a project plan can be developed for each stage of the migration. Every project has its own unique requirements, but generally include
- Installing and configuring software on the new system.
- Using RapidGen’s natural language software and decision tables to efficiently reproduce application logic and data in the new environment.
- Executing generated software on the new system including user interfaces, data conversion.
Integrate and Test
Prior to implementing the migrated application it must be fully integrated into related systems and extensively tested.
- End-to-end parallel data processing through the entire system to ensure consistency with legacy system.
- Systems testing to verify performance, scalability, resilience and security.
- User acceptance testing to ensure legacy application has been faithfully replicated.
Your Migration and Modernization Project
For advice or assistance with your migration and modernization requirements, please let us know how we can help. Contact Us