Software Migration


A profes­sio­nally reali­sed software migration means

  • safeguar­ding indivi­dua­lity, know-how and unique selling points
  • paving the way for future-proof platforms and develo­p­ment environments
  • opening up the modern world of infor­ma­tion and communication
  • preser­ving indepen­dence of proprie­tary manufac­tu­r­ers and licence products
  • saving time and costs

Compared to a new develo­p­ment, a software migration has the decisive advan­tage that it requi­res less effort. Experi­ence from several projects proves a ratio of 1:8. If a migration project has an expec­ted scope of 15 man-years (which is a quite common time span), for example, about 120 man-years would have to be calcu­la­ted for a develo­p­ment from scratch.

A software migration usually embraces all compon­ents of a legacy system (program­mes, screens, files, jobs, middle­ware, databases).

The graphic shows the migration paths supported by us and the software tools used accordingly.

Over the last 30 years, we have successfully reali­sed migration projects – on time and on budget. Naturally, our experi­ence gained over the years flows into current and future migration projects.


A software migration can only be managed with sophisti­ca­ted migration tools and technologies.

Our unique selling point is the consis­tent appli­ca­tion of scien­ti­fic compi­­ler-building methods in the develo­p­ment of technology and tools, resul­ting in a high level of automa­tion. This in turn reduces the project duration, project costs and error rate in contrast to manual migration. Our tools and techno­lo­gies support all compon­ents of a migration project (program­mes, middle­ware, files/databases, screens, job control languages etc.).

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. Every stage can be conside­red as a joint project between our custo­mer and us. The follo­wing figure illus­tra­tes the process from a workshop to refactoring:

The indivi­dual steps are as follows:

  • workshop: once you have shown interest in a joint migration project with us, we hold an all-day workshop together. Here, you can present your current legacy system and outline 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 program­mes, screen descrip­ti­ons, …), we will demons­trate the migration process based on your sources. In conse­quence, we will decide if the next step of the coope­ra­tion, which invol­ves the prepa­ra­tion of a study, will be made together.
  • study: having agreed on further coope­ra­tion, we will prepare a study which will essen­ti­ally touch on the follo­wing points: 
    • detailed compi­la­tion of the legacy system to be migra­ted, inclu­ding its appli­ca­tion statistics
    • defining the target system (hardware, archi­tec­ture, appli­ca­tion server, programming and script languages, frame­works etc.)
    • identi­fy­ing the migration paths between legacy and target systems. Among other things, the effort needed to adapt the existing tools to the concrete project requi­re­ments or, as the case may be, to develop new tools, is assessed.
    • outlining the distri­bu­tion of tasks requi­red for the project between the partners concerned
    • deter­mi­ning the effort (costs) and 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 proto­type (screen, 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 (“pre-enginee­ring before migra­ting”). In this step, the term “pre-enginee­ring” means that re-enginee­ring tasks are carried out ahead of the actual migration. Experi­ence 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, identi­fied in the study. During the migration project, no code freeze is requi­red. Program­mes 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 programme 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 of our previous projects have been comple­ted successfully – on time and on 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