Caution urged on integrating legacy systems

Due to vendor attrition and confusing product suites, Meta Group has warned users to exercise caution when choosing products for integrating legacy systems into current and future architectures.

Enterprise data centre strategies program director Mark Vanston said organisations have begun to displace traditional emulation products via thin-client and legacy data componentisation is fast becoming a reality.

He said IT shops are also beginning their final assault on monolithic legacy applications by developing re-engineering strategies needed for application integration.

"We believe long-term analysis should be directed past simple e-legacy extension cost toward analyzing application integration servers," he said.

In evaluating traditional vendor offerings, Meta claims users should examine technologies that provide a modular approach to accessing legacy data .

Thus, an important criterion in evaluating a vendor is future direction in terms of componentisation and application integration.

Vanston said one of the few bright lights in the host access arena is IBM which continues to improve its Host On-Demand offering which offers multiple integration points with WebSphere.

"By concentrating on providing robust connectors to back-end systems without over-emphasising the thin-client approach (which all vendors have), IBM has successfully gained market share and now controls more than 50 per cent of the Web-to-host market," he said.

"Until Microsoft can evolve its product suites to be competitive, few competitors will be able to challenge IBM in this space."

Meta said organisations committing to a .Net architecture or needing more specialised approaches (such as,CICS to XML) will still be best served by other specialty vendors.

During the next two years Vanstone said only vendors with strong financials will be able to successfully exploit the legacy data access market.

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