Infinite’s Migration Plan Targets IBM i ISVs
May 7, 2012 Dan Burger
Infinite Corporation, a company that specializes in migrating OS/400 and IBM i applications to Windows, Unix, and Linux platforms, has targeted IBM i ISVs with a migration plan that the company says has proved to be successful in Argentina.
The migration plan provides the tools to move RPG or COBOL applications written for the AS/400 or System/36 environment to Microsoft Windows Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Oracle Enterprise Linux (its RHEL clone) and Solaris (its Unix), and IBM AIX. Infinite’s CEO Bruce Acacio says approximately 60 ISVs in Argentina have gone through the migration process and that success led the company to promoting the program worldwide.
Acacio says Infinite for years has had an established presence in Argentina, with software sales and service and “a lot of development work” done there. He described the ISV participation in that country as consisting of companies with niche applications with as few as seven to 15 clients as well as larger ISVs with installed bases of more than 100 customers.
He explained that the ISVs don’t drop support for IBM i after migrating, but that they are seeking alternative platforms in response to customer requests and as ISVs make plans to develop new business.
“ISVs have always been a substantial portion of our business,” Acacio told IT Jungle last week, “although more than half our business comes from end users.” He says, in his view of the market, “end users are looking at running Linux and Oracle, on industry standard X86 servers, and finding it costs out better than running IBM i on System p servers.”
The migration process involves Infinite recompiling all iterations of RPG or COBOL from the time they first came on the scene until today. The process also includes moving CL and DDS code.
“The data is defined and written into either SQL or Oracle,” Acacio explains. It executes in an emulation environment, but otherwise just as it did in its original file structure. After the migration is completed, all the data resides in the target database and subsequent data is written to that database.
“We don’t change the way we execute the data. The way we read it is the same as on the AS/400. But when it is written, it is written to Oracle or SQL tables. It allows AS/400 queries to be run, if that is necessary, or the user can run Oracle or SQL reports. We have to replicate the database completely to get it to function this way.”
Because the code remains RGP or COBOL, maintenance of the code continues to be the same process.
Infinite makes its selling runtime licenses for its deployment environment.
Acacio says in order for the migration plan to work, the ISV must own the application and it must be written to a native OS/400, IBM i, or System 36 specification. He estimates the migration can be completed, tested, and running in 40 days. The compilers and tools, plus up to four months of online support and migration assistance, are provided to ISVs free of charge.
Although Infinite has acquired two Hewlett-Packard reseller businesses since 2008 and is an active partner with HP, Acacio says the IBM i ISV migration program is not an HP program.
For additional information, see the Infinite website at www.infinitecorporation.com.