Odds are, if you are reading this blog, you have at least some interest in modernizing your legacy CA 2E(Synon) applications. As with any modernization project, there are many paths and options available to choose from. Also, as with any modernization project, there are probably a few viable options as possible paths forward.
Let’s talk about those options.
Let’s face it. There will be one, a few, if not a small group in your company who see this as the perfect opportunity to migrate away from the IBM i. The logic of the timing can’t really be argued; the timing makes complete sense. However, the IBM i is a lean, mean, data-crunching machine—one of the most powerful business machines on the market. Paying hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars to migrate away from the best doesn’t make business sense, or any sense for that matter. That talk should be squashed as soon as possible. You already have the best hardware; keep it and update to the best software.
Gamble with the old and add some new:
The initial impulse might be to leave the legacy code alone and extend functionality with new code. Initially, this may seem like the fastest and cheapest method. Without a doubt, this has the possibility to address some pressing issues rather quickly and at a fraction of the cost of rewriting the entire system.
However, there are major drawbacks, and this approach doesn’t address the biggest issue: having your core business operate on near-obsolete technology. At some point, whether in an emergency or planned, your core applications will have to be updated to new technology. This approach might be fine to address an immediate need that is life or death for the business, but it definitely should not be considered as a long-term solution.
Wholesale changes and a complete rewrite:
So now we get to the best options for future-proofing your mission-critical business applications. There are actually a few sub options under this heading that may or may not be right for your situation.
Option 1: Magical Code
You can try to use a solution that solely relies on converting the old code to another language. You take your CA 2E applications and “magically” convert them to Java or RPG. The issue here is that the code produced is just not the same as code that is manually written. The code tends to be inefficient and doesn’t perform like the native code because of the major differences in the languages. Your apps suffer, and ultimately your business suffers. Additionally, once the new code is produced, you have to manually modify it and then integrate it with new web or desktop technologies. Is your shop prepared to take on Java code and then learn all the additional coding languages needed to create web apps? It is not an efficient method unless you are set up for the converted languages.
Option 2: Hybrid Low Code
LANSA understands the fear, apprehension and uncertainty that these modernization projects bring. So LANSA can help you seamlessly modernize your legacy applications. With LANSA, you have two solid options depending on your needs. You can rewrite your applications in Visual LANSA and have the ability to write web apps and desktop apps using one IDE and only learning one language—a language any Synon programmer can easily pick up and be productive in quickly.
LANSA enables you to combine your current legacy apps into a single framework with your new Visual LANAS apps. You can convert the most critical apps first and combine them in the same framework as your existing apps. This allows for an easy and convenient transition for the end user with a single, consolidated workspace that doesn’t require multiple logins to different applications. Your business speeds along as if nothing is happening.
As the end nears for your legacy applications, the importance of modernizing becomes greater. LANSA understands IBM i modernization better than anyone. We have been doing it for over thirty years. Let LANSA help your IT department and your entire organization seamlessly modernize your legacy applications so you don’t have to worry about catastrophic failure.