November 27, 2006
Software AG has announced a new tool
designed to help organizations reduce their IT system maintenance
costs. Natural Engineer for Refactoring lets customers analyze,
restructure and streamline existing applications so they can be more
easily incorporated into new Web-based applications -- often as part of
a service-oriented architecture (SOA). The initial release can
modernize software applications written in Software AG's own
development language Natural. This is a further step in the company's
focus on providing new value to customers out of existing systems. In
the future, Software AG will extend the scope of development languages
that can be analyzed and restructured, and provide cost savings and
reuse possibilities to a broader market.
Hibernian Insurance of Ireland used Natural Engineer for Refactoring to open existing policy administration applications to Internet access by insurance brokers and by individual customers at home. Twenty-five programs were refactored in less than one month, enabling rapid deployment of the new Web-based applications. Now, 95 percent of home business policies take advantage of the new automation, far surpassing the original target of 20 percent. ROI was achieved within 13 months compared to an original estimate of nearly 4 years.
Natural Engineer for Refactoring is an add-on tool for Natural Engineer that allows users of Software AG's Natural application development software to more easily create Web services at the optimal level of granularity to be used in a service-oriented architecture. The product also allows organizations to preserve the value of their existing legacy systems by extending system functionality through an SOA -- without impacting the day-to-day system operation that is often critical to business success.
"Services of too coarse a granularity are unlikely to be reused by developers in other applications," said Ron Schmelzer, senior analyst with ZapThink LLC. "Services of too fine a granularity will hinder application performance with excessive service calls. Therefore, determining the correct level of service granularity is critical to SOA success."
Natural Engineer for Refactoring separates the business logic from the user interface. The business logic code can then be turned into one or more Web services using Software AG's crossvision Legacy Integrator or Natural Business Services. The existing Online Transaction Processing or batch user interfaces are unaffected. In addition, the service(s) created in this process will be automatically registered in Software AG's UDDI 3.0 compliant CentraSite registry and repository to provide transparency within SOA initiatives to fully control and manage these services.
Using these services, the valuable functionality of existing applications can be easily extended to the Web, B2B partner applications or automated processes within an SOA. The existing Online Transaction Processing or batch user interfaces are unaffected.
"Natural Engineer for Refactoring is a fast and safe way for customers to fully utilize the experience and investments of decades within an SOA," said Joe Gentry, vice president of Enterprise Transaction Systems for Software AG. "It is also an extremely useful tool for learning the techniques and methods needed to write new applications that are prepared to fully benefit from an SOA environment."
The product is now shipping on Windows platforms and supports refactoring of applications running on IBM and Siemens mainframes as well as UNIX, VMS and Linux platforms.
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