Using RPA to migrate a Mainframe App to AWS Cloud in two minutes

October 17th, 2021
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Blurr is the fastest Autobot on the planet. We toyed (pun intended) with the idea of labeling Heirloom Computing’s use of robotic process automation (RPA) under the Blurr moniker but decided (sensibly, I think) that it would dilute our existing branding. Nonetheless, with a nod to the descendent of a Cybertronic racehorse, we’re excited to present what we believe is a stunning demonstration of how Heirloom® and Probe™ use RPA to orchestrate the entire process of taking a workload directly from an IBM Mainframe and migrating it to AWS, with one-click, in two-minutes.

So let me just spell that out – we’re going to directly connect to a mainframe end-point, and with one-click, in two-minutes we will collect the target application’s inventory, refactor the COBOL/CICS code to Java, migrate the VSAM data to an AWS RDS database, and deploy a working application to AWS Elastic Beanstalk.

Before I go on to outline how we achieved this, please watch the following 4-minute video demonstration – it’s worth it! Everything in this video is in real-time. The actual process itself, from start to finish, takes just 2m5s.

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Heirloom’s core technology is compiler-based, which means it can accurately refactor (or transpile, if you prefer) millions of lines of COBOL and PL/1 code in minutes. And just like any other compiler, including the ones that run on the mainframe, you get exactly the results you coded for – no excuses. Heirloom’s Data Migration Toolkit handles the migration of mainframe datasets (such as VSAM, Sequential, DB/2 & IMS) to any JDBC compliant relational database, without needing to make any changes to the original application source code. These tasks, and many others, are scripted using the application-specific metadata extracted during inventory collection & analysis.

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Does this orchestration work for every mainframe application? We’re not going to make that claim today. There are already too many other solutions in this arena that over-promise and under-deliver, even on the basic table-stakes requirement of replicating existing function & behavior.

However, our commitment to applying RPA for extreme levels of automation covering all aspects of migrating complex mainframe workloads, does define our roadmap at the highest level.

For our clients, compiler-based transformation augmented with RPA translates to the fastest lowest-risk project delivery, with an accelerated ROI.

To understand why leading companies in financial services, insurance, retail, healthcare, and government agencies, are embracing Heirloom, read how Venerable achieved escape velocity and saved $1M every month when replatforming their mainframe workloads as agile cloud-native Java applications on AWS, or how mainframe applications can scale horizontally with outstanding performance on highly-available cloud infrastructures like AWS Elastic Beanstalk.