This assertion by Northdoor is controversial. It has alerted firms seeking to re-develop legacy applications onto modern service oriented architectures such as.NET and J2EE to advise them that manual re-developments are costly and unnecessary and that conversion tools and compilers deliver poor results.
Instead, Northdoor is recommending that companies consider the use of application transformation services.
Northdoor has evaluated a number of transformation tools aimed at supporting migrations from 4th Generation Languages (4GLs) such as PowerBuilder, Gupta/Centura, Oracle Forms, Visual Basic 6, RPG and Delphi.
It finds that transformation consultancies can deliver migrations for about 20 per cent of the cost and time requirement needed to conduct manual re-coding. Such consultancies use a combination of automated tools and hands-on expertise.
A five stage approach to automated application transformation was recommended: Planning – architecture design - code transformation – refinement – implementation. More details of this methodology are available from Northdoor as well as legacy transformations are considered within an overall strategy for legacy portfolio management.