Slide 2
FiRe – Files to Relatio­nal Database

FiRe is our tool-based techno­logy for automa­ted migration of data pools from legacy systems into relatio­nal databa­ses. It supports all compon­ents of a migration (data, scheme and program migration). FiRe combi­nes scien­ti­fic know-how with compe­tence gained from success­ful migration projects.


A profes­sio­nal database system at the target system must be built within the frame­work of a legacy migration. With the FiRe techno­logy from pro et con databa­ses and files with diffe­rent struc­tures can be migra­ted to modern databases.

FiRe consists of diffe­rent compon­ents whose inter­ac­tion is shown in the following graphic:
The migration takes place in the following phases:

  • ANALY­SIS: A tool-suppor­­ted analy­sis of the database is carried out on the legacy system. For this, infor­ma­tion on struc­tu­ring of the data sets from the appli­ca­tion programs and infor­ma­tion from the files are merged and harmo­nised in a reposi­tory (metadata).
  • SCHEME MIGRATION: Using the meta data the database scheme of the target system is created, where the file-orien­­ted data manage­ment of the legacy system is mapped to a relatio­nal data manage­ment in the target system. The result is a set of table descrip­ti­ons which serves as the basis for genera­ting DDL scripts (scheme genera­tion).
  • MIGRATION OF DATA ACCESS: File infor­ma­tion in the conver­ted programs of the target system is acces­sed by logical file opera­ti­ons like OPEN, READ, WRITE, …. However, the data is stored in a relatio­nal database system and acces­sed by SQL opera­ti­ons. The commu­ni­ca­tion between the two layers is assumed by a so-called data access layer which is automa­ti­cally genera­ted with the infor­ma­tion from the metadata (API genera­tion).
  • MIGRATION OF DATA: Export programs (reading of data from the files on the legacy system) and import programs (writing data in the relatio­nal tables of the target system) are genera­ted from the metadata of the reposi­tory and the data relating to the scheme migration. In this process, the data is harmo­nised. In addition, necessary EBCDIC-ASCII conver­si­ons are taken into account.


FiRe stands out for the following features:

Automa­ted migration of diffe­rent data formats
FiRe supports various data formats of files (like SAM, ISAM and LEASY files).

Content review and unifi­ca­tion
The databa­ses are checked by FiRe for correct­ness, plausi­bi­lity and comple­teness. Dupli­ca­tes are cleaned up.

Confi­gura­bi­lity and open design
Various aspects of the migration are confi­gura­ble. This allows all indivi­dua­li­ties to be mapped.

Support for various special­ties of the legacy systems
Special features of the legacy systems are taken into account during the migration, e.g. redefi­nes in COBOL systems.


The following table shows the migration paths from the legacy to the target system:


During the develo­p­ment of FiRe, value was placed on exten­sive confi­gura­bi­lity. This relates, among other things, to:

  • SPLIT­TING STRUC­TU­RED FILES: Since struc­tu­red files of the legacy system can be very complex, it may make sense to outsource them to several database tables in the target system. The data fields are selec­ted automa­ti­cally using general confi­gu­ra­tion rules as part of the scheme migration.
  • CONVER­SION OF DATA TYPES: The data types of the target system must harmo­nise with those of the legacy system. There are confi­gu­ra­tion rules for this with regard to their mapping.
  • CONVER­SION OF IDENTI­FIERS: Identi­fiers cannot and should not always be trans­fer­red 1:1 from the legacy system to the target system. This affects diffe­rent restric­tions regar­ding allowed charac­ters and diffe­rent naming conven­ti­ons. Various rules for name conver­sion can be speci­fied — both in general and for speci­fic data elements.
  • CONVER­SION OF TEXT in diffe­rent, also mixed charac­ter sets, such as EBCDIC-ASCII conversion.


FiRe – data sheet

 “Automa­ti­sierte Migration von Legacy-Dateien in relatio­nale Datenbanken”
Abstract for 24th Workshop “Software-Reengi­nee­ring & Evolu­tion” 2–4 May 2022 in Bad Honnef, publis­hed in:
Software­tech­nik-Trends, volume 42, part 2, May 2022

Success Story: “Success­ful BS2000 Migration at ITZBund