MTA Takes Blue Line for COBOL To Java

cobol to java, legacy modernization

The team at Modern Systems is proud to announce another new COBOL to Java customer, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The MTA is a New York public authority and public benefit corporation that provides transportation services in the NY Metropolitan region through its operating agencies, namely:

  • New York City Transit (subways)
  • Long Island Railroad
  • Metro-North Railroad
  • Bridges and Tunnels
  • Staten Island Railway
  • Capital Construction Company
  • MTA Bus Company

The MTA is running an IBM mainframe.  Part of their overall IT strategy for reducing cost and risk includes moving critical applications off of the legacy mainframe environment to newer, more flexible and cost-effective platforms.  The first selected for modernization is called IMPACT (Integrated Management of Payment Accounting and Capital Tracking), a batch process application.  IMPACT is built in COBOL, leveraging VSAM as the data tier.

MTA, cobol to java, bluephoenix

MTA considered the option to re-host the IMPACT application in a COBOL container on a newer platform, but preferred the alternative of converting the IMPACT application from COBOL to Java for improved future maintainability, flexibility, cost-effectiveness and support.  The converted environment will enhance MTA’s position to provide improved, cost-effective services to its customers.  The data tier will be converted from VSAM to Oracle Database.

Moving from COBOL to Java

Going from COBOL to Java isn’t a trivial undertaking. Understanding all levels of functionality and relationships is essential for success. Modern Systems will start with Legacy Forensics to assess the application’s technical inventory and risk factors. Then, we’ll work with MTA to finalize test strategies and critical factors to validate equivalent functionality between the source and target systems.

A critical part of any modernization project is testing the existing application, capturing the results of the testing, and repeating this testing on the migrated application to ensure the results are the same. It is always helpful if business people who actually use the applications are involved in the testing, though some testing will need to be specified by IT staff to ensure background processes that users do not have knowledge of are also tested. The fact that the migration is 100% automated means that any errors found during testing will most likely be common to similar code in other parts of the application.  This leads to a testing approach which tests all major items at a high level and then some specific items at a much lower level. Making sure the test scripts that are used cover the right scenarios is a vital part of the project’s success and problem-free migrated applications.

Once IMPACT is successfully converted from COBOL to Java and tested, Modern Systems will also provide training for MTA’s developer team, ensuring a quick adoption of the modernized application.

Modern Systems uses unique and highly developed software and specialized expertise to facilitate COBOL to Java conversions in a manner that reduces the cost, timeline, and minimizes risk.  To learn more about our services, click here.


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