Synon (Migration)

20 pts.
Tags:
AS/400 DB2
AS/400 Synon
RPG Data Fields
Dear Friends, We are in a plan of migrating system to some other technology like Java/.NET etc. Please find the details and questions below. Information about the current System: Synon (CA -2E) 8.5 Version Few modules the source is getting generated in COBOL and other in RPG Database we using DB2/400 Questions: What all should I consider while going for migration? Do we have any tools which help me in this migration? Let’s say if I want to migrate the database to Oracle?   Do we have any tool which helps me in database migration? Which is the preferred technology to which can be migrated? How can I migrate DDS (Screens) and to what GUI?    Thanks & Regards Bibin G  

Software/Hardware used:
AS400, sYNON
ASKED: February 13, 2012  6:55 AM
UPDATED: March 17, 2012  1:37 AM

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<b>What all should I consider while going for migration?</b>
First and foremost, your considerations should be driven by your reasons for migrating. If it is as simple as getting off of Synon, then I would suggest you look for a web architecture that brings your applications up to speed with the technologies of the day, and offers a growth path as that technology continues to evolve.

I would also encourage you to think about how you want this application to behave in today’s world. Chances are that if the application was written with Synon, a lot has changed since the time it was written. Web architectures are by nature event driven while most Synon designed apps are process driven. You need to think through how conversations should change to account for this. While doing so, you should also consider not just your application “as is” situation, but the application “should be” situation. In other words, if I were writing the application from scratch today, how would I want it to work. Depending on the approach you take, getting to the “should be” situation may not be as difficult as one might think.

We have some experience migrating DB2/400 Synon 2E applications to a java web architecture complete with separate presentations for PC’s, tablets, and smartphones.

<b>Do we have any tools which help me in this migration?</b>
In my case, since I am not a java programmer, I used a tool called m-Power, written by mrc in Lombard, IL. It speeds the migration process, insulates me having to learn any programming syntax, and allows me to concentrate on building the application from the data-base up. I think about the application conversation, security, flow, etc. and not about specific programming syntax.

<b>Let’s say if I want to migrate the database to Oracle? Do we have any tool which helps me in database migration?</b>
I am not an Oracle expert. If you use triggers, constraints, UDF’s, wrappers, special field types like date and timestamps, etc., the job will be larger if want to to migrate to another data-base, than if you just stay on the data-base you know. Most data-bases today let you do a lot of the application data integrity checking in the data-base itself. If you wish to avail yourself of that, you will have some additional learning curve.

Although I have not used it on other data-bases, the m-Power tool I use works across a wide variety of data-bases and does allow you to create and move tables from one db to another. It also knows the difference in data-base syntax for defining things like UDF’s wrappers and special field types.

<b>Which is the preferred technology to which can be migrated?</b>

I can only speak from my experience, but I have been very happy using my DB2/400 data-base and web 2.0 java servlets built with m-Power. It’s a cost effective solution that can move a business much farther down the migration path to applications using today’s technology and ready to take advantage of technology of the future. I also like it because I do not need m-Power to run the applications. They can be deployed anywhere with no licensing fees to mrc. And the code they run, Java, SQL, and html will be around a while so I don’t need to worry about technological obsolescense.

<b>How can I migrate DDS (Screens) and to what GUI?</b>

With web apps, the GUI is html, javascript, and whatever else you choose to add. In my case, I do not try to migrate DDS screens but have m-Power rebuild them. It does this so quickly and they are much closer to what I need. Data entry is different in a web app than in a 5250 data stream. Point and click means things like radio buttons, drop down lists, slide bars, etc. Rather than migrate and then modify/re-architect, I choose to just do it the quicker, easier, and more correct way from the start.

Hope that helps.

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  • HMSSL2K
    Sounds like homework question.
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  • TomLiotta
    For most of the migration, if Sysnon doesn't offer a tool, then it's possible that none exist. Certainly you can use some tools to migrate program source that was generated by Synon; but Synon-generated source tends to reflect many elements that are closely tied to the application "model" and that might be difficult to recognize outside of that model. Names of objects, for example, might be hard to reconcile. How can I migrate DDS (Screens) and to what GUI? That's an area where you might have significant trouble. Any display file that has a subfile might be very difficult to implement somewhere else. A "subfile" is a feature unique to the System/38 line of systems. You can definitely create functions on other platforms that appear to act the same way. However, the definitions for the Presentation layer, and the code that manages it, will look a lot different after conversion. Any "conversion tool" would need to be very sophisticated. (I've seen a migration project fail just because of subfiles.) Tom
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  • BibinG
    [...] 9. TomLiotta gives insight on how to migrate to different systems. [...]
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