How To Replace an AS/400 For Owners of Custom RPG Software

How To Replace an AS/400
For Owners of Custom RPG Software
Copyright vLegaci Corp 2014
How To Replace An AS/400
For Owners of Custom RPG Software
Table of Contents
Why?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
With what?. . . . . . . . . . . 4
How?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Contact . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
How To Replace An AS/400
Business Needs Most businesses today compete in a
radically different environment than when their legacy RPG
applications were first developed. The need for flexibility,
rapid change, process improvement and integration with
cloud, mobile and data analytics were barely conceived at
the time.
Aging software moves in the opposite
direction of business needs.
Business need for agility
over the past 20 years
Software agility over 20
year lifespan
The science of software engineering is conclusive that as
software is continually changed aging software becomes
progressively more difficult, slower and risky to change.
Aging Code As described in detail in our whitepaper, AS/400 and RPG: Too Old For A
New Age Of Business, almost all legacy RPG applications suffer from substantial quality
problems and technical debt.
This is typical of old software in any language, and reflects years of accumulated
imperfections, shortcuts and deferred improvements.
Assessed in terms of ISO Software Quality Metrics, most legacy applications score very
poorly in maintainability, modularity, reusability, analyzability, changeability, and
Programming Resources Also described in the
white paper is evidence that in 2014 the pool of RPG
programmers is roughly 20% of the size if was in
RPG job postings
2005-2014 courtesy
A related concern is that legacy application knowledge tends to become heavily siloed within IT. Business
users typically have very limited understanding of the business rules and processes within their applications
and become heavily dependent on a few RPG gurus with limited availability.
Antiquated, un-modernizable architecture Unfortunately there structural shortcomings of legacy
RPG applications that are beyond the reach of feasible RPG modernization capabilities:
Monolithic, unexposable logic
No business processes model
Tightly coupled modules
No management of business rules
Highly tangled logic
No visibility to business users
No metrics for process improvement
No visual architectural model
No social workplace capability
Copyright vLegaci Corp 2014
How To Replace An AS/400
For decades, enterprise scale custom applications have been developed with languages such as COBOL, RPG,
Java and .Net. All of these now belong in a category called legacy business languages.
IBM BPM offers a demonstrably superior way to develop enterprise-scale custom business applications.
“The model is the code.”
With its visual modeling of all workflow and logic,
and its immediate playback execution, BPM
accelerates change and enables understanding for
both IT and users far beyond what is possible by
looking at specification documents or lines of code.
• Rapid development
• Unbeatable changeability
• Visible to users
• Collaborative development
• Social workplace
• Built-in process metrics
• Energized process improvement
Model the logic and click the run button and it’s executing.
No detail too small, no behind the scenes piles of code.
No code generation - the model is the code…the executable code
Speed plus Game-changing IT-Business Collaboration
IBM BPM’s focus on business processes rather
than complex programming skills makes it
much more suitable for RPG staff transition
than Java or .Net.
By making software development a truly collaborative experience between IT and the business, many steps in
the traditional development cycle are reduced or removed.
Users participate directly as workflow is diagrammed, screens are laid out, business rules are defined and
prototypes are instantly executed for review.
Widespread, consistent knowledge accelerates improvement and drives more insightful innovation.
Features of Custom Software and Application Architecture
Process workflow and business rules modeled visually
The visual design model is the executable software
Process logic visible to users
Process execution visible to management
Dramatically reduces development effort
Made for rapid change
Facilitates IT-user collaboration
Built-in process metrics capture and analysis
Drives process improvement and innovation
Provides fully integrated social workplace functionality
Facilitates scalable innovation
Copyright vLegaci Corp 2014
Built-in with
Practical with
RPG, Java,etc
How To Replace An AS/400
BPM projects are characterized by fairly quick, repeated deliveries of value. There are
several strategies that can be followed. This roadmap gives a general view of how a legacy to BPM
transition can be rolled out.
30 days
90 days
Proof of Concept
Pilot BPM Project
Choose and develop the first real project. It
should be:
• Deployable in roughly 90 days
• Visible but not mission critical
This will serve to set up infrastructure and
begin hands-on training of staff as desired.
Watch a 2-3
day demo BPM
project be
start to finish.
90 days
Iteration 2, 3, etc
Subsequent iterations will follow the
strategy as developed.
These iterations can be increasingly lead
by staff, assisted and supplemented as
Project Infrastructure and Tool Development
In the “background” of BPM development, infrastructure and tools can be developed
“leading and in parallel.” This can include things such as common data objects, common
UI patterns , common services to be reused, database synchronization and dealing with
legacy transition issues.
Orientation to BPM
For Business leaders, IT Management, IT Staff, Subject Matter Experts
• Answer the question, “what is BPM?”
• View BPM as a user and as a collaboration and development tool
• Begin participation in “envisioning” sessions to define applications
Training is mostly delivered as hands-on training in
the development of real applications.
• Agile/BPM Methodology
• BPM application envisioning
• BPM development
• BPM infrastructure and administration
Develop Re-engineering and Transition Strategy*
• Business process discovery (opt)
• Document business priorities
• Find partitioning opportunities
• Develop iteration plan
• Analyze data sync requirements
* See next page for more discussion of strategy
Copyright vLegaci Corp 2014
How To Replace An AS/400
There are multiple strategies available for transitioning from legacy systems to BPM. A
key determinant of the right strategy are the forces driving the project:
• Technology (push by IT) - Retire the existing system as soon as possible
• Business needs (pull by business project demands) - Respond to specific business needs for
improved software and provide it via BPM rather than the legacy system.
Initial Project*
Remaining Projects
Fully Planned Rewrite (IT driven)
Technically Opportunistic
(do what’s easy first) (IT driven)
Pilot Project
Process Opportunistic (Business driven)
Technical gap coverage
(IT driven, as needed)
Final Decommission Push (IT driven)
* The purpose of the Pilot Project is to deploy a first BPM application, familiarize everyone with BPM and get
the infrastructure up and running.
This project should attempt to limit technical challenges so the team can concentrate on learning the task of
deploying of a BPM application.
Copyright vLegaci Corp 2014
How To Replace An AS/400
IBM BPM consists of the components shown in blue, below, plus others for
performance, analysis and advanced features. IBM BPM does not include an application database
of its own, but rather users connect to a database of their choice, which could optionally be a
redesigned AS/400 database.
Transitioning from legacy systems involves partitioning the work into phases which typically results
in interfacing between the old and new systems. A variety of options are available for interfacing, as
BPM Designer
Eclipse desktop
AS/400, iSeries, IBM i
User Portal
User User
(Any browser)
(Any browser)
Any browser or
mobile device
BPM Process Center
Web services
Legacy Programs
Application Repository
Process Execution
Windows, Linux, AIX
Legacy data access
Stored Procs
Legacy AS/400
Data synchronization
Copyright vLegaci Corp 2014
New Database
SQL Server
How To Replace An AS/400
Hit the start button
We offer three ways to get started:
Two hour BPM tour
We give you a two hour, personal, customized, highly interactive tour of BPM via web conference. Using our
easy to understand demo application we show you:
• What it’s like to use a BPM application as a user
• How we went about developing the application
• How easy it is to change and redeploy the application
• How easy it is to develop for mobile
• A brief overview of the architecture and installation configuration
• The process metrics and analysis available for management
• The social work aspect of BPM
• The software tools we are using and price points
Cost: $250
Proof of Concept BPM Project
We work with you to jointly develop a small, example application. You act as the subject matter expert and we
do most of the coding, which you watch and learn. This usually consists of a few hours of joint online
preparation and 2-3 days onsite at your location. You see:
• All items covered in the Two Hour Tour, plus
• How to develop a BPM application from scratch
• How to use our simple, yet advanced Agile/BPM methodology
• Optionally, how to connect to your existing system
Cost: $2500-$4000
BPM Cloud Application Development
We develop a small application of your choice using IBM’s Cloud-based BPM platform. When we are finished
this will be a live, production application for your organization. This consists of training and development work
by you, to the extent you wish, anywhere from having us do everything, to a step-by-step hands-on training
program as part of development. You receive:
• All benefits covered in the Two Hour tour and POC project, plus
• Training in all aspects of BPM that you desire
• Participation in actual development to the extent that you desire
• Training in the support of the live application, or support from us
Cost: Project and process dependent
Copyright vLegaci Corp 2014
You can replace your legacy AS400 applications.
Contact us to start the discussion.
vLegaci Corp.
2950 Buskirk Ave., #300
Walnut Creek, CA 94597
[email protected]
Copyright vLegaci Corp 2014