Software Migration


Profes­sio­nally execu­ted software migration implies that:

  • Indivi­dua­lity, know-how and unique selling points are secure,
  • Future-proof platforms and develo­p­ment environ­ments are used,
  • The modern world of infor­ma­tion and commu­ni­ca­tion are opened up,
  • Indepen­dence of proprie­tary manufac­tu­r­ers and licence products is preserved,
  • Time and costs are saved.

The advan­tage of a software migration juxta­po­sed with develo­p­ment from scratch lies in the fact that it requi­res less effort. Experi­ence gathe­red from several projects proves that to be at a ratio of 1:8. If a migration project envisa­ges, for example, 15 man-years (commonly requi­red time span), a redeve­lo­p­ment must be estima­ted to take roughly 120 man-years.

A software migration usually affects all compon­ents of a legacy system (programs, screen masks, files, jobs, middle­ware, databases).

The graphic shows the migration paths supported by us and the software tools used for that purpose.

Over the last 25 years, we have successfully execu­ted migration projects within the planned time frame and within the alloca­ted budget. Naturally, every aspect of our experi­ence gained over the years flows into current and future migration projects.


Software migration is only manageable with mature and time-tested migration tools and technologies.

Our unique selling point is the consis­tent appli­ca­tion of scien­ti­fic compi­­ler-building methods in the develo­p­ment of technology and tools. The result is that we have achie­ved a high level of automa­tion. This in turn brings down the project duration, project costs and error rate in contrast to manual migration. Our tools and techno­lo­gies support all compon­ents of a migration project traver­sing programs, middle­ware, files/databases, masks, job control languages and so forth.

Each migration project is unique. The pecBOX (pro et con – Toolbox for Software Migration) develo­ped by us adapts migration tools and techno­lo­gies quickly, flexi­bly and cost-effec­­tively to indivi­dual custo­mer needs.


Each of our migration projects follows a defined process. At every stage, it assumes the nature of a joint project between our custo­mers and us. The follo­wing figure illus­tra­tes the process from a workshop to the refactoring:

The project passes through various steps like:

  • Workshop: Once you have evinced interest in a joint migration project with us, we hold jointly an all-day workshop. Here, you can present to us the current legacy system and describe your requi­re­ments and ideas concer­ning a software migration. We will present our techno­lo­gies and tools. If you provide us with selec­ted sources of your system (e.g. COBOL programs, mask descrip­ti­ons, …), we will demons­trate the migration process based on your sources. In conclu­sion, we will decide on how we should go about the next step of the coope­ra­tion together, which invol­ves prepa­ra­tion of a study.
  • Study: Having agreed on further coope­ra­tion, the next step is the actual prepa­ra­tion of a study by us which will essen­ti­ally touch on the follo­wing points: 
    • Detailed compi­la­tion of the legacy system to be migra­ted inclu­ding its appli­ca­tion statistics.
    • Defini­tion of the target system (hardware, archi­tec­ture, appli­ca­tion server, programming and script languages, frameworks, …).
    • Defini­tion of the migration paths between the legacy and target systems. Among other things, the effort is asses­sed that is needed to adapt the existing tools to the concrete project requi­re­ments or, as the case may be, to develop new tools.
    • Syste­mi­sing the division of labour requi­red for the project between the partners concerned.
    •  Deter­mi­ning the effort in terms of finan­cial outlays and the proba­ble duration of the project as essen­tial results of the study.
  • Pilot project: Based on the results of the study, a pilot project (proof of concept) will be initia­ted, which will imple­ment a verti­cal proto­ty­p­ing (mask, server, database) at a selec­ted subset of appro­xi­m­ately 20 % of the legacy system in order to verify the chosen migration technology and the tools used. Depen­ding on the outcome, these tools are readjus­ted if needed.
  • Pre-Enginee­ring: In paral­lel to the pilot project, you will clean up the system to be migra­ted (“refur­bis­hing before migra­ting”). In this step, the term “Pre-Enginee­ring” means that reengi­nee­ring tasks are carried out ahead of the actual migration. Experi­ence acqui­red from previous projects has shown that the appli­ca­tion statis­tics to be migra­ted are reduced by appro­xi­m­ately 10–15 %.
  • Migration project: After these steps of syste­ma­tic prepa­ra­tion, the joint migration project is launched. We offer this for a fixed price which can be agreed between the parties during the study phase. During the migration project, no code freeze is requi­red. Programs that have already been migra­ted and are subject to further develo­p­ment as part of general mainten­ance can be migra­ted again at any time. This ensures a contin­ued mainten­ance and an uninter­rupted opera­tion of your existing system. Upon project comple­tion, both the origi­nal program system and the system resul­ting from the migration have an identi­cal, up-to-date develo­p­ment status.
  • Refac­to­ring: In the course of numerous migration projects, we have develo­ped a compre­hen­sive tool, which allows the automa­tic refac­to­ring of Java code after a migration. This means that, even years after a comple­ted project, you are able to react flexi­bly to new requirements.

All previous projects have been comple­ted successfully within the planned time frame and planned budget.


“Von JOBOL zu JAVOL – Refak­to­ri­sie­rung migrier­ter Java-Programme”
Abstract for 25th “Workshop Software-Reengi­nee­ring & Evolu­tion” 8–10 March 2023 in Bad Honnef, published in:
Software­tech­nik-Trends, volume 43, part 2, May 2023

“Migration des Südlea­sing COBOL-Kernban­ken-Systems nach JAVA mit einem itera­tiv-­inkre­men­tel­len Ansatz”
Abstract for 24th “Workshop Software-Reengi­nee­ring & Evolu­tion” 2–4 May 2022 in Bad Honnef, published in:
Software­tech­nik-Trends, volume 42, part 2, May 2022

“Jedes COBOL-Java-Migra­ti­ons­pro­jekt birgt neue Überraschungen”
Abstract for 24th “Workshop Software-Reengi­nee­ring & Evolu­tion” 2–4 May 2022 in Bad Honnef, published in:
Software­tech­nik-Trends, volume 42, part 2, May 2022

“Toolba­sierte Software-Migration nach Plan”
Abstract for 18th “Workshop Software-Reengi­nee­ring & Evolu­tion” 2–4 May 2016 in Bad Honnef, published in:
Software­tech­nik-Trends, volume 36, part 2, May 2016

“Aus Alt mach Neu – automa­tisch! Migra­ti­ons­pro­jekte erfolg­reich planen und realisieren”
Article by Dr. Uwe Kaiser (pro et con), published in:
Business Technology, release 03/2014, page 41