Application Consolidation

Companies are rapidly consolidating their technology stacks to reduce costs and maximize IT performance. Our Application Consolidation solution leverages our Automated Refactoring technology to transform relatively obscure languages such as Natural, CA Gen and ADSO to a common COBOL dialect. This reduces the complexity and footprint of your mainframe source code. Our solution also decreases costs by eliminating licensing fees and reducing risks associated with a shrinking talent pool capable of maintaining these less-common languages.

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Discussing the 2022 Mainframe Modernization Report

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Why modernize?


Scarcity of domain expertise

Developers who understand obscure application development languages meant for the mainframe are reaching retirement age and no one is being trained to replace them, resulting in a steadily diminishing talent pool. As this shortage grows, the costs and risk of relying on these languages will continue to rise.

Limited flexibility

Companies are rapidly moving to modern environments and practices such as DevOps and the Cloud. The mainframe and the underlying applications and databases that support it were not designed for modern IT. This results in difficult integrations and limited flexibility.

Exorbitant costs

Mainframes cost as much as 4,500 per cent more to operate than equivalent Cloud counterparts. This figure is compounded by rising licensing and maintenance fees for ancillary mainframe applications and databases. 

Application Consolidation


Many organizations are looking to reduce costs and minimize the risk of a shrinking talent pool by extricating their existing mainframe applications from beneath the weight of relatively obscure languages such as Natural, CA Gen and ADSO. In some cases, the goal is to retain the mainframe and reduce complexity. In other cases, rehosting offers a way to shift applications away from the mainframe infrastructure and into a more modern, cost-effective Cloud environment. In both instances, our Application Consolidation solution is paramount to success.


Our Application Consolidation solution includes the assessment, refactoring, and optimization of 4GL and procedural codebases to COBOL for maximum maintainability. For example, languages such as CA Telon or Natural, which can be intermingled with COBOL on the mainframe, can be consolidated to COBOL. This eliminates licensing fees and simplifies maintenance of your mainframe application estate. Refactored COBOL code and BMS / MFS maps can be edited and extended using standard development tools, following the same component and naming structure as the original application (even comments are preserved). Developers familiar with the source environment should easily be able to recognize business logic in the refactored COBOL.


Rehosting, sometimes referred to as replatforming, is ideal for companies whose applications are still meeting their business needs, and who therefore wish to retain their core application development skills while moving away from non-relational databases and expensive mainframe infrastructure. With rehosting, application source code is migrated onto modern, distributed platforms, either on-premises or in the Cloud, without change. Underlying legacy databases are migrated to relational models, configured to seamlessly interact with your applications via the rehosting platform.

Rehosting solutions are optimized to operate with a core application language such as COBOL. These core languages are retained and rehosted into the target environment of your choice. We leverage our Application Consolidation solution to refactor other application languages within the same estate into the selected, single optimized language. For example, languages such as CA Telon or Assembler, which can be intermingled with COBOL on the mainframe, can be consolidated to COBOL and rehosted, eliminating licensing fees and simplifying maintenance of your application on the rehosting platform.

Automated Refactoring

Our Automated Refactoring software powers the Application Consolidation solution, preserving the benefits of legacy systems while empowering organizations to leverage the advantages of a consolidated application stack, whether on or off-mainframe. Many mainframe application transformation solutions create structurally similar programs in the target language but require additional re-engineering efforts to yield desired results.

Our Automated Refactoring software is built for customization, enabling our team of modernization experts to fine-tune the tooling rather than the code it produces. This ensures adherence to standards and best practices across the estate. Our Application Consolidation solution was designed with the following requirements in mind:

  • Refactored applications must remain functionally equivalent to their original counterparts

  • Refactored applications must operate independent of third party licensing, libraries, and constraints

  • Refactored applications must be easily maintainable

  • Refactored applications should perform as well as, or better than, the original applications

First, our Automated Refactoring software deconstructs the legacy codebase to isolate source code and classify down to the field level. It then refactors the assets using customized rules based on customer requirements and standards. Remarkably, this turnkey solution retains your valuable business logic without requiring code freezes or additional licensing.

The refactoring process includes flow normalization, code restructuring, data layer extraction, data remodeling, and packaging for reconstruction. Cloned code is identified and common replacements created – simplifying maintenance and manageability, while complex data and control dependency analysis is used to locate and remove dead code. Upon reconstruction, new code structures are generated and deployed into the target environment.

Once the applications are refactored, developers can extend application functionality across the entire estate using the same standard tools and concepts. Precious business logic from the refactored codebase is preserved, making it easy for developers to maintain the refactored code.

Over 35 years of mainframe modernization experience

More than 500 successful modernization projects completed

Over 2.5 billion lines of code refactored through automation

Intelligent modernization, unparalleled experience


Additional resources to help you modernize



Data Migration: Liberate legacy data

This whitepaper outlines the challenge of data locked in legacy systems, the options for solving them, and a breakdown of our solutions.

Read whitepaper





Optimization: Now that's Progressive

Progressive optimized their application portfolio through mainframe field expansion due to an increasing number of policyholders and expanded status.

Read case study





2022 Mainframe Modernization Report

Exploring the impact of the new era of digitalization and change on the current state of legacy systems and organizations' modernization plans.

Read report



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Dec 02, 2022 by Tim Jones, Managing Director of Application Modernization, Advanced

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Oct 21, 2022 by Tim Jones, Managing Director of Application Modernization, Advanced

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Jun 10, 2022 by Rob Anderson, Vice President of Marketing and Product, Advanced

News & Opinions

BLOG // 13-02-2024

How DevOps is influencing mainframe modernization strategies

by Tim Jones, Managing Director - Application Modernization

How DevOps is influencing mainframe modernization strategies