Adabas Modernization: Choices and Best Practices

11/08/2021 minute read Rob Anderson

A broad view of organizational data is vital for management reporting, business intelligence, analytics, and decision support. But what happens when critical data from important lines of business is locked up in a legacy system, technically incompatible with modern data management solutions? Dealing with non-relational databases has long been the domain of specialist DBAs. Now it's impacting the business, preventing a full view of the organizational data necessary to make decisions.

Business demands for better reporting, integration with mobile, social, analytics and cloud platforms have exposed the inefficiency of maintaining an Adabas platform, which can no longer compete with open systems in time to development, scalability, and cost. The combination of these factors in addition to the prohibitive expense of Adabas platforms is driving change.

Old Data vs. Big Data

Database modernization efforts worldwide are being driven by Business Intelligence (BI) reporting and the processes that support it. BI systems integrate data across the enterprise, equipping corporate decision makers with the information they need to maintain and improve business performance, successfully scale as their businesses grow, and identify and implement new business initiatives and strategies. BI has been a key driver of as companies are moving quickly to leverage data warehousing capabilities for competitive advantage.

Advanced’s Solution for Adabas Migration

The Advanced Adabas migration solution includes the generation of a new relational database to replace the functionality, multiple-occurring fields and groups, and other data element structures that are currently part of the Adabas inverted list database. The new target database can reside on or off the mainframe and can use any of the standard relational database management systems (RDBMS): Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, or IBM Db2. Advanced also handles refactoring of the applications that use the Adabas data. We can refactor Natural, COBOL, Assembler, Easytrieve, JCL and Procs for Adabas applications.

Replacement of Adabas Database Functionality

The Advanced solution provides a complete replacement for all Adabas database functionality including MU and PE management, ISN usage, super descriptors, sub descriptors and more. The resulting database is fully relational. Primary keys and index definitions are automatically created. All constraints are generated into the resulting DDL. Table spaces, indexes, table names and column names are all generated according to your naming standards.

Adabas to SQL Server Data Migration

The Adabas data extract and relational load process is simple, straightforward, and fast. Advanced can provide several extract variations for sites that have special requirements for a short Adabas data migration window. Advanced can also enable additional capabilities for tailoring your Adabas migration so that the new database meets your needs and requirements:

  • Re-name Workbenches to allow full naming of all tables, columns, table spaces and indexes using a rules basis or a full-name basis
  • Data Cleansing Workbench to provide rule-based data cleansing during the Adabas data extract process
  • Date Refactoring Workbench to allow the specification of the format of Adabas date fields along with the individual Adabas date field minimum and maximum values so that the DATE type specification can be used in relational databases (all date formats are supported)
  • Element Rename Workbench which allows selection of group level or elementary Adabas fields for use as columns in the relational database
  • Record Re-Definition Workbench to allow changes to field types and lengths during the relational refactoring

Migration Isn't Your Only Choice: Rehosting Natural and Adabas

Advanced also offers a Natural/Adabas rehosting solution that allows end users to continue interacting with the legacy system through familiar screens while processing against a new relational database. Natural developers continue to maintain and enhance the application through an improved interface. Rehosting with our Application Transparency Platform (ATP®) is an alternative solution to automated refactoring of the original Natural codebase into an object-oriented target. This is the lowest-risk and fastest way to escape expensive Adabas license fees without disrupting users, developers, or support resources. The Natural syntax from your existing applications is moved to the target environment and executes as a rich client. Natural source code resides as data in a database and can be accessed, changed, debugged, and executed using a workbench designed specifically for Natural developers. The rehosting engine reads the Natural syntax as data and interprets the processing at a byte level to produce results that are identical to Natural that executes in the mainframe environment. All Adabas databases are converted to the RDBMS of your choice, and each resulting relational database will have the same functionality and traversal capabilities as the current Adabas database. We offer two options for rehosting Natural applications:

  • On Mainframe: migrate your Adabas data to Db2 for z/OS and rehost the Natural applications in the rehosting environment
  • Off Mainframe: migrate your Adabas data to the RDBMS of your choice and rehost the Natural applications in the rehosting environment

This solution brings with it a full development platform, enabling application documentation, debugging, dual run-mode execution, version control, and enhanced features beyond the original programming language environment. No Software AG licenses are required for processing the Natural syntax, and no Software AG licenses are required for processing the new relational databases or for the execution of the COBOL or C#/Java batch programs that are converted to process against the new database.

Further Resources