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Breaking Bad Projects: How APIs Fuel Legacy Modernization For Your 5250 Systems

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Modernization of Legacy applications that reside on IBM i AS/400 and mainframe infrastructures is not an easy undertaking. These systems have been developed over years or decades at considerable cost and may include complex business rules and decision logic. An additional risk is that the knowledgeable resources that defined the logic and developed the applications are often no longer actively employed by the business.

The ugly Past of modernization

Approaches for modernizing such applications are totally replacing the applications with packaged software or re-writing from the ground up to meet the needs of the current business environment. Each of these considerations includes considerable cost and investments in time, infrastructure upgrades, and both internal and external personnel resources. Developing in-house systems can further be complicated by the need to retrain developers in the use of new tools, development languages, and techniques.

For these reasons and others it is not uncommon for such legacy modernization efforts to be over budget and past scheduled end dates.

The Opposite Approach to Modernization – Key Differences for the New Future

Consider a totally different approach to modernization over “big bang” total replacement.

Companies that take advantage of new API-based technologies and small, impactful projects with done-for-you services to create web-based mobile access to business functionality without replacing or rewriting any applications will turn modernization upside down.

New applications that benefit business users and customers can be deployed in days – not months at a fraction of the cost of traditional projects.

These are some of the advantages of the opposite approach:

  1. Manageable Scope: by limiting the scope of the project by only focusing on those functions that are needed for mobile access. Pick the 5250 screens that are needed first and stay in control of the project scope and cost.
  2. Reduced Risk: Contain the risk inherent in modernization projects through retention of existing applications and infrastructure.
  3. Continued ROI: Retain your application investment and the expertise of your in-house development staff.
  4. Independence: Eliminate software or infrastructure vendor lock-in relationships. Use of today’s industry-standard open-source APIs provides mobile accessibility to your Legacy systems.
  5. Customer Friendly Apps: New front-end interfaces are designed using the responsive mobile design your customers want, not replicating Legacy thought processes.
  6. Successful Projects: Demonstrate business innovation progress on projects that normally drain dollars, time, and enthusiasm.
  7. Nimble and Scalable Applications: Fast deployment and turnaround of modifications and enhancements.

Turning Legacy Modernization Upside Down

Integration today

Subscription services and done-for-you services offer a different approach to traditional modernization of IBM i AS/400 systems. Instead of expensive and long-running projects that often fail or experience significant cost overruns, these innovative approaches deliver results and benefits.

Subscription services let companies achieve a short-term return on investment and long-term cost control through a subscription-based pricing model. This pay as you go and grow approach decrease capital expenditures and provides a means to scale as the size of your newly modernized applications begin to deploy.

Done-for-you services allow you to ship a set of 5250 screens, for example, a single business process, to a pioneering modernization vendor for modernization. These new companies will create the mobile application assets you need and return them to you with the software to deploy them in your environment.

With each of these upside-down approaches, you can start small to evaluate the results then proceed at your own pace without risk or internal development resources or cost.

The result - your customers can access your IBM i AS/400 systems from anywhere at any time from their mobile devices without the need to replace your applications or infrastructure.

Learn more how OpenLegacy API Platform can create APIs for your 5250 screens for new mobile applications.


Tags: APIs, Legacy Modernization, Integration

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