A Manager’s Guide to OpenVMS Transitions: Protecting your Greatest Assets and Limiting Risk Now
A Manager’s Guide to OpenVMS
Transitions: Protecting your Greatest
Assets and Limiting Risk Now
Part One: Your Development Team
Prepared by eCube Systems
Senior IT development managers often tell us there are two things at the top of their list of most
valuable assets: their proprietary business logic – the smarts at the heart of their strategic
business applications – and their people –developers who uniquely combine their business
knowledge and expertise with technical know-how.
As IT managers around the world try to understand what HP’s 2020 support road map for
OpenVMS means for their organizations, they now realize that these important assets --their
business logic and technical know-how -- are at risk.
If you decide to move to a new platform, what will happen to your source code and business
logic that took years to perfect? Will you keep it in the same programming language? Will you
convert it to Java, or in the case of COBOL compile it to .NET at runtime?
Big Bang Transformation Gone Wrong
Many firms offer source code transformations services but the challenge is protecting a
company’s investment in their technical capabilities and productivity while they transition away
from legacy development platforms.
It is a common tale: A company completes a big-bang transformation only to find that it can not
affordably maintain and operate the resulting application. The result is expensive re-staffing,
maintenance of two apps and two teams or even full out project failure.
What is the root of this risk? The fact is while it’s relatively easy to convert COBOL to Java,
transforming COBOL developers into capable, productive Java developers – each using a
modern integrated development environment and contemporary development processes – is
another story altogether.
Transforming Risk into Value
Getting OpenVMS transformation wrong is expensive. Extended periods of lower productivity,
costly attrition and the incalculable price tag of lost institutional knowledge are a high price to
pay just to get what you already had. These risks make moving developers from one
development platform to another a high-risk management challenge.
At eCube Systems, we see value in both the code and the people that write it. We fight to protect
our clients from this risk by enabling them to simplify the developer’s transition.
Rather than force developers to adopt a new language, a new development process and a new
development environment all at one time, eCube’s NXTware Remote platform allows
organizations to introduce a modern IDE that works on their current platform with their current
languages and development utilities. Managers who select a phased approach achieve the
greatest flexibility and agility with the lowest amount of risk.
The Benefits of a Phased Approach
NXTware Remote allows developers to use the languages they know -- COBOL, C, FORTRAN,
PASCAL BASIC, DCL, etc. – on the platforms they love. This gives managers improved
productivity while their developers build new skills and become comfortable in a modern IDE.
Comfortable developers, who can focus on the front-end development process, are more
productive and less likely to feel threatened by change.
By modernizing the IDE and development tools, managers lower the chance of failure and
simplify the move to a new platform, if and when it comes.
As a modern integrated development environment based on Eclipse that streamlines
development for OpenVMS, Unix, Linux and Windows applications, NXTware Remote enables
you to take your custom development environment, processes and know-how wherever it needs
to go. NXTware Remote will fully support your transition while your development team works
in an environment they know, with tools they are familiar with, no matter the platform.
Move to NXTware Remote
NXTware Remote and its Eclipse-based IDE - which allows managers to protect their most
important assets while still using OpenVMS -- help:
1. Reduce risk. By moving to NXTware Remote first, you create a transitional path for
your business logic, source code management and engineering team.
2. Ease the transition. No matter what platform comes after OpenVMS, IDE use will
be mandatory. NXTware Remote’s Eclipse-based IDE helps get your developers up to
speed on a platform that uses a language they know. When the time comes to move to a
new platform, language or architecture they will be ready.
3. Lower costs. OpenVMS developers who use NXTware Remote are immediately more
productive on OpenVMS and require less training when they move to new platforms.
A final note: One of our clients estimated that NXTware Remote and Eclipse saved each of their
developers an hour a day (that’s hundreds of hours a year) of work. Imagine what your
developers could accomplish! Prepare for the future and get more out of today.