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Mainframe Modernization for Banks: PowerBuilder to Java Conversion with Assured ROI

PowerBuilder to Java conversion creates access to many new technologies and enables easy integration of a new products and service into the banking system. Bank CTOs need not go through the time, effort, and expense required to build something from scratch. Let us therefore investigate more about some of the other top reasons that are compelling CTOs to look at the benefits of migration from PowerBuilder to Java.

Typically, legacy apps that are built in the PowerBuilder pose multiple challenges for banking sector innovators. While the need of the hour is to find a cost-effective way for launching new services, PowerBuilder Apps fall short due to their 32-bit performance issues. Moreover, they are built for the desktop era and bring up multiple limitations if one aspires to modernize the product or service experience. Developers dread the very thought of having to go an unknown legacy platform to introduce any change as it then also implies testing millions of lines of codes over and over again.

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PowerBuilder to Java Conversion

Here are the top benefits of the migration from PowerBuilder to Java that are most loved by banking sector CTOs:

No more getting tied down to a system built for desktop environments

While back in the days, the PowerBuilder was a great tool to design and deploy desktop applications, there are multiple scenarios that today require apps to work on mobile devices as well. Migrating business critical apps can help users greatly benefit from new web technologies. It would greatly enhance the way users interact with the applications from any device that renders HTML. This way the Bank’s CTO team can be assured that customers don’t switch to a rival who is able to innovate at a faster pace.

Take full advantage of new-age technologies, products, and services

By migrating from PowerBuilder to Java the improvements you can unlock new features made possible by the consumption of RESTful APIs. These APIs can enable new, game-changing experiences. These API integrations are not easy to bring in if the apps are made in PowerBuilder and it requires niche specialization as well as skills. With a migration to Java, connecting to other banks and financial institutions becomes easier. For example, the bank can use APIs to access and regulate the sharing of information related to customers as a moment’s time and in almost real-time speed which changes the experience for many transactions, customer requests, and processes.

Speed-up innovation with easy integration of SaaS finance products

If a bank wants to add a product or service as a new offering for customers, they need not go through the time, effort, and expenses required to build something from scratch. With the use of plug-and-play APIs, banks can now bring use the modularity offered by different FinTech companies and SaaS products to integrate them and help them communicate with the in-house system. By upgrading from PowerBuilder to Java, developers can now just lift and shift and integrate new features from a pick-and-choose menu of options available in the market. The use of automated testing for new APIs made possible by the Java migration can further speed-up the delivery with Continous Integration and Continous Delivery (CI/CD).

Overcome lack of skilled PowerBuilder Developers by migrating to JavaScript

Most of our clients have reached out to us for modernizing their PowerBuilder applications due to lack of resources in-house. Most of their experienced employees have already retired or are on the verge of retiring. At the same time, it has also become extremely hard to find new people with adequate levels of skills and hand’s-on experience required for development and maintenance of business-critical apps. Migration to Java opens the possibility of increasing the team size of developers whereby the team can leverage the availability of cheaper resources and entry-level developers for Java. Moving to Java completely rids them of these problems with our experts who are not just well versed in Java but also know how to do a line-by-line refactoring of apps originally written in a COBOL or a PowerBuilder.

Create Dynamic websites by overcoming limitations in PowerBuilder

Any website, feature and/or an interface can be termed as dynamic when it changes content or the layout without any any new page request to the web browser. These dynamic or interactive experiences are nothing but web pages that produce a different content for each user using the same source code file. The content is assembled from multiple sources to be simply updated on the website. For example, the home page of your social media networking login or the ecommerce store that shows a different content for each user based on their browsing preferences and choices. Not only do Dynamic Websites require web hosting but would also need databases and servers. This is precisely APIs become handy and this calls for a conversion of PowerBuilder to make development more cost effective and easy.

Accelerate the development of more functional and interactive features

Our ready and reusable JavaScript libraries that include React, Angular, and Vue.js can significantly speedup the development time. This means taking lesser time to build a website that is able to set rules and automate different data sources to bring real-time updates, animations, and more interactive elements. Using these libraries and coupled with our expertise, we convert forms, codes, and DataWindows to Java and then compile it with a fully modern HTML-based front-end using Angular. Some of the key abilities that developers can leverage from JavaScript includes interactive maps, responsive web design, and dynamic content loading. Also, as the Java programming language supports APIs, the application can interact or connect with multiple platforms, devices, browsers, ERP, HRM, CRM, and more.

Enable greater degree of automation in IT Infrastructure management

Application Workloads will also move from a an on-premises environment to the cloud when you convert from PowerBuilder to Java. The key benefit arising out of such a workload migration is the significant degree of automation that it the tasks performed by legacy workload managers and job schedulers. The system pivoted on JavaScript can easily integrated with evolved and advanced schedulers and integrate or connect with SaaS applications that are bundled with cloud service provider packages. Then there are technologies that are characterized as Service Orchestration and Automation Platforms (SOAP). Using SOAP integrations, IT teams can now easily automate workflows by running time-based as well as event-based triggers.

Challenges that you need to consider when converting PowerBuilder to Java

When developers try to replicate UI controls from PowerBuilder to Java, they are likely to come across some key challenges. These would include mapping DataWindow controls, edit masks, and reports with each other. Knowledge of replicating the mapping in Java requires specialized skills and hand’s-on project experience, something that is not possible for developers who know only PowerBuilder. Many of the events created in PowerBuilder UI would not have any equivalent in Java Swing. Hence, Developers who have faced these scenarios along with reusable codes are required for a smooth migration. It is always recommended to ask your vendor to present a quick snapshot of such challenges and the reusable code-repositories that can be used for them.

7 Questions to Validate a Vendor Before Starting Your Cloud Migration Process

  • What Type of System Enhancements or Soft Upgrades do you Specialize in?
  • Would You Do Proof of Concept and How do You Verify Success for the Same?
  • Would You Perform Risk Assessments and Analysis and How to Categorize Them?
  • Does Your Migration Expertise Also Include Refactoring of Codes as a Service?
  • How do You Execute Migration of Databases as a Part of the Cloud Migration Process?
  • Do You Provide a Rollback Plan in Case the Migration Attempt Fails to Deliver?
  • Would You Provide Cost-Analysis of Cloud Hosted Compared to On-Premises Scenarios?

Preliminary assessments before converting PowerBuilder application to Java

  • Before arriving at a cost benefit analysis, our experts will first analyze if a line-by-line translation of the PowerBuilder App will be necessary
  • The man hours required in terms of the time and cost for testing and validating hundreds of thousands of lines of codes will be factored
  • We would suggest a plan that will also include suggestions of including external APIs and SaaS products into the mix based on your needs
  • An assessment will be made on which components are best suited for rewriting code from scratch to introduce a completely modernized experience
  • The assessment includes time required for refactoring code to add new event-driven functionalities based on user input, forms, and dynamic content
  • It will also assess if any proprietary vendor dependencies will be required in scenarios where third-party API integrations would be required

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