Converting Powerhouse to Java quick, automated and at lower cost
In the past a lot of organizations have used Cognos Powerhouse to create business critical applications. Powerhouse was a very powerful environment for creating business applications. However, Powerhouse is becoming out-dated. Support and consultancy are less readily available making it harder to extend the software or integrate it with other software applications.
Action has to be taken if you want your software to keep up with your business. Until now your options where limited: Move the business requirements to an ERP-system, build a
new application or manually convert the application to a modern programming language. None of which are very appealing: they are expensive, time-consuming and hard to control processes.
With StrongHold Brains2B offers you a more pleasant route to an up-to-date business application.
StrongHold can automatically convert your current Powerhouse application to Java. Quick and at low-cost.
The result is an easy to maintain, easily integrated and extensible business application with a fully graphical user interface, written in a modern object-oriented language.
Your application will be ready for the future.
An example for rebuilding/conversion of one screen:
Another 4th generation language, e.g. Oracle Forms4-6 hours
Another 3th generation language, e.g. Java or .NET7-11 hours
These figures do not include overhead and project management.
The result: A modern Java application which is easily maintained, extended and integrated with existing infrastructure
While creating StrongHold a lot of effort was spend making the converted software easily maintainable. The framework in which
the newly converted software will run in specifically designed en tested to simplify custom tasks and integrate well with other software.
The framework is completely transparent and makes use of open standards and common design techniques, making it easy for you to implement new
functionality within the application.
The conversion path made clear
StrongHold delivers an quick and efficient way to convert your Powerhouse application to Java. To make the entire conversion as easy as possible there are a few simple
steps we will take: First we will create a pilot on the basis of your existing application. This will be the starting point for determining the look and feel of your new application.
We decide the configuration settings and the parts,
if any, which could be better supported with custom build plug-ins. The prototype will also give a good indication of possible infrastructural needs.
Manual correction of the code can be kept to a minimum
After setting the stage the conversion itself is a simple push of the button. StrongHold converts 90% of the powerhouse code to working Java code with no intervention.
The last 10% could be converted through a custom API or through manual correction. That 10% is highly predictable and correction can be easily standardized.
Success story: Leasing company Arval-PHH
Leasing company Arval PHH (formerly Arma) created a powerhouse application which encompassed all
their internal and external business information needs. The application supported three languages and was build and maintained over a 15 years period.
There were great advantages having all your business data in one application. One of the disadvantages: The huge costs and risk of migrating this application
to a new platform or computer language. This is were the idea of StrongHold came in.
Development, conversion and training are done parallel
Arval PPH and Brains2B agreed on a business model in which the development of StrongHold and the conversion
would run parallel. Early on it was also decided other tools would be used to replace the Quiz reporting. The conversion
would therefor focus on Quick and QTP. The last important decision made was to train current staff in programming Java, so they
would be able to do maintenance and future development of the converted project as well as help in the conversion itself.
Quick: 1200 sources
2900 sources for MVC classes
QTP: 300 sources
Quiz: 600 sources
Oracle en Powerhouse files
Windows via Metaframe
Terminal-emulation through Thin client and Metaframe
Java application through Thin client and Metaframe
Pilot conversion brings details to light
An early pilot gave the users and end-user an opportunity to give their input on graphical user interface.
It also made transparent where it would be efficient to have a custom plug-in: Using their current multi-language
sources to make the new application multi-language and a plug-in to convert their custom search options
into an appropriate Java equivalent. Some functionality was marked early on modernization making good use of the new environment.
This included integration with Microsoft Office and Oracle Calendar
Roof-tiling approach to conversion smooths the transition
Because the project was of considerable size, the decision was made to divide it into different parts and realize each part overlapping with the next. While one
part was being tested by end users, the next part was being system tested and the one after that was being converted. This gave us the opportunity to do the conversion with a limited amount
of people and without too large a strain on day-to-day business. The complete application is now used throughout the organization.
Conversion of screen sources to completely functional screens in a Java GUI environment, with a functional look-and-feel an full use of keyboard or mouse interface.
StrongHold can determine from the Powerhouse sources where GUI-items like selection lists, radio buttons and tabs could be used, even for character based Powerhouse applications.
Conversion of batch sources to efficient Java programs which can either run locally or through an application server.
Control of external processes like batches, reports and external programs is integrated in the application. PL/SQL integration is supplied with this product, it is however easy
to integrate other external processes.
Conversion of reports to XML and stylesheets giving an instant possibility to generate output to printers, html, e-mail or postscript formats
Labels, tooltips, context dependent help functionality and user messages are generated and integrated from the data dictionaries, or sources. This technique also supplies an easy way for creating
multi language applications
Data-structure information will be converted to scripts for relational database systems
Every step in the conversion process can be influenced through a public API. Through this custom changes and addition can be made to the conversion process, enforcing things like company
standards for comments, coding, navigation and layout
The StrongHold tools consist of the conversion tools, the framework for running the application and tools for managing the project: determining complexity of the sources for project planning, report of sources which are alike, report for interdependency of sources and tool to determine referential integrity from existing source code
Would you like more information?
If you are looking for a quick, efficient and low-cost way to convert your existing Powerhouse application to a modern and
robust Java application please contact us at +31 6 14665800 or e-mail us for an appointment