Techno­logy and Tools


Software migration can only be imple­men­ted in a reason­able way with tools which, analo­gous to compi­ler construc­tion, are based on the theory of formal languages and parser genera­tors. We have exten­sive know-how in this scien­ti­fic field of infor­ma­tics and more than 25 years of work experience.

The basis for all soluti­ons is pecBOX, which is a toolbox for software migration develo­ped by us:

pecBOX combi­nes our migration tools, meta tools and code genera­tors. The migration tools can deal with all compon­ents of a legacy system. pecBOX enables us to respond quickly, flexi­bly and cost-effec­­tively to customer’s special requi­re­ments in software migration.


The migration tools inclu­ded in pecBOX have the following functions:

Conver­sion of histo­ri­cal COBOL appli­ca­ti­ons into modern Java solutions.

Automa­ted moder­ni­sa­tion of proprie­tary, antiqua­ted user interfaces.

Automa­ted migration of data of diffe­rent formats to relatio­nal databases.

Online programs in the legacy system run under the control of proprie­tary transac­tion proces­sing monitors such as CICS, Pathway or Tuxedo. If these are migra­ted from COBOL to Java, the resul­ting Java programs need a runtime environ­ment. Our tool MidaS (Middle­ware as a Service) is a light­weight alter­na­tive compa­red to commer­cial systems. MidaS provi­des an inter­face that is tailor-made for the migra­ted online programs and is easy to integrate into a Java server environment.

In legacy systems, hundreds of COBOL programs and copybooks often form an unstruc­tu­red direc­tory struc­ture. These, however, compli­cate mainten­ance jobs. JPackage creates a model of an effici­ent struc­ture of Java packa­ges in the target system. Complex, confu­sing COBOL copybooks are divided into indivi­dual Java classes and filed into syste­ma­tised Java packa­ges. In addition, JPackage removes data struc­ture clones. This reduc­tion of comple­xity ultimately impro­ves the maintaina­bi­lity of the migra­ted system compa­red to the origi­nal legacy system.


The meta tools contai­ned in the pecBOX so to say generate the migration tools. This consi­der­ably shortens the develo­p­ment time for new migration tools. In addition, already existing tools can be quickly adapted to custo­mer requi­re­ments. The pecBOX inclu­des the following meta tools and code genera­tors with the following functions:

  • BTRACC: Parser genera­tor based on the backtracking procedure
  • mkObject: Model­ling of syntax trees
  • ReTrans: Trans­for­ma­tion of syntax trees
  • CGen/PGen/JGen: Genera­ting of C/C++, Perl or Java code from syntax trees. These are used for the develo­p­ment of migration tools with C/C++, Perl or Java as target code.
  • CFormat/PFormat/JFormat: Format­ting tools for C/C++, Perl or Java accord­ing to custo­mer specification.

“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

“Metho­den und Werkzeuge für die Software-Migration“
Article for 10th “Workshop Software-Reengi­nee­ring” 5–7 May 2008 in Bad Honnef, publis­hed in:
10th Workshop Software Reengi­nee­ring, 5–7 May 2008, Bad Honnef.
Lecture Notes in Infor­ma­tics (LNI) Procee­dings, Series of the Gesell­schaft für Infor­ma­tik (GI), Volume P‑126, 2008

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