Is Re-Architecting the Right Modernization Path for Your Enterprise Application?
Part 5 of a 6 Part Series
For many organizations, an application’s functionality is as outdated as its technology. When you need updated functionality and/or system extensibility along with updated technology, re-architecting is your best modernization option.
Although this path can be more time consuming than other options, the target applications are not dependent on custom frameworks, performance can be carefully tuned, applications can easily be changed or extended, and code-bloat is eliminated.
To ensure the success of a re-architecture project, a thorough assessment is key. The organization’s business process owners, teams with an understanding of the legacy environment, and developers all need to work together with the modernization team.
Re-architecting is based on the knowledge that invaluable business logic and data relevant to the organization lies within the application code and surrounding artifacts (example, DDLs, copybooks, user training manuals) and that these assets should be leveraged in the new system; it’s not about rebuilding from scratch. One of the benefits of a modern IT environment is that a great deal of the business logic can reside above the code using declarative models and part of the original technical code can be replaced by middleware tools (BPM tools, ESBs, business rule engines, data integration, access solutions) to achieve greater agility. Thus, re-architecting focuses on capturing the value of the business process that is independent of the legacy code base, and moving it into a different paradigm while eliminating the technology-specific code.
We’re not talking about the simple transformation of one outdated application code base to another outdated code base in a one-to-one format seen with automation. It also goes far beyond what remediation and refactoring can do in converting the legacy code to standard Java code. It is an option that fully leverages the technologies best suited for each required task, for example, leveraging Identity Management for security and BPEL for process flow.
Best practices for maximizing re-use by extracting business rules from legacy applications as part of a re-architecture project include:
- Eliminating dead code, environmental specifics, and resolving mutually exclusive logic
- Identifying key input/output data including screen input, parameters, DB and file records, and so on
- Keeping in mind that many business rules lie outside the code
- Populating a data dictionary specific to the application and industry context
- Identifying and tagging rules based on transaction types and key data, policy parameters, and output data
- Isolating rules into a tracking repository
- Combining automation and human review to track relationships, eliminate redundancies, classify and consolidate, and add annotation
Legacy modernizations performed with this method leverage the years of investment in the legacy code base, making it is much less costly and less risky than starting a new application from ground zero. Re-architecting also delivers a truly custom solution that can be built exactly to your business requirements.
Take the Steps for Success
Ready to start on the path to modernizing your software with a practical approach? Using an Agile modernization approach with proper planning and the right people on your team will put you on the path to success. The development team at QAT Global is experienced in modernizing legacy applications and working with clients who have complex environments. Put your next modernization project on the path to success, start the conversation with our development team today.