Natural / Adabas modernization

Automated, incremental transformation to Java and relational database

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Blu Age safely and efficiently transforms your legacy Natural / Adabas applications to maintainable Java using a RDBMS

The challenge


Many organizations still running Natural/Adabas applications face the following challenges:

  • Mainframe Brain Drain: Mainframe programmers are retiring and young programmers aren't learning the legacy technologies they need to understand to replace them. Although Software AG has developed NaturalONE, an Eclipse-based IDE, to make Natural more approachable to younger programmers, Natural and ADABAS SMEs are becoming harder and harder to find.
  • The limitations of a non-relational database: The inverted index architecture of ADABAS offers fast retrieval speeds, but it cannot handle the data maintenance needs of many companies, especially as they move toward real-time processing.
  • Licensing and maintenance Fees: Migration to modern, open architectures can dramatically reduce the fees you pay for proprietary platforms.

With Blu Age, quickly eliminate your ADABAS database and incrementally modernize your Natural code


Blu Age has put together a unique solution that combines an immediate database migration with an incremental modernization of the legacy code (Natural, COBOL, etc.). Once the database is migrated to a modern, relational architecture, a middleware solution is used to allow the legacy applications to write to the modernized database in real time. An incremental, iterative approach can then be utilized to modernize the code. This best-of-breed approach, combined with Blu Age automation and tooling increases quality and gives you modernization benefits early in the project.

Why modernize with Blu Age?


During the last decade, we have refined and project-verified an iterative, automated, incremental approach with modern DevOps practices for application modernization from Natural / Adabas architectures to Java / RDBMS that ensures projects are successful.

Each project starts with an 8 week POC, during which the transformation engine is fine-tuned to ensure compliance with our customer's code quality requirements. Blu Age uses an automated migration process to increase speed and accuracy-providing at least a 400% productivity gain over a hand coding conversion. The process is incremental, breaking the project into logical subsets that can be modernized, tested, and delivered to the customer separately. As a result, it reduces the risk of failure associated with a so-called "big bang" implementation. At project start, leveraging SmartDCI by PKS, Adabas is converted to either Db2 or Oracle against which the transformed Java programs are run. The remaining Natural, COBOL, PL/1 or Assembler programs are still running against the Adabas with no impact to performance.

The cornerstone of our approach is "like-for-like" functionality to ensure that the transformation process did not jeopardize the business functionality of the legacy even if the UX may change. "Like-for-like" means that the functionalities of the modernized application will preserve the fundamental business logic built into the system through years of Natural / Adabas development. Our experience with modernization projects shows that it is critical to follow this principle of functional equivalence during the initial transformation from Natural / Adabas. This provides a modernized application that is 100% free from its technological debt and has been functionally validated by complete testing. Any additional enhancements like changes in the screens flows can be implemented in the new language. This approach does not require the resource-intensive process of creation or recreation of detailed requirements specifications, functional design and relevant test cases for acceptance as it would be required in a classical waterfall approach.