IBM i legacy applications are widely used and perform mission-critical functions in various business sectors now. However, due to the rapid development of information technologies and changing user needs, they do not meet all modern business requirements. Therefore, IBM i legacy applications need to be modernized.
In this article, we will talk about what problems developers face and why test data management tools are necessary for the legacy application modernization process. In addition, we will tell you how you can easily and quickly solve problems that may arise in the modernization process using the LANSA professional low code solutions and the TestRail test management tools.
Why should We Modernize IBM i Legacy Applications?
Let’s review the top reasons why we should modernize IBM i legacy applications:
- The ability to continue using legacy programs, taking advantage of modern technologies.
- Hardware, operating system or programming language that is no longer supported is being used.
- Ability to create new user interfaces for browsers and mobile devices.
- Ability to adapt legacy applications to support new business models, such as online sales.
- Lack of qualified personnel who can work with legacy technologies.
- Ability to improve software quality, resulting in lower maintenance costs and easier upgrade and support processes.
- Legacy applications may not be able to integrate with modern software, resulting in reduced business profits.
What are Legacy Application Modernization Techniques?
There are several different techniques for legacy application modernization. You can use one of them, or combine several different ones.
- Screen scraping. This is a method of modernization in which the old user interface is presented in a new form, and the application works without changes.
- Adding a new user interface. This technique works in the same way as the previous one, but in addition to creating a new interface, developers can also write scripts that are used to recognize screens and interact between them.
- Exposing business functions as callable services. Callable services are business functions performed by an application. Selecting individual business functions in an application and implementing them as separate callable services allows you to reuse them in other applications.
- Migrating the application. This is the process of dividing the application into separate logical parts and replacing only some of them. This allows you to modernize gradually.
- Re-hosting is the process of migrating an old application to a new hardware or operating system. The application works without changes.
- Outsourcing is the transfer of obligations to support outdated software to an outsourcing company.
- Rewriting the application. This is the creation of a new application using modern technologies, based on the existing functionality of legacy applications.
- Replacing the application. This technique involves replacing the legacy application with a new one, while only data from the legacy application is retained.
What Problems do Developers Face in the Process of Modernizing Legacy Applications?
The process of modernization of IBM i legacy applications is quite complex and time-consuming. Among the problems that arise, it is worth noting the following:
- Business requirements change rapidly.
- There is no easy way to innovate.
- Integration difficulties.
- Low productivity of developers.
- Lack of specialists with knowledge of the necessary technologies.
- Modern restrictions on use.
- High service cost.
- Scale to meet growing business needs.
What is LANSA and What are the Benefits of Using It?
Visual LANSA is a professional low-code solution that provides tools for easily and quickly modernizing legacy applications and creating new ones.
The main advantages of using LANSA:
- Ability to build efficient and accelerated business applications that support cross-platform or flexible deployment and integration.
- Easy to use.
- There is no need to use highly qualified specialists.
- Increase efficiency through scalability and flexibility.
- Ability to innovate faster.
- Cost savings for the modernization process.
What is Test Management Software?
The test management software is a tool that allows you to create test cases, manage test requirements, run automatic tests, review the process and the result of their execution, create bug reports and perform other actions related to software quality control.
Why is a Test Management Tool Essential in the Modernization Process?
The logic of the operation of legacy applications is very complex. In the modernization process, developers should work with both legacy and modern applications, making the process more complicated.
When making any changes, a large number of bugs may appear. Therefore, tests must cover the functionality of such applications.
Because of the complication of the process, it’s crucial to get a proper test management tool to track all the testing efforts within the entire SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) from the design stage instead of using spreadsheets.
Test management solution allows you to store information about all tests and control the automation and manual testing process. Therefore, if errors occur during the modernization process, you can immediately detect and correct them.
What are the Pain Points of Test Management in the Modernization Process?
For effective software testing, you need to have a tool that will allow you to solve the following problems:
- Inaccurate business requirements lead to a lot of responsibility for the testers to define the requirements.
- Automation of the test management process.
- The ability to manage the entire testing process in one system.
- The possibility of a clear division of duties.
- Automate more tests.
- Reduction of quality control time for new releases.
- Increasing deployment frequency.
- Reduction of production errors.
- Improving cooperation with the development team.
- Completion of testing in less time.
Why should You Choose TestRail for Effective Test Management in Your Project?
TestRail is one of the best test management tools that allows you to organize all your testing information in a centralized repository. You can use it in the cloud or locally.
The main advantages of using TestRail:
- Ability to create test cases or scenarios.
- Tracking the status of individual tests.
- Tracking manual and automated tests in one system.
- Measure progress with dashboards.
- Ability to create detailed reports.
- Ability to compare the results of several test runs, configurations, and stages.
- Backlog of the team’s workload.
- Easy to set up.
- Ability to integrate with dozens of third-party applications such as Jira, Redmine, Pivotal Tracker, FogBugz, GitHub, Rally, Bugzilla, Visual Studio, and more.
- Has a free trial version.
In this article, we talked about why it is important to modernize IBM i legacy applications and how test management tools can help you create quality software. Also, we have listed possible problems you may encounter during the modernization process.
LANSA’s professional low-code solution makes the upgrade process simple, fast, and economical, and the TestRail test management system makes it easy to solve test management problems in your project.
Do you want to make the management of the software testing process simple and effective? Try TestRail’s free trial now.
Which is a test management tool?
The test management tool is software that allows you to create test cases, manage test execution, monitor progress, create reports, etc.
Is Jira a test management tool?
Jira is project management software, but it can also work as a functional testing tool.
What is meant by application modernization?
Application modernization is the process of modernization of legacy software using new technologies, programming languages, frameworks, operating systems, hardware, etc.
Why is application modernization important?
Application modernization is a very important process, as it allows you to create software using modern technologies, and at the same time preserve existing business-critical functionality.