Today, many organizations running COBOL applications are exploring options to move these applications to object-oriented Java applications. Many options are available, such as rewriting the code, reengineering mainframe applications, extracting business logic, or using automated conversion tools.

Automated technology to convert COBOL applications to object-oriented languages is a practical approach to modernization. Customers often pursue this approach with millions of lines of code and tens of thousands of COBOL programs. Fully automated refactoring tooling can ensure successful mainframe modernization projects with a high return on investment.

In this article, we’ll provide a high-level overview of Astadia’s approach to automate the migration of mainframe workloads to the Google Cloud Platform.

The Importance of a Mainframe Assessment

IBM and Unisys mainframe applications are mission critical systems. These legacy systems are often not documented, with decades-old code, and the people who wrote these applications have usually moved on years ago. As a result, a high-quality and thorough mainframe assessment is an important first step.

Tools such as Micro Focus Enterprise Analyzer and Astadia’s mainframe analysis tooling offer a rich insight into legacy applications.

A complete assessment will offer many reports and analyses, but the primary goals of the assessment phase are to:

  • Establish the modernization strategy
  • Accurately define the scope and build a project plan
  • Document the legacy applications

Proven Methodology

Astadia follows the same methodology for each project, ensuring the migration is completed as fast as possible while minimizing risk. Astadia FastTrack accelerates mainframe to cloud projects and allows us to manage risks associated with digital transformation effectively. FastTrack enables complex cross-platform migration of core business applications while routine maintenance occurs without interruption.

Target Platform

Google Cloud Platform is a popular target for enterprise customers migrating COBOL applications and other legacy technologies off the IBM Mainframe.

Below is a high-level reference architecture of a mainframe to cloud deployment on GCP with Astadia.

The newly transformed applications run natively on Google Cloud. Astadia technology does not rely on emulators or sandboxed applications.

Our tooling keeps the transformed code concise, readable, and maintainable, without code bloat, centralizing code sections within libraries and software services. These become an integral part of the generated code, delivered in source code format. There is no vendor lock-in, and newly written code does not need to rely upon the source libraries.

There are many benefits of migrating IBM Mainframe applications to Google Cloud Platform. Some customers are pursuing cost savings, and typically a mainframe to cloud migration results in 60-80% annual cost reductions.

For others, migrating mainframe applications to Java is a way to address mainframe talent and skills shortage.

For even more customers, these migrations are strategic. For example, customers often want to leverage analytical capabilities and benefit from Google Cloud’s machine learning solutions. To take a detailed look at what Google Cloud Platform can enable for your legacy workloads, check out their website here.

In conclusion, a COBOL to Java migration(or .NET) can effectively reduce costs, modernize in the cloud, and address growing talent shortages. To learn more about best practices and receive detailed information, use our Contact Us form to get in touch.

IBM Mainframe to Google Cloud Platform


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