Micro Focus Consolidates Legacy Code Modernization Solutions
June 16, 2009 Alex Woodie
Application modernization continues to be one of the top goals of IT shops during this economic recession. But navigating the maze of spaghetti code that often underlies legacy applications hasn’t gotten any easier. To help CIOs and tech managers get the most out of modernization projects, Micro Focus recently launched Modernization Workbench version 2.1, which consolidates several of the company’s tools aimed at understanding legacy code.
Modernization Workbench is a collection of tools that help organizations gain a greater understanding of the inner workings of legacy applications in preparation for modernizing the application using newer technology, or migrating it to a different platform. One of the product’s chief functions is analyzing legacy code. Whether the code is RPG, COBOL, Java, or PL/I, it can be “mined” for knowledge about data flows and execution paths, thereby giving developers a better shot at reproducing the legacy product’s business processes in a new environment, accurately identifying inter-application dependencies, and eliminating inefficiencies and “dead code” in the legacy program.
Version 2.1 is the first release of the Modernization Workbench product since Micro Focus announced the acquisition of the toolset’s maker, Relativity Technologies, in December for almost $10 million in cash. The deal was finalized earlier this year, and brought Micro Focus about 400 new customers, in addition to the sought-after modernization technology, which is very applicable to the company’s extensive COBOL base.
With this release, Micro Focus has concentrated on improving integration between the Modernization Workbench and existing code analysis tools the company already had in its stable, specifically Enterprise View and Resolve Enterprise Edition, two components of the vendor’s application portfolio management (APM) suite.
Enterprise View is used to prepare for big modernization or migration projects, primarily in mainframe and Unix/Linux environments. The software, which Micro Focus says is the “cornerstone” of its APM suite, keeps track of large enterprise IT systems, delivers statistics on usability, and performs “what if” and impact analysis reports. Revolve Enterprise Edition, meanwhile, provides more detailed code analysis and change tracking, and hooks directly into Micro Focus development environments.
Micro Focus has a wealth of intellectual property from the various product lines, says Peter Mollins, formerly a vice president at Relativity who now works for Micro Focus. “The plan we are executing is to combine the best parsers, functions, and other IP into the Modernization Workbench platform, with Enterprise View built in as a key module.”
Going forward, Modernization Workbench will be the new cornerstone for APM (which makes a lot of sense because Micro Focus spent nearly $10 million to get it). “We have a big advantage in that the Modernization Workbench is highly extensible,” Mollins says. “This accelerates the integration and allows us to offer our clients a single knowledgebase of business and technical information about their applications.”
In addition to gaining support for Enterprise View as a module, the new release of the Modernization Workbench gains support for Microsoft Vista. It can also now be deployed on Oracle or IBM DB2 databases; DB2/400 is not supported, the company says.
Micro Focus also clarified the versioning. Relativity had previously released version 8.1 in August 2007. However, that product was based on the desktop edition of the Modernization Workbench. The new version 2.1 release is based on the enterprise version of the product, Mollins says.
For more information on Modernization Workbench, visit the Relativity Customer Portal at www.microfocus.com/Relativity.