Peterborough, NH – October 24, 2014: ARCAD Software, leading vendor in software solutions for Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) on IBM Power systems running IBM i, today announced a new suite of tools dedicated to the modernization of legacy DB2 databases. ARCAD-Transformer DB is launched as part of the latest V10.04 ARCAD release, and provides features for converting from DDS to DDL (SQL), data integrity checking and field renaming.

Philippe Magne, CEO and Chairman of ARCAD Software, explains the rationale behind this latest extension to the company’s range of enterprise modernization solutions. “It is the DB2 database that has given IBM i its unrivalled reputation for reliability, security and scalability, and it will continue to be a major development advantage of the platform – on condition of having a fully relational SQL database. SQL is not only the de facto standard, but it also scales well to large quantities of data, and offers industry-beating performance on IBM i”, he states. “With SQL, you render data architecture readable, including migration toward explicit field names and links between tables. You also open up the database for update to all external tools and applications, with no risk to its integrity”.

Magne goes on to explain the company’s holistic approach to modernization. “ARCAD is a technology company with a strong emphasis on methodology. To fully exploit the underlying IBM i platform you need a three-tier application with a genuine relational database, stored procedures and a graphical interface, and optionally web services. This requires a staged modernization of both the application and database layer. ARCAD has long specialized in modernization at the application level, and we have now leveraged our data analysis technology to address the modernization of the database itself”.

The Transformer DB suite complements the other members of the ARCAD-Transformer family, notably ARCAD-Transformer RPG for conversion from RPGLE to Free Format RPG, and ARCAD-Transformer Field for field size expansion used to internationalize IBM i applications, for Asia in particular. The new Transformer DB plays a major role in migrating existing databases towards a full relational model, with four principal features:

  1. Data Integrity Checking

Data integrity is important when transitioning from the DDS model to SQL, because the data management technique is different in the two models. To anticipate errors, ARCAD-Transformer DB searches for and analyses incorrect data, and also identifies its cause.

  1. Conversion of DDS to DDL

ARCAD-Transformer DB automatically converts/recreates SQL source code from physical files into DDL.

  1. Field renaming

The limited length of field names in DDS and in RPG is often unworkable in a modern application. The ARCAD-Transformer DB field renaming feature enables you to “refactor” source code and file definitions, and automate the mass changes involved.

Integrated ARCAD tools such as ARCAD-Observer also assist in understanding the existing database relationship model already in place, even for so-called flat files. For this, they rely on powerful data analysis engines, which drill down into program code to ‘understand’ the links between fields and quickly propose a relevant structure with minimal effort.

Magne emphasizes the need to manage change and mitigate risk in the modernization process. “Even with the level of automation we provide, modernization of the application and database involves large-scale changes in source code and data. And a high level of change means a high risk of regression. Also our customers usually need to keep their business running on one application version while modernizing in parallel on a separate branch. This is why we stress the importance of using lifecycle management tools, and especially test automation, in a modernization project. It is the safest way to ensure the reliability of your applications and minimize the impact on your end-users.”

Migration from a legacy database built on DDS into a fully relational database in SQL is clearly a major opportunity for IBM i shops equipped with both Test Automation and Release Management tools. “ARCAD Software is the only vendor in the market to offer everything in one single solution”, concludes Magne.

About ARCAD Software

ARCAD Software is leading vendor in software solutions for Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) for IBM Power Systems running IBM i operating software. An advanced technology and business partner with IBM Rational, the company operates internationally with offices in Europe, USA and Asia supporting 1000+ installations worldwide. Since its inception in 1992, ARCAD Software has built on its methodology know-how and specialist expertise on IBM i to develop a multi-platform ALM suite, integrated with Rational software and positioned as the new standard on IBM i. A steadfast champion for modernization on the platform, ARCAD is twice winner of the enterprise modernization award at IBM Innovate 2012 and 2013, and the flagship offering – the ARCAD Pack for Rational – is now distributed and supported by IBM worldwide.