Micro Focus Adds C# Support to Modernization Workbench
December 7, 2010 Alex Woodie
So-called “legacy” applications developed in languages like RPG, COBOL, and PL/1 have traditionally been the target of modernization efforts, and Micro Focus supports all of these with its Modernization Workbench. But with last week’s launch of Modernization Workbench version 3.2, the company has added support for Microsoft C#, demonstrating that applications built with supposedly modern languages can benefit from remodeling as well.
Modernization Workbench is an IT analysis tool that helps users untangle undocumented (or under-documented) programs in preparation for modernizing the application using newer technology, or migrating it to a different platform. In addition to “mining” business logic written in RPG, COBOL, Java, PL/1, C, C++, and, now C# code, the software offers impact analysis, “what if” modeling, and detection of inter-application dependencies, among other capabilities.
With Modernization Workbench 3.2, Micro Focus now supports C#, one of the most widely used languages in the world. The C# language has been out less than a decade, and that is apparently enough time for C#-based programs to join the ranks of legacy applications that need a little boost when it comes to deconstructing business logic or figuring out how C# code interacts with other applications.
The C# legacy is already part of something that Gartner coined the “IT debt” in a recent report. While the U.S. national debt approaches $14 trillion, the IT debt is estimated by Gartner to be $500 billion, with the potential to grow to $1 trillion by 2015.
“The issue is not just that maintenance keeps on getting deferred.” states Gartner analyst Andy Kyte in a Micro Focus press release. “It is the lack of an application inventory and the absence of a structured review process for the application portfolio. This means the IT management team is simply never aware of the true scale of the problem. This problem, hidden from sight, is getting bigger every year and more difficult to deal with every year.” And you thought that only RPG and mainframe applications were poorly understood.
In addition to supporting C#, Modernization Workbench gains closer integration with Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2010, albeit only for COBOL apps. By hooking the Workbench into the popular IDE, users can gain insight into how COBOL applications are structured, without leaving the comfort of Visual Studio.
Micro Focus has tried to simplify the application-related metrics with new capabilities that allow users to filter application cost, value, and risk data. The company also made the analysis component more flexible and customizable to help users deal with complex applications.