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COBOL Modernization Myth Busting: Maintainable Java

The drive to get COBOL applications into the cloud, and specifically Java, created a monster: JOBOL. It is the evil offspring of COBOL and Java when no planning, optimization, and design is applied to transformation.  JOBOL is the byproduct of speed at all cost, check-the-cloud-box initiatives. But when modernization efforts deliver JOBOL to application teams, with its inheritance of complicated mainframe COBOL structure and bloated code base, problems arise. Development teams are reluctant to own …

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The Value of Incremental Modernization for COBOL Applications Portfolios

The concerns facing businesses regarding COBOL modernization are issues that have been created over five decades. This is more than enough time for inherent and potentially unseen variables to develop, and those issues shouldn’t be so quickly dismissed. Yet, there is a perception that a complete and total replacement is a single-step process! Reduced Risk The risk of completely rewriting applications seems appealing to those who don’t understand the value of COBOL or who view …

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Best Practices for zIIP Using COBOL and Db2

Hopefully, you’ve been reading along in this series of articles on effective usage of the zIIP on the IBM System z mainframe. But even if you have not, this article focuses on a single topic that does not require in-depth knowledge of zIIP particulars. Herein we will discuss best practices for COBOL and Db2 users to bolster their usage of zIIPs. Why do this? As we have discussed in prior installations, the primary reason to …

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A Better Approach – Self-directed, Self-Funded COBOL Modernization

In our previous writings, we’ve discussed the scale of COBOL investment over the last several decades and the challenges of continuing to depend on this legendary programming language. The drivers for modernization remain, and COBOL can’t help but be caught up in the plans of many mainframe organizations.  ANY modernization approach has risks associated with it. The volume of that risk is directly related to the number of components, programs, and applications that need to …

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Want Proof? How CloudFrame Delivers Proof of Concept Engagements Now Available on YouTube

Organizations invest time and effort into new software products based on business plans and goals. They want to solve a problem, gain an advantage, or reduce risk and cost. One of the first steps on the new software journey is to establish that the product can do what the vendor says the software will do. Organizations want proof. That’s the purpose of the Proof of Concept (POC) engagement. An example solution scenario is tested in …

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The Amount of COBOL is a Function of History and a Lack of Options

Much of the defense of COBOL as a programming language is based on the volume of code that exists today in production. These mission-critical workloads support both government and commercial needs all over the globe. Something used to prop up such critical workloads MUST be valuable, right? Well, the volume of COBOL is more a function of history than an overwhelming acceptance of it as a superior architecture or programming language. It’s not as if …

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Common zIIP Usage Mistakes and How to Identify Them

Many organizations using the IBM System z have begun to use zIIP processors to help reduce the overall cost of their mainframe environment. But… Assuming Everything Will Run on the zIIP One of the biggest mistakes you can make is assuming that everything that is eligible to run on the zIIP will actually run on the zIIP. Although this may seem like a reasonable assumption, it neglects to take into account what is sometimes referred …

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Modernizing COBOL for Maintainability, Automation, and Quality

The debate as to whether you should or shouldn’t modernize any portion of your application portfolio is a separate question to the ways to do it correctly. While many people discuss “COBOL modernization,” there is much more involved than simply translating the syntax of COBOL to the syntax of another language. The keys to effectively modernizing COBOL applications must include considerations for maintainability, code quality, and computational precision. Transforming the syntax of COBOL to that …

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Intelligent Automation: The Modernization Force Multiplier Now Available on YouTube

COBOL modernization projects can be high-risk and costly.  Especially if applications are modernized using a green-field rewrite approach.   These projects can involve small armies of developers deployed for the heavy lifting of code production as they attempt to reduce the risk of extended project duration. Some of these projects are “successful” – often by tweaking the definition of success. The reasons for redefining success are varied. The code produced by the deployed army might be …

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What’s the Cure for COBOL? Now Available on YouTube

Enterprises have long sought the Cure for COBOL, the cure for rising costs, the cure for risks associated with the loss of knowledgeable resources, the rise of technical debt, and loss of understanding the mission-critical business applications and processes. History provides examples of what not to do: • ignoring the problem • thinking Lift and Shift modernization supports innovation attempting to conform Java to COBOL structures • using large teams of coders to manually transform …

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Options for Converting from COBOL to Java

Our last post looked at the five significant benefits of Java and zIIPs, detailing how the combination can reduce cost, simplify support and maintenance, deliver the performance you need, and improve portability. But most enterprise mainframe applications are written in COBOL.  Now, most organizations are not likely to embark on a full-fledged campaign to convert all of their COBOL to Java. But converting some programs to Java can make sense if you use the proper …

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Driving Balance: COBOL, Mainframes, and The Changing Needs and IT Environments of Modern Organizations

It’s clear that the volume and importance of COBOL-based applications remains high. Despite the variety and volume of “stones” thrown by the modern IT intelligentsia at this language and the mainframe platform, these technologies continue to provide valuable solutions that answer the technology demands of many organizations.  The reason to address an organization’s existing portfolio of legacy applications isn’t that some enterprise architects – many of whom were trained solely in modern tech stacks – …

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CloudFrame named a Rising Star in the 2022 ISG Provider Lens™ Mainframes – Services and Solutions report.

Princeton, New Jersey – A new research report published by Information Services Group (ISG), a leading global technology research and advisory firm, named CloudFrame as a Rising Star in the report category of Mainframe Application Modernization Software. In the report, ISG states that the number and size of modernization projects will significantly increase in the next three years, offers modernization insights, and offers advice on how organizations can prepare for mission-critical mainframe modernization projects. The …

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Java and the zIIP: The 5 Major Benefits

In this series of blog posts on the zIIP, we have looked at the various types of specialty processors and the zIIPs place among them, honed in on zIIP usage and eligibility issues and terms and examined the types of processing that can utilize zIIPs. Having digested all of that information, we will turn our attention to Java and take a look at the five most significant benefits it can bring to your environment. Before …

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The COBOL Situation – So Much Code, So Little Modernization.

COBOL, arguably one of the earliest of the 3rd generation programming languages, is still used extensively. In particular, IBM mainframe platforms are still home to a significant number of applications originally developed in this language that continue to power many Fortune 500 companies today. Furthermore, several shrink-wrapped software packages, originally implemented decades ago in COBOL, are still used, e.g., PeopleSoft, emPath, Logo, Lawson ERP, etc. These facts are more a function of history than any …

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Incremental Modernization: The Successful Approach for COBOL Application Modernization Now Available on YouTube

Almost everyone wants to modernize their mainframe COBOL applications, but most see the process as too big, too costly, and too risky. They are rightfully fearful as it’s reported that 77% of organizations have started but failed to complete at least one modernization program. That’s probably the result of big bang projects or inadequate planning and execution. The antidote for these failed modernization programs is incremental modernization. Incremental modernization reduces risks, accelerates progress, and provides …

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Modern Portals to Quality for Mainframe Transformation

Mainframe modernization can feel like a scene from Poltergeist, or any other thriller movie where the protagonist is trapped in an endlessly stretching hallway with a door that keeps receding into the distance. Ask anyone who’s survived a major enterprise upgrade. Transforming thousands of files and COBOL and JCL code into a form that will play nicely with modern Java architecture and cloud computing infrastructure seems to be an endless concern with few offramps. Even …

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Types of Processing That Can Utilize zIIPs & Why You Want to use zIIPs

In our last installment of this series on IBM zIIP processors, we defined what is meant by zIIP eligibility. We took a look at specific types of workloads that IBM has made zIIP eligible. This post will dig a little deeper into what makes a workload eligible for running on zIIPs. And we will also take a look at why you would want to exploit zIIP processors for your workloads.  TCBs and SRBs To fully …

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The Basics of COBOL Cross Compile

Organizations that want to modernize COBOL applications have a broad range of options, depending on their unique circumstances and vision of leveraging the intellectual property (IP) contained in the logic and processes of the applications. They usually consider three key factors: Cost, Risk, and Control. Some organizations may determine the application has little future value and modernize using a replacement strategy. Others may decide that the logic and IP have a great deal of value …

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Digging Into the zIIP: What Does zIIP Eligible Mean?

In the first article in this series on mainframe specialty processors, the zIIP is an “information” processor, where the IIP in its name stands for Integrated Information Processor. When the zIIP was introduced by IBM in 2006, DB2 Version 8 was the first subsystem to take advantage of the zIIP. Over the course of the ensuing years, IBM (and other vendors) have enabled additional workload eligible to be redirected to the zIIP. It stands to …

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A Modernization Dilemma: Cloud Application – or an Application in the Cloud – Now Available on YouTube

We’re moving to the cloud. That simple declaration has launched a thousand modernization projects. Mission-critical mainframe COBOL applications be damned! We’re moving to the cloud. It’s a reaction to peer and societal pressures for some IT leaders. For others, it’s the modern-day “nobody ever got fired for buying IBM” cliché. Or it could be just a career trajectory checkbox. If moving your mission-critical, intellectual-property-filled, what-pays-the-bills application to the cloud is simply an exercise to list …

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Moving COBOL Workload from the Mainframe to become a “Cloud-Advantaged” Application

Migrating mainframe workload to the cloud entails more than simply a recompilation of code or transformation from one programming language to another. Mainframe applications are more than just an implementation of a business function in a particular programming language; the most common of which is COBOL. These applications have dependencies based on the platform’s unique data types and encoding architecture (EBCDIC) and the implementation techniques for batch and transactional workload that were established decades ago …

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How to Build a COBOL Modernization Factory

Modernization of legacy systems can be an essential enabler of any digital transformation effort – or a frustrating roadblock impeding all meaningful progress with digital efforts. For enterprises with hundreds or even thousands of mainframe-based COBOL applications, the modernization challenge can seem insurmountable. Such applications have accumulated over the years, the result of generations of COBOL developers with different backgrounds and skillsets responding to an ever-changing set of requirements. While retiring the lot and starting …

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Simplest Way to Move a Mainframe Application to the Cloud

The never-ending and often contentious debate about the mainframe remains quite vocal in the marketplace. Whether it’s the technical mandarins of the mainframe shouting down anyone who challenges their core religious principles or the cloud intelligentsia looking down their noses at this 60-year-old platform, the arguments seem to show little sign of any reasonable compromise.  To clear the air: one can support the cloud without trashing the technology of the mainframe, and one can support …

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Moving Mainframe Applications to the Cloud? Think of “Kelly’s Heroes”!

Have you ever had a conversation with someone about moving applications to the cloud, and all you hear in response is how it won’t work? It reminds me of a funny movie in the 70’s set against the backdrop of WW II. Clint Eastwood leads a band of renegade soldiers on a hunt for gold. The tank commander, played by Donald Sutherland, always complains to his driver, played by Gavin MacLeod, about his negative attitude. …

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The 7 Elements of a Masterful COBOL Modernization Business Case

Tell an IT leader or a developer that the world runs on COBOL applications, and they will nod their heads knowingly. That’s because the core systems of some of the largest brands and most critical industries still rely heavily on their legacy systems. With 92% of IT leaders reporting in a Vanson Bourne survey that their COBOL applications are strategic to their business, it’s paramount that these applications remain functional and supported. That’s a tall …

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Understanding Mainframe Specialty Processors: zIIPS and more

If you are an IT professional who works on IBM z Series mainframes, then you’ve probably heard about zIIPs and other “specialty processors.” But you may not really know what they are, what they do, and why they exist. With that in mind, let’s take a brief journey into the world of specialty processors. Starting in the early 2000s, IBM has introduced several different types of specialty processors. The basic idea of a specialty processor …

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COBOL Cross-Compile: Relief for Mainframe Cost Increases – Now Available on YouTube

Mainframe costs continue to increase. 2022 enterprise software costs are expected to be 11% higher than 2021, and data center costs will increase nearly 6% year to year.  Cost reduction and avoidance are critical considerations for mission-critical mainframe COBOL application owners, stressed to delivery on greater transaction volumes, greater access requirements, demanding SLAs, and tightening budgets. If your mission-critical mainframe COBOL applications will continue to reside on the mainframe and you are looking for methods …

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COBOL Modernization – 4 Predictions for 2022

CloudFrame’s 2022 COBOL modernization predictions center on modernization advancement, momentum, and success.

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Automated Mainframe Testing Can Accelerate COBOL Modernization

Automated testing will allow you to accelerate and better control mainframe transformation projects, reduce costs, resources, and schedules.

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AWS Acknowledges There Is a Mainframe Modernization Opportunity

AWS’s emphasis on mainframe modernization services validates CloudFrame’s focus on COBOL to Cloud transformation.

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Building A Modernization Pilot Project Success Plan – Now Available on YouTube

Knowing that your COBOL modernization pilot project is successful requires defining success before you start.

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BUSTING THE COBOL TO CLOUD MODERNIZATION MYTHS WEBINAR RECORDING AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE

The recording of the Removing The Top 5 COBOL to Cloud Transformation Obstacles webinar is now available on our YouTube Channel. In this CloudFrame webinar, Gregory Saxton identifies COBOL modernization myths that many IT organizations regard as true. I’m sure you’ve heard these… We have to replace the entire system to be successful. Modernization is a considerable expense and will take too long. You can’t successfully convert COBOL code to Java – you’ll only get JOBOL. Unfortunately, when …

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CloudFrame Announces Hans Otharsson as Chief Operating Officer

Extensive Technology and Industry Experience Strengthens CloudFrame Executive Team CloudFrame has announced a new Chief Operating Officer: Hans B. Otharsson.  Hans has been a trusted business advisor to numerous global organizations facing modernization needs and brings years of legacy application experience and success to the CloudFrame organization. CloudFrame CEO, Venkat Pillay, states, “We’re excited to have Hans join us as our Chief Operating Officer. Hans has decades of experience with legacy modernization and worked with …

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IBM 2021 Q3 Earnings Report Observations

IBM’s third-quarter earnings report hit the streets on October 20th, and the reaction wasn’t positive. The media buzz concentrated on lower-than-expected revenue, casting a bright light on the “legacy” elements as the cause of the downward pull. The company dimmed that light and discussion, explaining that the disappointing financial resultswere more “slight pause” than a “disruption.” Emphasizing the impending November 3rd, 2021 spinoff of managed infrastructure services business Kyndryl, IBM downplayed the risk of missing …

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Why Incremental Modernization Reduces Risk and Increases Success

The coronavirus pandemic heightened the value and importance of digital adoption. As a consequence businesses have been accelerating their digital transformation plans by three to seven years. This includes mainframe modernization plans. While the breadth and depth of transformation are unique to each organization, components of transformation: processes, alignment of business and IT resources, responsiveness to customers, and changes to the supporting IT assets are consistent. The IT assets involved in this effort are said …

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Removing COBOL to Cloud Obstacles Webinar Recording Available on YouTube

The recording of the Removing The Top 5 COBOL to Cloud Transformation Obstacles webinar is now available on our YouTube Channel. In this CloudFrame event, Greg Saxton, CloudFrame CEO, concentrates on removing and overcoming five (5) common obstacles encountered during COBOL to cloud transformations initiatives. Transformation Cost Business and IT Risk Lengthy Projects and Delays Meeting Equivalent Results All or Nothing Dilemmas If you are responsible for your organization’s journey from mainframe to cloud, this …

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Overcome Mainframe COBOL Transformation Cost Obstacles

Mainframe COBOL application modernization projects are often characterized by a single measure: cost.  When infamous projects are reported, they don’t cite the complexity, mission-critical value, or what percentage of an organizations’ financial processing depends on the application.  Often, it’s only the cost. Seven figures pique interest, and an eight figures cost causes further investigation. Failure at that level brings external analysis and observations.  “This” should have been done.  “That” would have made a difference. That …

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Reducing Mainframe Compute Cost Webinar Recording Now Available

The recording of the CloudFrame webinar: Reducing Mainframe Compute Cost is now available.

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Prevent These 5 Mainframe COBOL Cost Reduction Project Mistakes

Past mainframe COBOL transformation project mistakes haunt the organizations that make them and become cautionary tales for organizations faced with similar COBOL dependencies and the desire to lessen their COBOL cost and business risk.   In general, large IT projects ranging from ERP and CRM implementation, and digital transformation initiatives, to innovation projects have a failure rate of over 75%.  Likely those project failures are related to significant mistakes, like scope problems, management decisions, and …

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