|Application Modernization - Challenges and Decisions|
Strategic and tactical utilization of data processing and now information technology is to a significant degree defined by programming languages. With each generation of computer hardware and advancements in operating systems and system software, the architecture, design, and coding of computer programming has provided new capabilities. The state and structure of programming languages, SDKs, APIís, development platforms, and methods of deployment has been evolving and changing.
What was considered in the 1960ís and 1970ís to be a full featured language either has been updated or replaced with a better development framework and language. As the first generation of system analysts, application designers, and computer programmers reach retirement age, the maintenance and documentation of applications coded in a variety of languages, will have to be managed by personnel unfamiliar with the original design and programming methodologies. Or the older code will have to be phased out and replaced by applications written with new languages and development platforms. The design, coding, and utilization of a programming language is specific to the application's business logic. The choices and decisions in terms of migration, upgrading, and new development are challenging: technology, budget, and availability of skilled personnel and staffing. Planning for new systems is complicated by the installed base of procedural and client/server code: COBOL, Assembler, PL/1, Fortran, C, C++, Visual Basic, and Visual C++. The average Fortune 100 company maintains 35 million lines of legacy code; organizations are looking to leverage this code portfolio. 1
These applications still function and are being utilized; but do not readily meet the emerging enterprise and web enablement standards. The consensus among executives and technologists is that there is no single uniform or best programming language or development platform. However, software development continues to move towards the reuse of legacy code to handle the complexities of software development. Increasingly, object oriented programming is being used to repurpose the existing code by organizing the system into objects through information hiding, encapsulation, polymorphism, and other techniques.
IBM, Computer Associates, Compuware, SAS Institute, and Information Builders have retrofitted and adapted their programming languages, development platforms, and APIs to client system software environments to meet advancements in hardware and web enablement software. Microsoft and Sun Microsystems expended considerable resources in developing and promoting their respective web development platforms: proprietary .NET and open source Java. In 2009, Oracle Corporation acquired BEA WebLogic and Sun Microsystems' Java, Solaris, and MySQL and a large number of other companies. It now is an end-to-end service provider and direct competitor with IBM. The challenge facing Oracle has been assembling the pieces and making them work together.
Open source software has both financial and technical support from the commercial software and hardware companies. The reality is that new application development and maintaining an programming infrastructure will be multi-vendor and in all likelihood include open source software. Red Hat, Inc. is the leading open source software company. In many situations, Red Hat software and subscription services can be used in conjunction or in place of commercial software and provide cost reduction and flexibility.
SOA is a strategic framework of information technology systems inside and outside of an organization which are exposed and access well-defined services. Information bound services may be further abstracted to process layers and composite applications. SOA allows system changes using a configuration layer rather than redeveloping systems.
The primary benefits of an SOA include:
Reusability is a valuable asset. In SOA, it is reuse of bound services and information. A common set of services among enterprise applications significantly reduces the need for redundant application services. The relationship between cloud computing and SOA is providing IT resources that can be leveraged on demand; this includes resources that host data, services, and processes. The ability to extend SOA outside of the enterprise firewall to cloud computing providers facilitates performance and reduces costs. SOA is an approach that deals with the proper formation of systems using mechanisms that work well together internal and external to the enterprise. Interfaces and architectures are required to take advantage of cloud computing resources. SOA provides architectural discipline with guiding principles and a process/orchestration layer to change major business processes without changes to all systems. It is a loosely coupled architecture. 3
Cloud programming continues to gain acceptance in delivering IT services. The cloud offers advantages compared to traditional on-premises data center services. Price/performance hardware, open standards, modular platforms, and software tools have been driving the growth. Connecting cloud services is being used for managing information technology assets. The leading open source platforms are OpenStack: IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service and Cloud Foundry: PaaS: Platform as a Service. There is variation in their use and implementation. The OpenStack platform is being extended with open source projects and commercial subscription services.
A development platform is a set of component software and tools used for a corresponding host runtime environment consisting of the hardware, operating system, and libraries. Software frameworks are specialized types of a development platformís libraries and tools that provide selective functionality. An application framework is a type of software framework for creating application programs that can perform related tasks together. A development platform provides for the creation, hosting, and use of applications. Development and application frameworks allow for the efficient creation of applications with standardized quality and reuse. Application frameworks are driving the growth and evolution of cloud application development. There also are new approaches for supporting application migration. DevOps technologies are being integrated for continuous testing and deployment of cloud-based applications to meet business requirements. A bridge to non-cloud and legacy setup is an industry problem. Container-based computing will accelerate application development; however, there will be additional issues in security.
The Java platform and language is used by AWS: Amazon Web Services, Google, IBM, Oracle, and new cloud entrants. The JRE: Java Runtime Environment includes the JVM: Java Virtual Machine which isolates the developer from the details of the underlying operating system and hardware. Other leading application frameworks and languages are Apache Struts, Node.js, PHP, Python, and Ruby on Rails.
MS Azure cloud is based upon Microsoft's proprietary .NET platform; support is provided for Linux-variants, open source application frameworks and languages. MS Azure provides both IaaS and PaaS for building, deploying, and managing applications in Microsoft data centers. It also is used on-premises and with hybrid clouds.
AWS has dominated the public cloud space by applying economies of scale and a comprehensive services delivered remotely from its data centers. Amazon uses both a RESTful and a SOAP API and has been a leader in developing new web services. In addition to OpenStack and Cloud Foundry, AWS works with any application framework. Applications running on AWS can execute in an OpenStack cloud or on-premises data center.
Since 1980, SYS-EDís staff have been designing, coding, debugging, and maintaining applications with programming languages in the IBM mainframe environment. We are experienced with machine and procedural programming languages: Assembler Language, C, COBOL, Fortran, and PL/1. We are recognized experts in teaching industry standard content and the multi-platform skillset for repurposing the investment in mainframe system software and legacy programming languages. Our system consultant instructors specialize in examining, analyzing, and interpreting a client's code base and teaching the structured techniques and methodologies required for maintenance programming, migrating code, and applying service oriented architecture on different platforms: mainframe, client/server and web development, and cloud.
Courses are offered through the SYS-ED schedule or as an integrated training program. Tailored course offerings can be conducted on-site in a classroom or presented using a web-based delivery medium. In addition to pre and post course validation assessment, a record of completed assignments can be kept. At the client discretion there also can be a grading system. Upon completion of a course, students are welcome to ask questions which come up back on the job.
The courseware utilized in SYS-ED instructor-led programming courses is highly respected. It extends the source vendor documentation and incorporates a purposeful examination of the program logic and sample programs. With the intermixing and hybrid implementations of open source software and commercial development platforms, reference material is fundamental to effective learning. The Computer Education Techniques knowledge base researches and validates the accuracy of information in the public domain. Content is added selectively to SYS-ED course handouts and training aids.
The legacy programming languages courseware is being expanded into a learning center format where it can be reviewed and used in an advertising free environment. As part of presenting an instructor-led programming language course at the client location, courseware is evaluated and organized for use in a web-based infrastructure and delivery medium.
Few consulting or software companies, let alone training vendors, have been conducting programming languages courses longer or better than SYS-ED.
SYS-ED's courseware library consists of student handouts, textbook extensions, training aids, documented walkthroughs, and industry-specific exercises. Modular content can be combined from multiple handouts; subject matter can be researched using the course search engine. Courseware is updated prior to use. SYS-ED's long term strategy is to have its courseware recognized as a NRV: Nationally Recognized Vendor.
Enrollment is requires a consultation with the manager sending the employee for the training. The prospective trainee needs to be qualified for the course and service transmission to the client location tested: bandwidth, firewall, base operating system, software requirements, web browser, and set-up of hands-on machine exercises. SYS-ED reserves the right to deny enrollment in its courses.
SYS-ED has been conducting courses in the public domain since 1980; however, there have been changes in the laws and regulations governing computer training in the state of New York. The schedule on our websites reflects a projected time frame for licensure with the New York State Department of Education - Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision and submission and approval of curriculum.
Effective system analysis requires a holistic and integrative understanding of enterprise information technology hardware and software infrastructure and inventory of applications. In order to successfully develop and maintain software systems in a competitive and rapidly changing business environment, it will be necessary to design interactivity among enterprise applications and smaller subsystems.
The assumption is that the replacement of a system or application will build upon, improve, and interface with existing systems. A new computer system will require sufficient detail to accurately model the behavior of the current system. For the system analyst, the implication is that a system which has been optimized to a specific CPU, programming language, and database can be complex and expensive for utilization on a system that runs on a different CPU or with a different database management system.
Cost effective application modernization requires insight into business applications to identify embedded business rules, restructure and remove dead code, and understand the impacts for code changes. It also must address dimensions of architectural challenges; this includes fragmented business processes, workflows, data, and tightly coupled application architectures.
The SYS-ED staff has a multi-disciplinary skillset in commercial and hybrid open source operating environments. Our system consultant instructorsí average 30 years experience with mainframe, client/server, web programming, and development frameworks. SYS-ED recognizes and differentiates between industry standard content and specialized training. For the latter, the recommendation is to review the inventory of client applications and then have the client select or designate the examples, sample programs, and exercises.
These are the methodologies and development pardigms, that SYS-ED staff have worked with in conjunction with application development projects.
Structured analysis techniques were developed in the late 1970's by Yourdon, Demarco, Gane, and Sarson for applying a systematic approach to systems analysis. Its use of data flow diagrams and data modeling fostered the use of implementation-independent graphical notation for documentation.
Structured design is a systematic approach to program design developed in the 1970's by Constantine and Yourdon which included the use of graphical notation for effective documentation, communication, and coding guidelines.
Structured programming techniques impose a logical structure on the writing of a program. Large routines are broken down into smaller, modular routines. The use of the GOTO statement is discouraged. Certain programming statements are indented to make loops and other program logic easier to maintain and document. It also utilized structured walkthroughs.
Object oriented analysis and design is a software engineering paradigm which models a system as a group of interacting objects. Each object represents data element in the system being modeled and is characterized by its class, state, and behavior. Models can be created to capture the static structure, dynamic behavior, and run-time deployment of collaborating objects. OOA: Object oriented analysis applies object-modeling techniques to analyze the functional requirements for a system. OOD: Object oriented design elaborates the analysis models to produce implementation specifications.
An object oriented system is composed of objects. The behavior of the system results from the collaboration of those objects. The implementation of message sending varies depending on the architecture of the system being modeled, and the location of the objects being communicated with.
Workshops can incorporate an on the job training component in which we teach and provide insights on the original design and methodologies.
Subject matter from these courses can be selected by the client organization for inclusion in programming language, system software, and application develpment training.
Web Development and Internet Programming
Mobile Platform Programming
SYS-ED training programs have been developed in response to requests by Fortune 1000 companies, government municipalities, and healthcare providers for training specific to their information technology infrastructure and operational objectives. Integrated training programs range from 2 to 8 weeks in duration. Programs can be delivered by a subject matter expert in a classroom or in a distance-learning format over the Internet.
Legacy Programming Languages
Programming Languages Courses
SYS-ED's programming language courses are tough, but they're worth it. Our programming language training is used by Fortune 1000 companies, government municipalities, healthcare providers, software houses, and consulting companies to meet their staffing requirements and acquire specialized skillsets. 4
Teaching is Our Business
SYS-ED instructors combine teaching skills with programming experience: methodologies, design, coding, debugging, and optimization. After a course, they are available to answer questions.
Enrollment - SYS-ED Programming Languages Courses are Not for Everyone
Programming Languages Distance-learning or at Your Office