Natural Adabas Migrations

Many of today’s mainframe applications that were developed in Software AG Natural and Adabas are still mission critical and continue to deliver significant benefits to the organizations that use and rely upon them. Nevertheless, the Total Cost of Ownership and technological risk associated with these applications have now escalated to unsustainable levels.  

Astadia’s automated CodeTurn solution provides an opportunity to liberate these valuable and reliable business systems. CodeTurn removes the legacy applications dependency upon non-strategic, obsolete technologies and enables them to be integrated with state-of-the-art components.

Natural and Adabas can be converted to Java, C# or COBOL.

Customers may opt to convert Natural to COBOL, and Adabas to DB2 and remain on their IBM z/OS Mainframe.

Other clients pursue a conversion of their Natural/Adabas applications to object oriented Java or C# in a public or private cloud platform.

Explore CodeTurn's capabilities.

Solution Highlights

CodeTurn takes any application developed in Adabas or Natural and automatically converts it into a fully identical application, designed to run within an alternative environment on the same platform, or a different platform altogether. The new application is completely free of dependencies on Adabas/Natural technology and uses modern and industry standard development tools instead, such as Java, .NET and COBOL, to allow flexible application integration and extension.

Migrate From Anywhere

The transformation process utilizes Natural’s SYSTRANS output format in order to migrate the Natural artifacts. This approach largely isolates the Natural conversion from the underlying system, therefore every Natural platform is supported, i.e. IBM Mainframe (z/OS, MVS), Fujitsu Technology Solutions BS2000/OSD and Unix.

Migrate To Anywhere

The converted Natural application can run on either IBM Mainframe or Open Systems running Linux, Unix or Windows (LUW), or in the Cloud. The chosen target platform is simply selected as a configuration option during the conversion process.

When the target platform is LUW, additional Astadia tools handle the transformation of other source types, such as JCL, Assembler and COBOL programs, ensuring that the entire application runs on the new platform.

Client Technology Compatibility

End-users can connect to the application with either a web‑browser, their current Terminal Emulator, or a Java Swing/WPF client. The fact that the Terminal Emulator can optionally be retained for connection to the migration application enables the switch-over to be 100% transparent to end-users.

Many Natural mainframe applications are enhanced or integrated through third party screen-scraping technology. Astadia's solution provides byte-to-byte compatibility with the existing mainframe protocols making the screen-scrapers stay compatible even on Open Systems.

Enhanced User Interface

The application’s character-based user interface is converted into a modern, open Java or .NET front-end that can be maintained using standard development tools like Eclipse and Visual Studio. Following the migration, developers can enhance the converted Natural Maps with graphical components such as drop-down fields, checkboxes and data lists.


For any migration project, and especially those that target a Mainframe platform, performance and CPU consumption are crucial acceptance criteria, because they directly impact the Total Cost of Ownership of an application. When migrating Adabas & Natural applications, we ensure that two significant objectives are achieved:

  1. Sub-second response time for end-users
  2. Optimized CPU utilization (MIPS)

Automated Testing

Testing is an essential step in every Adabas & Natural migration. At Astadia, we use TestMatch to ensure the correctness of the process and to reduce the time and effort needed to complete the project:

  • TestMatch avoids the requirement to manually create test scenarios for the complete application
  • It limits the application end-user involvement in the project to acceptance testing
Learn more about the capabilities of TestMatch

Adabas/Natural Artifact Mappings and Maintenance

Different options are available for migrating Adabas & Natural artifacts, falling in two main categories: Object-Oriented (OO) solution and COBOL solution.

1. Object-Oriented Target

In today’s market, Object-Oriented code typically equates to either Java or .NET code that runs on LUW platforms.

Because the practice of code reuse through copycodes is no longer supported in modern languages such as Java and C#, the mapping of it may require inline code in the OO target.
After migration, all code is maintained using standard, industry leading development tools such as Visual Studio (for .NET code) or Eclipse (for Java code).

2. COBOL Target

COBOL target code runs on either IBM Mainframe or Open Systems. The table below summarizes how all Adabas/Natural object types are converted into a COBOL counterpart.

After migration, all COBOL code is maintained using standard development tools on the chosen platform. Predefined maps can be maintained using a WYSIWYG editor such as Eclipse or Visual Studio, to further facilitate application integration and modernization.

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