The Application Science 400 (AS400), or IBM System I, allows businesses to store large volumes of data and core business logic. The software—once known for its scalability, robustness, security, and low costs—is currently used by over 10,000 companies around the world to power their ERP and other mission-critical tasks. However, many of these organizations are in the process of migrating their workloads and business applications off the platform, as there are two crucial problems with AS400:
- The software is outdated: Built in 1988, the AS400 has an outdated interface and a monolithic code architecture, making it difficult for organizations to integrate new technologies and streamline workflows.
- There’s a lack of IT support: The number of programmers knowledgeable in AS400 is shrinking every day, as many of them are now retiring—making the process of hiring new talent more arduous and expensive.
In spite of these disadvantages, organizations across all industries still use AS400, usually because they’re satisfied with their current setup, or because the amount of time, money, and resourcing required for upgrading to a new system is simply too daunting. For companies that do embrace modernization, many lack a complete understanding of the AS400 application landscape or their migration strategy isn’t clear enough. That’s where an experienced web development company like Codal comes in.
Approaches to modernization
Depending on the specific problem that your business is trying to solve, there are a variety of approaches to legacy modernization, each with its own purpose, effects, costs, and risks. Some organizations just want to host their data in a different location to reduce costs and increase scalability, while others require an entire system overhaul. Here’s a quick overview of three common AS400 modernization approaches:
- Re-engineer: Batch jobs, or predefined actions—such as ETL data processing—submitted to a system without requiring user intervention, can be moved to a cloud environment through re-engineering. This allows files to be accessed and analyzed in real time, while also simplifying the system’s code.
- Re-host: This involves redeploying applications on a new server—either physical or virtual—without changing any of the system’s interfaces, features, or functionality. With an AS400 emulator like Infinite i, AS400 applications can run on any x86-64 cloud-based interface.
- Re-architect: Developers can rewrite application codes with a more scalable design to function within—as well as maximize the potential of—their new cloud environment’s features and capabilities.
Benefits of AS400 modernization
The impact of cloud computing and other digital technologies has changed how professionals collaborate, how information is managed, how transactions are processed, and ultimately how business gets done. With AS400 legacy modernization, eCommerce businesses see many benefits, including:
- Lower operational costs
- Streamlined development workflows
- Improved customer experience
- Superior data security
- Smoother integrations with third-party tools and applications
How Codal can help
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to AS400 modernization, as every organization has a unique set of objectives and technical limitations. Here at Codal, we specialize in modernizing legacy systems for businesses across all industries. With expertise around AS400 and other cutting-edge technologies, we can help guide your business through this transformation, from identifying key business problems, to picking the right approach, to testing, deploying, and maintaining the final product.
Our team can connect your business’ AS400 to any eCommerce platform, including Shopify and BigCommerce—two of Codal’s direct partners. By integrating the updated system with other tools and applications in your business’ ecosystem, your team can better leverage data to streamline operations and workflows, improve security, and cut costs. We can also provide ongoing support and maintenance, as well as technical training for anyone on your team who will be interacting with the new system.
Ready to get started modernizing your eCommerce business’ AS400 legacy system? Get in touch with Codal today!