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Reengineering Legacy Applications

Today's legacy architectures have resulted in a communications and networking infrastructure that consists of multiple disparate information systems with limited interconnectivity, separate management systems and separate security approaches. The over-arching goal of the government's Enterprise Architecture (EA) and e-Government initiatives is to evolve a communications and networking infrastructure that will have the flexibility to allow seamless sharing of information among all users (internal and external), thereby enabling network centric operations. Transforming the legacy architectures represents opportunities for government CIO's who are committed to improving productivity through improving their organization's IT infrastructure. The demands for improving an agency's investment in IT require a radical rethinking of how information systems are designed and constructed. It is no longer sufficient to produce fixed solutions to fixed business requirements. Information systems like the business systems they support must be adaptive in conformance to OMB A-130. They must be capable of sustained change in response to government's evolving business requirements.

Much of the valuable data the government manages resides in its legacy systems. AITS has developed a methodology incorporating best management practices to reengineer these legacy assets. The methodology features "continuous optimization" of the information systems requiring gradual rather than radical or "big-bang" approach. AITS's reengineering framework addresses four options in managing legacy transformation without creating disruptions or discontinuities to the IT infrastructure:

  • Re-Face approach leaves the existing applications on their existing configuration such as a mainframe, but supplements the configuration with an access tool. Tools like screen scraping and gateways are low-cost and realize a business benefit via improved end-user access.

  • Re-Host calls for porting applications from larger systems (mainframes) to less expensive systems (client-server) with the same operational environment. These "downsizing" or "right-sizing" initiatives are usually risk free as the application code is not changed. Cost savings are achieved as hardware and operating system software is less expensive and operational costs are lowered.

  • Re-Architect requires rewriting the application by separating it into three components: presentation, functionality, and database. Significant IT savings can be achieved as costs for software maintenance are lowered. The organization will benefit not only from improved access, but also from the speed of implementing changes as it adapts to new Congressional and/or regulatory requirements.

  • Re-Engineer the entire process captured by the IT applications. Rewrite the entire application employing a standardized, life cycle engineering approach to reflect the new, re-engineered process. While this approach requires the largest IT capital investment, the organization should reap significant return on its investment.

  • Processes in legacy transformation typically involve conversion of code or data to accommodate a new environment. Procedures typically involve a defined methodology that permits the processes to take place in a manner that provides the client with a high quality, low risk solution.

All re-engineered applications encompass requirements for end users, network operations, system architectures, performance goals, individual component versus total system costs, information assurance, and documentation. Importantly, submissions for reengineering legacy assets include rationale for technical alternatives, total cost of ownership, and recommendations as presented in OMB Circular A-94. The scope of the reengineering effort utilizes the following criteria: interoperability, reliability, security, maintainability, and adaptability for future system requirements.

AITS provides a full range of computer system migration and modernization solutions. Let us assist you in leveraging the power of a new environment (including web based technologies) with our proven solutions. Some examples of legacy transformation services provided to our clients include:

  • Migration of Legacy Applications to Client/Server and Web-enabling Technologies

  • Language and Source Code Upgrade or Conversion

  • Database Conversion

  • User Interface Conversion

  • Character-based Displays to GUI Transformation

  • Platform Migration

  • Inline Process Code to Reusable Object Transformation

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