SüdLea­sing and pro et con announce the successful comple­tion of a complex migration project from COBOL to Java

  • SüdLea­sing uses agile methods to moder­nise an outda­ted legacy system for leasing contracts. 
  • pro et con imple­ments the COBOL-Java migration using its sophisti­ca­ted conver­sion tools. The success of the project confirms the viabi­lity of the tool-supported approach to migration. 
  • A short project duration of 1.5 years allows SüdLea­sing to perform effici­ent mainten­ance and further develo­p­ment with modern develo­p­ment environ­ments and frame­works for the future.

Chemnitz and Stutt­gart, Germany, 11 July 2022 pro et con GmbH, a technology leader in the field of tool-based software migration, and SüdLea­sing GmbH, one of the leading manufac­­tu­­rer-indepen­­dent leasing compa­nies in Germany, announce the successful comple­tion of a complex and automa­ted migration project from COBOL to Java for system moder­ni­sa­tion at SüdLeasing. 

Until now, leasing contracts have been managed using a COBOL system, which SüdLea­sing has maintai­ned and develo­ped independently for decades. It mapped all compli­ca­ted contract manage­ment proces­ses and was charac­te­ri­sed by great comple­xity. The quantity frame­work included 1,400 COBOL programs with appro­xi­m­ately 3.2 million lines of code. The system entailed high licence fees, rising mainten­ance costs and a lack of modern develo­p­ment environ­ments and frame­works. The aim of the project was to replace the COBOL programming language with Java and to obtain a future-proof system – while comply­ing with all quality speci­fi­ca­ti­ons in an agile project. 

Since manual refac­to­ring is unfea­si­ble in such a complex system in the foreseeable future, the software migration from pro et con was imple­men­ted with the use of tools. Language migration is the most challen­ging part of a migration project. It cannot succeed without sophisti­ca­ted conver­sion tools based on compi­ler construc­tion techni­ques. The scien­ti­fic approach guaran­tees the seman­tic equiva­lence between origi­nal and conver­ted programs. Exper­tise in compi­ler construc­tion was there­fore an important prere­qui­site for the success of the project. Here, pro et con had many years of experi­ence and expertise. 

In order to achieve an agile project approach, the entire COBOL code was divided into packa­ges. A package contai­ned about 120 to 150 programs and was imple­men­ted within a four-week sprint. Fourteen migration packa­ges were created for the entire code. These were then conver­ted within just under 12 months. The actual migration phase was follo­wed by an inten­sive test phase of six months using automa­tic tests with Cucum­ber and Gherkin. 

As planned, the project duration was 1.5 years. The genera­ted Java code is maintainable and perfor­mant. This means that SüdLea­sing can maintain and further develop effici­ently with modern develo­p­ment environ­ments and frame­works while saving on licence fees. 

Sebas­tian Seek, Head of Software Develo­p­ment at SüdLea­sing GmbH: “Of course, we also feel the pressure in the area of ​​digita­li­sa­tion in our indus­try. In order to be able to conti­nue to offer our innova­tive soluti­ons on the market in the future, it was very important for us to moder­nise our central leasing system. At the begin­ning we were skepti­cal about the tool-supported COBOL-Java migration, since we had heard about projects that had failed. However, we found the right partner in the pro et con team. As early as the proof of concept, it was possi­ble to prove that the complex arith­me­tic opera­ti­ons of finan­cial mathe­ma­tics were carried out correctly and that the runtime for mass proces­sing programs also met our expec­ta­ti­ons. This very positive impres­sion was confirmed as the project progressed.” 

Prof. Dr Uwe Kaiser, Managing Direc­tor of pro et con GmbH, comments: “I am proud that pro et con GmbH was once again able to show the poten­tial of our tool-supported migration approach in this project. Our COBOL to Java Conver­ter (CoJaC) is a mature tool for this purpose. Such a project is always a joint project between equal partners. Especi­ally in the test phase, which is very important, SüdLea­sing GmbH made a signi­fi­cant contri­bu­tion to the success of the project with its agile approach and the consis­tent use of automa­tic tests. I would like to thank Mr. Seek and the entire SüdLea­sing team for the trust they have placed in us. I am sure that with our scien­ti­fic migration approach we can support other compa­nies in successfully imple­men­ting their digita­li­sa­tion strategies.”


About pro et con GmbH
pro et con (derived from “program and conver­sion”) is the technology leader for software migration and has more than 25 years of experi­ence, the know-how and a complete toolbox to migrate complex legacy systems into modern IT archi­tec­tures. The tools support all compon­ents of a software migration (programming language conver­sion, GUI moder­ni­sa­tion and data migration). This allows us to react flexi­bly and cost-effec­­tively to custo­mer requi­re­ments. The consis­tent appli­ca­tion of scien­ti­fic compi­ler construc­tion methods in tool develo­p­ment results in a high degree of automa­tion with reduced project duration and lower costs. This is confirmed by numerous reference custo­mers such as Amadeus Germany GmbH, the ITZBund and MAN Truck & Bus SE. When moder­ni­s­ing legacy systems, software migration is a real alter­na­tive to new develo­p­ment and repla­ce­ment with standard software.

About SüdLea­sing GmbH
SüdLea­sing GmbH is one of the largest manufac­­tu­­rer-indepen­­dent leasing compa­nies in Germany with over 50 years of experi­ence, quali­fied experts and an exten­sive, innova­tive service portfo­lio as well as the stabi­lity and quality of the LBBW Group. SüdLea­sing GmbH is an experi­en­ced and compe­tent partner for all aspects of invest­ment finan­cing with a leasing portfo­lio of €3.6 billion. Four hundred employees work at 21 locati­ons throug­hout Germany. The company is one of the top three leasing compa­nies in Germany.


Press contact:

pro et con GmbH
Caroline Loße
Marketing/Public Relations
pro et con Innova­tive Infor­ma­tik­an­wen­dun­gen GmbH
Reichen­hai­ner Straße 29a
09126 Chemnitz
Phone: +49 371 270951 20
E‑mail: caroline.losse@proetcon.de

SüdLea­sing GmbH
Mona Köhl
SüdLea­sing GmbH
70155 Stuttgart
Phone: +49 711 127 17026
E‑mail: mona.koehl@suedleasing.com