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How to do IBM i Legacy Modernization with LANSA?

by | Jun 21, 2022 | IBM i Modernization | 0 comments

IBM i legacy application modernization can mean different things to different people. This can include converting RPG to free form, updating databases to SQL, or reducing IT costs. In reality, however, it involves taking a holistic approach to improving your existing infrastructure, and that’s what modernization with LANSA is all about.

LANSA introduces an incremental approach to legacy modernization that lets you scale according to your growing business needs. Its IBM i modernization solutions allow you to combine your existing application functionality with that of new applications — all within one framework. This way, you can quickly satisfy your short-term goals and incrementally add new functionality as you move forward on your modernization journey. LANSA also allows you to easily extend your IBM i capabilities across different platforms. 

LANSA enables you to modernize in stages. In other words, you can gradually implement major improvements without disrupting your normal business operations. This is particularly valuable for organizations looking to modernize core, mission-critical business processes.

Legacy application modernization should be end-user-centric. This means making your employees, business partners, and vendors, innovative, faster, and more agile in responding to market changes and continuously increasing productivity. These things are often grouped under the IT term “delivering business value.” Because of this, your legacy application modernization project must deliver substantially greater business value than your existing IBM i applications offer.

Here are three ways you can deliver business value with LANSA:

Empowering Modern Multitasking Users

The end-users of your 5250 applications today typically use smartphones, emails, online shopping and similar technology. You get the picture. That means that they are used to modern applications, and their digital expectations are higher than what IBM i 5250 applications offer. Fortunately, with LANSA IBM i legacy application modernization solutions, you can deliver modernized 5250 applications that align with the capabilities and expectations of modern applications.

Enhanced Business Process Integration 

It’s common for business processes to interact with multiple systems. Sometimes the business processes are internal (on the same system), and sometimes they are external (across multiple systems). Regardless of the state of your business processes, LANSA enables their integration into a modernized 5250 application. Integration  enhances the quality and speed of the associated business processes.

Build Brand New Applications

Suppose you’re looking to develop brand-new cross-platform applications. More importantly, you need them to leverage your IBM i server running on DB2 and deliver the robustness and reliability that you’ve become used to. In other words, you want to build modern web-based applications to future-proof your investment. You can do all this with LANSA, 

What’s more, you can combine your existing and newly built applications in one framework. This allows you to move easily between your older and modern applications. The application framework also offers a well-defined way to gradually replace your old application parts with more modern parts. This application framework is called RAMP. So, how can you actionably modernize with LANSA?

What are the stages in LANSA Legacy Modernization?

There are three stages involved in RAMP legacy application modernization:

Stage 1: Prototype and design the new application

If you’re thinking about modernizing your IBM i applications, you should already know how a modernized version looks and operates. The first stage of legacy application modernization with LANSA is creating working prototypes of the modernized version of your existing applications.

This is great approach to executing this stage:

  • Speak to your end-users to collect and validate data for business application requirements. 
  • Leverage LANSA’s RAMP architecture to quickly create a working prototype you’ll take to the next stage. 
  • Include line-of-business leaders in the workflow and functionality design stage so that they can stay up-to-date with changes.

Stage 2: Navigation, Integration, and Initial Enrichment

Now that you have a working prototype of your applications, the next step is turning it into a fully functional modernized application. Here, your screens are classified as “work screens” and “navigation screens.” RAMP Application Navigation Assistant repurposes your existing 5250 work screens and snaps them into the prototype you created in stage one. The navigation screens are navigated behind the work screen to eliminate the menu hierarchy. 

To create an inclusive modernization environment, you can easily email an application’s URL to end-users for real-time feedback. 

Stage 3: Ongoing Reengineering and Enrichment

The final stage is where you leverage the scalability of LANSA. Here, you decide which applications you can further enhance to deliver even higher business value. Then, you can incrementally replace old functionality with new LANSA-based functionality to get your desired result. 

If your legacy application modernization goal is server-platform independence, you can use new LANSA components in place of all RPG, COBOL, and DDS-dependent programs.

What Makes the LANSA Legacy Modernization Solution Different From Others?

With LANSA, you begin close to your desired result. The RAMP framework is already a modern application. Whether on desktop, web, or mobile, you can create and enhance composite applications. 

Simply refacing your existing applications adds no business value. However, with LANSA modernization solutions, you can add more functionality to deliver higher business value. 

How Can You Use Other LANSA IBM I Modernization Solutions for a Successful Modernization?

LANSA boasts a long array of IBM i modernization solutions. Here are a few:

Modernize Existing Legacy Applications using aXes

LANSA aXes enables users to quickly web-enable their existing 5250 applications without writing a single line of code. This solution allows you to scale by adding more functionality to your now modernized user interface. 

While aXes may seem like a refacing tool, it is much more than that. This LANSA IBM i modernization solution lets you further enhance your modernized IBM i applications to include mobile, tablet, and web functionality. 

Other aXes functionality you can leverage includes:

  • Spooled file management 
  • DB2 Query tool
  • Host Integration 

Create New Applications using Visual LANSA 

Visual LANSA is a low-code development platform that enables rapid application development up to ten times faster than traditional development techniques. This solution combines the best parts of conventional coding and low-code application development. This means that you can quickly build simpler functionality using low-code and create the complex parts of the application that require traditional coding, all in the same IDE. 

Whether you host your business applications on the cloud or on-premise, you can leverage Visual LANSA. You can install it on a Windows server or IBM i server, as well as on the cloud. 

ERP Frameworks

LANSA’s ERP framework is the ERP of all ERPs. Other IBM i ERP software solutions require round-the-clock support and constant upgrades that result in high maintenance costs. LANSA, on the other hand, eliminates all these risks. It does so by making all application modules open source, and by providing the consulting support and education you need to get your team started and ultimately control your future application life cycle. 

Build Custom Portals, Fast using Portalize 

Portals allow clients to access IBM I resources through the web. Though in the context of a portal, Portalize is way more than that. It embodies what today’s users have come to expect in a portal; it is fully functional, completely customizable, and packed with numerous user-friendly features. 

The Portalize user interface is super easy to navigate. You can create multiple accounts with the tap of a button. LANSA is also big on security, and some of Portalize’s surface security features allow you to set security questions, reset passwords, and maintain your data as you please. 

Next, Portalize implements Google Material Design. This makes for a very shallow learning curve as its design and workflow are familiar processes. Notably, since it’s fully customizable, you can add or subtract according to your product needs. 

Leveraging this solution for your IBM i modernization project means you get access to the source code. Because Portalize is powered by Visual LANSA, you gain full access to all that’s good with Visual LANSA. 

Legacy modernization for IBM i.

Are You Ready to Modernize with LANSA?

In our new economy, businesses must adapt faster than ever before. Fortunately, legacy application modernization offers companies running on legacy systems have a way to catch up to their competitors. A big part of your success in any modernization strategy, however, depends solely on you leveraging the right modernization solutions.

LANSA offers high-quality modernization solutions that’ll help you achieve both your short and long-term goals. It doesn’t stop there, leveraging LANSA means gaining access to a team of experts ready to hold your hand through your modernization journey. 

Thinking about leveraging the LANSA modernization solution but need to ensure it meets your business requirements? Simply request a free proof of concept (POC), by filling out this form. For more information and visual illustration on how you can modernize with LANSA, check out LANSA’s modernization webinars and contact us.


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