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Type of service

Hardware Migration

Customer since


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Complex Alpha to Integrity migration

This was a highly complex project to migrate a large telecommunication provider from OpenVMS Alpha to Integrity. The core application running on OpenVMS comprised several million lines of complex code written in a variety of languages, including COBOL, Pascal, and C, and interacted with a Sybase database hosted on a UNIX platform, with communication between the OpenVMS-based application and the Sybase database being achieved via the Sybase OpenClient API. In order to migrate the application to Integrity and provide a supportable solution going forward the unsupported Sybase client API was replaced by the open source FreeTDS API and an embedded SQL pre-processor was developed that could be used in conjunction with FreeTDS in place of the Sybase embedded SQL pre-processor. The end result was a successful migration to Integrity with the FreeTDS-based database interface readily delivering required levels of performance and reliability.

What technical problems did that raise?

What are the benefits?

The main benefit of the solution adopted for this project is that it provides the customer with a fully supportable OpenVMS application environment that can continue to be maintained an enhanced into the future. The solution has also paved the way for the customer to eventually move to VSI OpenVMS x86-64. The open source FreeTDS project is mature and stable and continues to be updated to accommodate updates to the TDS protocol that is used by both Sybase and Microsoft SQL Server. The ability to replace unsupported/unavailable propriety components with an open source alternative of comparable quality and performance has allowed the customer to continue to use and enhance their existing application, as opposed to having to consider other options that would likely have incurred greater cost and risk.

This project also provides a good illustration of how it is sometimes necessary to be creative and think outside the box when approaching modernization solutions. Implementing an embedded SQL pre-processor may not have been the most obvious thing to do; however, in terms of overall project cost, developing this tool was a small component.