An Introduction To Application Modernization Automation Services

by | May 3, 2022 | Application Modernization | 0 comments

Running its 6th IBM i marketplace survey, HelpSystems, asked their respondents (500 IBM i users), “what are their top IT initiatives for the coming year?”. According to the results, leveraging application modernization services ranked third. This means that the need to modernize is not going away as companies look to thrive in a constantly evolving environment.  

When it comes to data exchange and integration, ensuring security and compliance while making processes efficient can be challenging, especially for companies who rely on the IBM i to run core mission-critical business operations. Note that this is not an attempt to dent the quality of the IBM i. On the contrary, it is a testament to its robustness, reliability, integrated database, and much more, that many businesses still rely on this platform today. Particularly those running data-heavy applications. However, it is an indication that you must modernize to remain competitive in your respective market. 

One of the challenges faced by these companies is “human error.” Unfortunately, many businesses still use pc based tools for data exchange. However, these often involve manual processes and are, therefore, prone to natural human errors. For example, your users may send a wrong file, send one at the wrong time, or be unavailable to ship data when needed. Data exchange and integration often involve business-critical financial data, and any delay or mishap could prove costly. Fortunately, there are application modernization services that solve these challenges. This article introduces such services. Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s define application modernization services.

What are Application Modernization Services?

Application modernization services are services that address the challenges associated with legacy applications. These challenges can include difficulty integrating, modern usage limitations, lack of developer resources, high maintenance and operation costs, etc. For a successful modernization project, you need services that minimize risks and leverage existing resources. One of such services is aXes-Robot. 

What is the aXes-Robot application modernization service?

aXes-Robot is an application programming interface (API) that developers can leverage to create applications that automate 5250 IBM i applications. Using aXes-Robot, you can simulate data-entry actions on any 5250 screen. This functionality facilitates data exchange and integration between existing IBM i applications and other new applications (for example, .NET, Java, etc.)

This application modernization service provides a wide range of programming options with three APIs; 

  • .NET APIs for Windows
  • JAVA API for IBM i and Windows
  • RPG API for IBM i  

Both .NET and Java versions are written in managed code, and the RPG version is wrapped in aXes-Robot Java API. However, none requires ActiveX controls. 

aXes-Robot has no user interface, but you can quickly leverage it to create the application that manages the user interface and interact with your existing IBM i applications. Additionally, .NET, Java, and/or RPG skills are required to use this solution. 

How Can You Automate Data Exchange and Integration Using The aXes-Robot Service?

Here are a few ways you can take advantage of aXes-Robot to achieve your integration goals.

Automate data entry

aXes-Robot enables the automation of data entry in IBM i applications. You can leverage aXes-Robot with an application (RPG, Java, .NET) to execute any data entry tasks. The RPG application takes the data from the data source and uses the aXes-Robot API to complete the data entry. You can see the complete data entry workflow on your applications’ screens as aXes-Robot simulates the process.

Retrieve data from IBM i applications using web services

You can use web services to extract data from IBM i applications, reformat the data, and make it accessible to new applications. Combining your web services with aXes-Robot, you can simulate a request and retrieve the corresponding data. For example, a Java web service would require the aXes-Robot Java API to execute this task. 

Use IBM i applications from your ASP .NET website.

You can use aXes-Robot directly from your ASP .NET site and interact with a 5250 application to get and update data. For example, developers can write C# code for forms that collect user data from an ASP.NET website. Users interact with the website using forms, and the C# code behind the site uses the aXes-Robot API to get, insert and update information.

Application Modernization Services

Why use aXes-Robot as your application modernization service?

aXes-Robot facilitates the automation of seamless data movement in and out of IBM i applications without impacting the application. This means that you can easily integrate modern solutions with IBM i applications even without the source code. Here are more reasons you should consider aXes-Robot;

Reduce risks and costs using aXes-Robot

Putting data to use is critical to the growth of any organization. However, many companies delegate these tasks to data operators. Therefore, making the process prone to human errors. Not to mention how expensive it can get. Also, in a bid to reduce costs, others opt for customer and suppliers’ data entry through the use of forms on websites and electronic data exchanges, respectively. Yet, these measures are only effective if data entry processes are automated. 

Integrate existing IBM i applications with modern solutions

One major challenge IBM i users face is incorporating modern solutions. Although the IBM i is reliable and robust, with integrated databases, it is monolithic. This makes it difficult for users to integrate new technologies. However, aXes-Robot provides an integration interface that allows you to easily retrieve data from IBM i applications and make them accessible to new solutions. What’s more, aXes-Robot does not need the source code.

Ready to Leverage the Right Application Modernization Services for Data exchange and Integration?

The right “application modernization services” minimizes risks and leverages existing resources. Offering a wide range of programming in three APIS, aXes-Robot lets you leverage your existing developer resources. Also, by eliminating human intervention, aXes-Robot reduces risks. 

Here are other interesting aXes-Roboti features;

  • .NET API for Windows for use by .NET developers
  • Java API for IBM i and Windows for use by Java developers
  • RPG API for IBM i for use by RPG and COBOL developers
  • .NET API written in managed code and does not require the use of ActiveX controls
  • Registration for screenshots
  • Logging for exceptions, communications with the aXes server, and its messages

Ready to automate your business processes? You can download and try aXes-robot for free. To ensure that this solution meets your business requirement, you can easily request a free proof of concept (POC). For more information about our application modernization services, contact us.  

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