Application modernization is a broad term covering many different interpretations, methodologies and implementations. The modernization method you choose depends on your situation which will be driven by factors such as business initiatives, application architecture, time, cost and skills. LANSA is aware that one size will not fit all IBM i (System i, iSeries, AS/400) application modernization projects and offers a range of products.
Our modernization products are not mutually exclusive. You can combine them to create a modernization solution that will extend the life of your existing applications whilst meeting today’s business requirements.
None of our modernization solutions require you to have or edit the source code.
LANSA's tools for modernizing applications
RAMP is an application modernization solution that addresses both your tactical needs and strategic modernization requirements. An application modernized using RAMP will feature a graphical user interface (for desktop or Web) with simplified navigation. You can then incrementally replace your 5250 programs in a timeframe that makes sense to your organization.Learn more
aXes is a Web-enablement solution for the IBM i platform that allows you to access business applications from a browser and reduces the cost and complexity of modernization. You can Web-enable the application automatically and then progressively enhance the user interface to take the design and layout of your application screens to the next level.Learn more
LANSA Open for .NET allows developers to write .NET applications that take advantage of resources on the IBM i, without leaving Visual Studio. It is a class library which exposes services (including data and programs) that .NET developers incorporate into Windows and Web applications.Learn more
What does application modernization mean?
Application modernization means taking an application built in the past and changing it to be more appropriate for today’s business opportunities.
Comparing the characteristics of past and modern applications provides insight into what must change in the application during the modernization process.
|Past Applications||Modern Applications|
|Text-based user interface – users need to learn (not readily understandable)||Graphical user interface that is intuitive and familiar|
|Concealed tree-like hierarchy|
Navigation through fixed structures
|Menus and tree-like hierarchies are visible|
|Standalone applications make integration difficult||Simplified integration with other applications including office tools like Microsoft Word and Excel|
|Large applications – often with a single code base – where any change is a change to the whole application||Application architecture is tiered – applications built from reusable components – change occurs at the component level rather than the whole application|
|Constrained by device type (such as a 5250 terminal)||Available on multiple devices with a browser – personal computers (Windows and Web) and mobile devices (smart cell phones and portable devices).|
|Decreasing skills and vendor support||Readily available skills and universally supported|
|Requires specific IT expertise to make changes||Development languages and tools widely known|
|Tied to server and database technology||Multiple platforms and database independent|
Flexible options to meet your modernization needs
The modernization process retains the existing application and allows you to move components of the application into new environments – by Web-enabling the user interface or opening up parts of the application as a Web service. A benefit of modernization is keeping what you already have, you know how it works and it supports your specific business requirements. Modernization will improve the ROI on the investment already made in the application.
LANSA offers IBM i (AS400, iSeries, System i) modernization products that enable you to modernize as much or as little of your application as you need, all the way through to full application replacement.
Renovate: Add Web GUI to existing application
Application modernization through renovation converts the 5250 application into a Web application. The 5250 application remains intact and the outcome from the renovation is a Web application with a graphical user interface. Both RAMP and aXes are suitable for renovation projects.
Reuse: Enhance existing application, new functions and a GUI
Reuse takes the existing 5250 application as its base and extends the application with new functions and a graphical user interface. RAMP provides the framework for modernizing a 5250 application with a graphical user interface and extending its functionality. LANSA Open for .NET is appropriate when you want to include functions from the 5250 application in a Windows application.
Replace: New application, new functionality and a GUI
Replacing a 5250 application provides a new application with a graphical user interface but it can be an expensive project. Gradual replacement is a safer approach. You begin by reusing the whole 5250 application, and then gradually introduce new functions while retiring the equivalent functions in the original application. RAMP is the ideal modernization tool for gradual replacement.