What if you could take your RPG programs and hey presto! have them converted into .NET and instantly sell your product to the rest of the world. This would be a boon to AS/400 vendors locked into the small(ish) AS/400 market. The advantage is that the original product is likely a mature business proven system which can provide a critical edge against the deluge of competition once in the new windows space. While webfacing does provide a web front end to applications and is great for hosted models it does not help customers who are windows only and want windows only software.
Granted companies need to migrate on the competition level . However, all the supposed advantages such as performance, cost savings, availability of talent etc sounds hollow to long time AS/400 owners. Anecdotally we know that the uptime for the AS/400 is absolutely stunning compared to windows. It's super stable and extremely reliable. At windows only shops instead of maintaining one iSeries server and a handful of windows server you end up maintaining 20-30 windows servers for a small organization. But like I said, it's about getting your product out to a bigger market.
A big issue with migration products is that often your migrated solution will not be able to operate without them. Yikes!
I'll be doing a review of these migration products once I get my hands on them but in the meantime here's an overview. Click the title to go to the product website.
Well, the boys and girls at TranSoft claim that they can convert your old F-specs, c-specs to .NET . I would love to see the code generated (post a sample in comments pleez). They claim that CL and RPG will be converted to C#. Not only that they can take the DB2 tables and migrate them to SQL server. Not everything can be converted directly of course and the end result looks much like a 5250 application.
Without having the product available to me I can't give it the thumbs up or down but if you have any experience with this tool, please drop a comment.
Remember Synon? The hot product of 20 years ago is now trying to be cool. They have jiggered a way to migrate from CA2E (Synon) to Plex which uses .NET. Sounds complicated. If you've tried it, drop me a line.
ASNA Monarch and AVR for .NET
ASNA monarch is a code converter that creates RPG for .NET while AVR is a Visual Studio add-in that allows RPG for .NET (an ASNA creation) development and compiles as a .net app. Seems like these two products have the same product base. The only feedback I've seen on this product is that there is no code completion, no automatic layout and ctl-z doesn't work. Your comments pls.
Lansa Ramp and the rest
There are a bunch of other sticky migration tools out there that are designed to keep you using their applications. While the products above are somewhat sticky you can still migrate off them. Products like the Lansa Ramp platform is a staged migration solution that requires you to develop a an application framework using their tools, prototype it, then recreate your screens in that framework. However the end product is a Lansa architecture that you have to stick with for the rest of eternity.