Legacy PL/I Migration

Our Automated PL/I Migration solution delivers modern Cloud-enabled applications and databases that are functionally equivalent to their legacy counterparts, eliminating the hassle and expense of PL/I and the mainframe. This reduces cost, allows for deeper integration, and enables customization to meet business requirements.

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Know the details, reduce the risk: How to begin your mainframe modernization journey 

47 minutes

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Why modernize?


Scarcity of domain expertise

Developers who understand PL/I and mainframe technology are reaching retirement age and no one is trained to replace them, resulting in a steadily diminishing talent pool. As this shortage grows, the costs and risk of relying on PL/I will continue to rise.

Limited flexibility

Companies are rapidly moving to modern environments and practices such as DevOps and the Cloud. PL/I and the underlying systems that support it were not designed for modern IT, resulting in difficult integrations and limited flexibility.


Exorbitant costs

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

Automated PL/I Refactoring


Our Automated Refactoring solution provides a turnkey modernization of your PL/I codebase to object-oriented Java or C#, and your associated mainframe databases to relational models deployed to the Cloud or on premises. This preserves the benefits of legacy systems while empowering organizations to leverage the advantages of newer platforms. It unlocks a whole new world of quality and scalability from automated testing to quality assurance, and the ability to leverage containerized deployments and orchestration with Docker and Kubernetes.

  • Refactored applications must remain functionally equivalent to their original counterparts
  • Refactored applications must be easily maintainable, attain SonarQube A ratings, and follow object-oriented concepts and paradigms
  • Refactored applications should perform as well as, or better than, the original applications
  • Refactored applications should be Cloud-ready and delivered using a standard DevOps toolchain and best practices

Our Automated PL/I Refactoring solution delivers modern Cloud-enabled applications that are functionally equivalent, and can be extended and maintained using any modern IDE. The solution supports all aspects of mainframe-based PL/I applications, including databases (e.g., Db2, IDMS, IMS, and VSAM), TP monitors (e.g., CICS, IMS TM), JCL and supporting utilities (e.g., IDCAMS, SORT, etc.).

Automated PL/I Refactoring revolves around an iterative incremental methodology. An initial refactoring pass of the PL/I code is performed to determine the level of program remediation necessary to perfect results. The solution also allows for customization of rules in all phases of the refactoring process according to specific customer requests for target architecture and code syntax. Individual customer requirements are incorporated back into the tooling after each pass, and the result is functional equivalence with maximum readability and performance.

PL/I refactoring presents unique challenges including the handling of pre-processor statements like %DECLARE, %INCLUDE, %IF - %THEN - %ELSE, %DO - %END, etc. Pre-processor's separate program and include file construct has to be preserved, otherwise overall maintainability of the target application will suffer. When PL/I source contains pre-processor statements, the source code is different from the code passed to the PL/I compiler. The pre-processor statements are executed just before the compile and may alter the source code by adding or removing code parts. Our Automated PL/I Refactoring solution uses a combination of sources before and after pre-processing, which allows complete coverage of PL/I functionality, improving the maintainability of the refactored code.

Once the PL/I applications and databases are refactored, Java and C# developers can extend application functionality for Cloud optimization using standard DevOps tools and CI/CD concepts that simply aren’t available for mainframe applications. Precious business logic from the legacy system is preserved, while levels of optimization can be applied to deliver efficiencies and business benefits such as elasticity, granular service definition, and easy integration with Cloud-native services.

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Over 35 years of PL/I and 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 insights to help you modernize


  • It’s no fun living with PL/I

    This whitepaper details the business case, challenges and solution for moving PL/I applications to a modern platform.

    Read whitepaper
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  • Fiserv I Information Technology

    Financial services technology provider modernized its Galaxy platform. The project reduced the risk of failure, eliminated vendor lock-in and lowered operating costs.

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  • 2021 Mainframe Modernization Report

    Report Read report
  • Liberate legacy data

    Whitepaper Read whitepaper
  • Live Discussion: The 2021 Mainframe Modernization Business Barometer Report

    Webinar Watch on demand
  • How cloud migration can help your organization to go green

    Blog Read blog

News & Opinions

BLOG // 31-08-2022

COBOL Modernization Assessment: A Technical Inventory

by Rob Anderson, Vice President of Marketing and Product for Application Modernization

COBOL Modernization Assessment: A Technical Inventory

Webinar Recap: Surviving IDMS modernization

Data, data accessibility, data security and the reduction in the expense of accessing aging data is at the very top of everybody’s list. We spoke to o…

by Rob Anderson, Vice President of Marketing and Product for Application Modernization

BLOG // 19-08-2022
Webinar Recap: Surviving IDMS modernization

Data Security & Application Modernization

Data security is an increasing concern for organizations across the globe, and it is also a major driver for selecting modernization strategies and cl…

by Rob Anderson, Vice President of Marketing and Product for Application Modernization

BLOG // 30-06-2022
Data Security & Application Modernization