Feeds

Code analysis and legacy modernisation

There's code analysis automation beyond SPARK...

Remote control for virtualized desktops

In feedback to the article I co-wrote here, I was accused of being “way ahead of the game” so far as ordinary development goes.

Well, I was just talking to Mike Oara, CTO of Relativity and his colleague, product marketing manager Peter Mollins; and they seem to have some very similar ideas in the much more prosaic “legacy application modernisation” space. I wouldn't push the similarities too far, but the differences in approaches are a matter of degree, not kind.

Relativity uses some form of static analysis of legacy source code (in languages such as COBOL, PL1 Natural, Java – even 370 Assembler) to populate a metadata repository with information about what the application being analysed actually does.

This can be extracted in various forms and used as a foundation for a spectrum of activities from replacing the application entirely, to merely maintaining it as the business changes. You come a bit unstuck if you don't have the source code (not as unusual as you might hope) but you usually have enough of it to let the Relativity tools identify missing copybooks and "dead" code, which should be a big help.

In fact, an immediate payback from using the Relativity tools may be to prune this dead code from the legacy application; – code corresponding to obsolete functions, perhaps, that you've been too frightened to remove, because you’re not sure what else it might be used for – leading immediately to improved performance and reduced overheads.

And, most important of all, there's an SDK and the repository complies with OMG standards, so using Relativity shouldn't just move you from one proprietary lock-in to another. It comes with a new TLA (EAM or Enterprise Application Modernisation) but if you can forgive it that (a struggle, I know), Dirk Slama, chief strategy officer with Interactive Objects, confirms that Relativity's Modernization Workbench repository is something other products can build on.

In a Relativity press release, he says: “a proven path to modernized applications is via a standards-compliant approach based on [the OMG’s] Model Driven Architecture”. He goes on to say that, “by leveraging extracted information stored in [Relativity’s] Modernization Workbench repository, our technology can ensure the modernization of mainframe applications to environments such as Java. The process of connecting our technology to the Modernization Workbench via the EAM Framework made deploying a new EAM offer simple and efficient.”

This is just fine and dandy, but I bet end users of this stuff still meet real issues - and that most of these are people issues, to do with managers protecting their legacy fiefdoms and technicians protecting the knowledge which (they think) protects their careers. However, you'll meet these issues anyway and the resources you free up by automating the discovery of the business rules in your legacy systems and suchlike, and pruning them to match your real business requirements, can be redeployed to the more productive tasks of getting your business systems analysis right and aligning it with you IT systems.

Relativity recently made its EAM Framework available to its technology partners. It is packaged as a Software Development Kit, with documentation of Java APIs and detailed examples that should help to facilitate real integration projects. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.