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How do I start modernising IBM i applications?

18/06/2019
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Liliane Van Winckel
Expert Software Engineer, EASI

You have made the decision to upgrade your IBM i applications, but how do you begin? Here are four tips to help you on your way.

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1. Do not modernise everything at once

Don't bite off more than you can chew. Everyone knows that you will discover things ‘along the road’ that you can implement correctly next time. Make sure that your project doesn't become too large, so that you can maintain an overview and keep using the rest of the application while you focus on a small part of it. In this way, you will notice after a while that many of your applications have suddenly become a lot more modern.

2. Set the right priorities

Many people think that in order to modernise your applications, you must first address their look and feel.

interface_power

That is not necessarily the case. The best approach is to let yourself be guided by your business needs. If you set priorities, it will automatically become clear what part of the modernisation needs your attention first.

Who knows, perhaps you need a new function (such as a web or mobile application for entering orders or retrieving an overview of the available stock, or a new tool) more than a new design?

New Tools 

One new tool often already makes a world of difference, because recent tools contain a lot of modern resources that help structure the existing code, support you in developing new applications faster, and allow you to easily debug any application.

Old toolsmodern tools

3. Ensure continuity

Make sure that you hire new developers on time to support your current developers. New developers have the latest knowledge, but your current staff has a wealth of experience. That experience may be lost if you wait too long to recruit new developers, or if your current employees suddenly leave.

In addition to the risk of suddenly losing a lot of business know-how that was not passed on, your application may be too outdated for your new staff. After all, current training programs will not have taught the younger developers to use technology that is no longer in use.

4. Get proper support

A modernisation process can be a great burden on your existing team. So, make sure to get proper support. Have your partner follow a logical flow. First, perform a sound analysis of your needs, identify the most pressing sticking points, and only then proceed to the implementation process.

Do you have any questions after reading this article, or would you like to discuss your project without obligation? EASI has a lot of experience with the modernisation of IBM i applications. Please don't hesitate to approach us or request more info.

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