Chapter 10: Migration Solution Resources
This chapter refers to technical and process supporting resources available to assist the mainframe professional with migration decisions and increase familiarity with Microsoft technologies and services. As part of evaluating a migration to Windows, it is helpful to understand the available resources and services supporting Microsoft technologies.
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Technical and Process Guidance
Microsoft provides technical and process assistance in the form of prescriptive architectural guidance to support technical implementations. This guidance includes best practices on how to effectively design, develop, deploy, operate and support solutions built on Microsoft technologies.
Solution Accelerators. Solution Accelerators are comprehensive solution offerings that include prescriptive guidance and technical training combined with partner offerings from System Integrators (SIs) and ISVs. Microsoft Solutions Framework, Microsoft Operations Framework, and Windows Server System Reference Architecture are among the available offerings that highlight the best practices and architectural blueprints for implementing enterprise systems. Additional Solution Accelerators are available from the Microsoft Core Infrastructure Solutions (CIS) group; including Microsoft Solutions for Security (MSS), Microsoft Solutions for Infrastructure and Management (MSIM), and Microsoft Solution for UNIX Migration (MSUM).
For more information on Solution Accelerators, refer to:
Patterns and Practices. Microsoft Patterns and Practices provide proven architecture, production quality code, and life cycle best practices. Available guides contain prescriptive guidance on how to design, build, deploy, and operate architecturally sound solutions.
For more information on Patterns and Practices, refer to:
Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN). MSDN is a software service dedicated to supporting the application developer by providing tools, training, product downloads, and platform and server technologies. Included on MSDN is a list of all of the Patterns and Practices for Application Architecture and Design available. This prescriptive guidance delivers application building blocks and enterprise solution patterns to the developer community.
For more information on MSDN, refer to:
TechNet. TechNet is an online information and community resource designed to support the IT Professional. TechNet provides a wide variety of technical content including resource-kits, how-to articles, product updates, tools and software tools for deploying and managing a Microsoft Windows infrastructure.
For more information on TechNet, refer to:
Consulting and Product Support Services
Microsoft provides consultation and product support services for a wide variety of IT issues, whether for migration, consolidation, system tuning, development support, or application support.
Microsoft Consulting Services. Consulting services combine the knowledge and resources of Microsoft with the support of an extensive network of partners, allowing customers to evaluate the possibility of implementing complex technologies within an organization.
For more information on Microsoft Consulting Services, refer to:
Microsoft Product Support Services. This customer support service delivers Knowledge Base articles, software updates and downloads, service packs, and technical support through phone or online assistance.
For more information on Microsoft Product Support Services, refer to:
Microsoft offers a variety of courses for professionals who support, implement and develop solutions using Microsoft technologies. Training options are available in course, workshop, clinic, seminar and online format.
Microsoft Official Curriculum (MOC). Microsoft has developed training and certification courses designed to educate customers on how to optimize Microsoft products and technologies.
For more information on MOC, refer to:
Microsoft Certification Training. This program provides certification courses from Microsoft for professionals who have the skills and knowledge to successfully implement a Microsoft product or technology as part of a business solution in an organization.
For more information on Microsoft Certification Training, refer to:
Online Courses. Microsoft offers an online training option for learning about Microsoft products and technologies. These courses are designed for professionals unable to attend onsite training sessions.
For more information on online courses, refer to:
The Microsoft Partner Community is comprised of software and service partners who provide complementary technologies and support for Microsoft products. By assisting and collaborating with this global network of SIs and ISVs, Microsoft is able to provide the highest level of service and customer experience to the IT Professional and Application Developer.
When migrating off the mainframe to the Windows platform environment, Microsoft partners can provide consulting services as well as tools to help the migration. For example, Windows Server compatible compilers and runtimes are available for almost any mainframe language, with COBOL as the most prevalent third-generation language (3GL) for legacy mainframe applications. Microsoft partners have created tools such as COBOL compilers specifically designed to support mainframe migration to the .NET development environment. Two prominent vendors of COBOL compilers that have been used to migrate mainframe systems to the .NET environment are:
Fujitsu Software Corporation
Micro Focus International Limited
Many of the larger Systems Integrators have mainframe migration practices, including
Electronic Data Systems Corporation
These companies, plus a host of other Microsoft partners with services or tools to help with a mainframe migration process, have joined together to form the Mainframe Migration Alliance (MMA). They jointly maintain a website:
Mainframe Migration Alliance
At this site, customers can find descriptions of these companies’ offerings, copies of white papers or case studies, and contact information.