General

Software AG's products used to be very popular with mainframe organizations during the 1970s through the 1990s. As technology advances many organizations wish to modernize these applications which often cover a large part of their core business.

Modernizing ADABAS/Natural mainframe application by rewriting them, or by replacement with OTS package, could be very risky and very costly.

On the other hand, using automated tools to migrate legacy applications can yield best results, the applications can be migrated to newer technology at the lowest risk and cost. Legacy applications contain unique business functionality which was developed over many years thus becoming a significant asset to the organization. The migration option keeps these business functions intact.     

Solution
Conversion of ADABAS / Natural

Why MOST

MOST Technologies have been developing innovative solutions for customers seeking to modernize their legacy applications for more than 20 years.  Our automated tools support the modernization solution of a variety of legacy applications including ADABAS/Natural.

MOST is well known for its in-depth knowledge and capability in ADABAS/Natural internals as some of MOST’s employees have been working for Software AG and were involved in certain development of SAG features before joining MOST.

Our low risk and short implementation solutions have been proven worldwide and they offer a cost-effective way to remove the dependencies on legacy technologies.

What we do

MOST offers multiple solutions to migrate ADABAS/Natural to modern technologies. In this section we will focus on our approach to convert Natural to COBOL, Java or C#, and migrate ADABAS to any relational database management system. Please contact MOST to discuss our solutions in detail.    

3-tier architecture
When the code is converted MOST restructures the application into a 3-tier architecture, i.e. presentation layer, business layer and data access layer (DAL). Creating the DAL provides the mechanism to address the differences between ADABAS and RDBMS databases. Our tool automatically generates processors and adapters to access the new RDBMS while the business logic is not impacted.

ADABAS Natural 3-tier.jpg

By using OnTarget, existing business logic and user interface are fully preserved by the end of the automated conversion process.

Automatic Natural Conversion

Automatic Natural Conversion handles many issues arising from the multitude of programming differences between NATURAL and other languages such as COBOL, C# and Java.  For example:

  • Preservation of NATURAL online transaction logic

  • Preservation of NATURAL 4GL functions, such as loop management, report (screen) titles generation, page control, on-condition statements, and more

  • Emulation of NATURAL system variables functions

  • Identification and simulation of NATURAL WRITE commands that write to screens

  • Identification and handling of NATURAL language naming conventions that may not supported in the new language, for example, variable names beginning with the symbols '#' and '+' not supported in COBOL.

  • Conversion of NATURAL/ ADABAS data access commands

  • Conversion of processing rules in MAPs written in various Report Mode dialects, both structured and non-structured, including data access instructions.

  • Preservation of NATURAL STACK functions.
     

Automatic conversion to COBOL

Natural is converted to COBOL using MOST's OnTarget engine as shown above.

Each Natural entity is mapped to the relevant COBOL entity.

Natural 2 COBOL .jpg

Automatic conversion to C# or Java 

When migrating Natural systems to open system customers often prefer to convert the Natural code to either C# or Java. 

The source code of Natural application entities is being parsed into OnTarget and then the new code is generated. The conversion process is a 1:1 Natural for C# / Java statement conversion process.

The following are some examples: 

Natural 2 C#example.jpg

Additionally, the original Natural code and program comments can be imbedded as comments within the relevant C# / JAVA programs.  

Database Migration

 

Automated Database Design - OnTarget automatically designs a normalized relational database model based on the ADABAS file’s structures. OnTarget considers special characteristics of ADABAS such as: Multiple fields (MU), Periodic Groups (PE) and ISN – Internal Serial Number.

The data model of the newly designed RDBMS is reviewed by the customer and can be  fined tuned. 

Following the completion of the RDBMS design, during the application conversion, OnTarget automatically generates the modules of the data access layer which take into consideration the new relational structure and transform it into the previous record structure expected by the application business modules.  
 

Automated Data Migration - OnTarget automatically produces basic DDLs for the creation of the new tables and generates the programs that migrate the ADABAS data to the target RDBMS tables, based on the target tables design. The Data Migration process can include customer-defined integrity checks, fine-tuning for data validation (e.g., numeric checks, date, and time format, etc.), that ensure a totally accurate migration of data.

The migration modules together with the complete migration process including ADABAS extraction tools and RDBMS load tools are delivered to the customer to execute the migration process.

The complete database design and data migration solution is illustrated in the diagram bellow.