Profound Logic, ARCAD Partnership Targets Modernization Projects
January 26, 2015 Dan Burger
Modernization strategies in the IBM midrange community are inevitable because the future is not exactly hospitable to those who cling to the past. At some point, the risk of doing nothing exceeds the risk of moving forward with new plans. Last week, Profound Logic and ARCAD Software announced a partnership that signals more activity in the modernization arena. It is not the first ISV action relative to modernization and it won’t be the last.
Profound Logic is one of the leaders in the application development tool business. ARCAD is a major player in the change management field. Both companies have customers planning and moving ahead with modernization projects.
This partnership is indicative of a trend toward deeper projects that go beyond the conversion of green-screen interfaces to browser-based interfaces, which has largely defined modernization up to this point. An emphasis on back-end business logic and even the database is changing the scope of modernization.
Profound Logic president and CEO Alex Roytman has been through many modernization projects that focus on the user interface, but has heard more companies asking for assistance with improving application code for greater functionality, interoperability, and ease of maintenance. These types of projects require change management processes and he sees the partnership with ARCAD as important because it brings another element of project control to the table.
“In many of our UI modernization projects we have seen opportunities to modify application code and improve the database and had discussions with customers about it. That is where the change management piece will be more critical. Making changes in code, tracking those changes, and knowing the impacts are important and ARCAD gives us good answers to customer questions,” Roytman says. “The majority of Profound customers are using some sort of change management, but it is often built around legacy code and objects. It needs to be upgraded to deal with Web and mobile application development. It also needs updating to incorporate multiple development environments.”
Change management software that isn’t built for modern environments or maintaining software designed for modern environments will be a weak link in the modernization chain. Profound will be recommending ARCAD change management software to replace existing CMS that can’t be configured to handle the job.
From the ARCAD perspective the partnership provides ARCAD with a resource for existing customers (most of them in Europe) to carry out modernization projects.
“We have been communicating with our customers for several years on the topic of modernization,” says ARCAD president Philippe Magne. “The market has matured very quickly. Our mission is to identify reasons for companies to stay on the IBM i platform. We are working to increase the understanding of how and why this is a good business decision and that it is less risky than other options. We are well recognized for our change management software and are counted on for advice. This partnership with Profound is very important because we have arrived at a point where the market is looking for more than UI replacement and modernization projects are becoming more in-depth involving the business logic. ARCAD is a leader in change management and Profound is a leader in modernization. These two market segments are arriving at a point of convergence.”
The ARCAD approach to modernization projects is to take it in three phases. The first step is to analyze source code and identify potential problems that could occur during the conversion process. ARCAD developed tools for its change management software that analyzes code so it can be better managed and documented during the development process. Phase two is to help a company develop a structured change management process. And phase three involves the transformation of fixed format RPG to free format RPG and a database modernization plan of converting DDS files to DDL.
Profound Logic developed tools that enable companies to natively design, update and maintain their IBM i applications. It emphasizes the native IBM i approach and development using RPG. Its flagship product is Profound UI.
Both companies plan to expand their services business to assist companies with large modernization projects. Some companies have the skills to take on a project of this scope, but most will rely on ISVs to do the heavy lifting.
The partnership between Profound Logic and ARCAD will integrate their respective tools and promote the sales of Profound products to ARCAD customers and vice versa.
“By combining forces with Profound Logic, our integrated solutions help IBM i shops automate and secure their entire modernization path-from the start with the analysis of the existing system, to the structuring of the development environment, the transformation of the user interface, source code and database, and finally the testing and validation of results,” Magne says.