• Jaguar Land Rover avoid purchasing an expensive licence by converting 4GL to COBOL/CICS. read more...
  • Irish Life avoid hefty Cincom licence fees by migrating systems from Mantis to COBOL / CICS. read more...
  • Somerfield avoid Cincom skills shortage by migrating key systems in Mantis to COBOL / CICS. read more...

Mantis Migration Overview

TSG Software uses an automated process to migrate Mantis applications into structured Cobol CICS applications.

We have performed Mantis migrations at over twenty clients. Two recent Case Studies, Somerfield and Irish Life and Permanent, are on the right hand side of this page.

We convert Mantis programs into pseudo conversational Cobol CICS programs on a one for one basis.

We read in the screen layout, program logic and data access information for the entire application, this is processed by the migration engine which creates a functionally equivalent application in efficient CICS COBOL using, BMS and appropriate data access calls.

We preserve the comments, data and paragraph/section names, flow, overall structure of the original program, so that the new code is still familiar to staff charged with maintaining it..

Since the Mantis conversion is automated, this structure is constant throughout the application code. Once the programmer understands the structure of the code in one program, he will understand them all.

As all the new programs are supplied as COBOL source code with BMS screens and copy books, there are NO LICENCE fees for our code (although a Cobol Compiler is required).

For an initial estimate of costs for a conversion project , you need to tell us the number of Mantis programs, the total number of lines of code and which databases you are accessing. If you can tell us how many Mantis screens there are, that will improve the accuracy of the estimate.

BUT. Do you know how many of your Mantis programs are actually used ?

Mantis does not allow you to see which programs are actually being executed and clients typically have redundant programs in their production environments. We have techniques that will help you identify which programs are active, but you must then decide whether the programs that are not active can be discarded or archived as text files for possible later conversion.

Benefits of migration

Migration Process

The first step is for us to perform a full analysis of your application code. You must ensure that your licence agreement permits you to do this – call us if you are not sure what this means.

This analysis step can be performed remotely, as indeed can much of the conversion effort.

In the analysis we will identify any missing Mantis components and any redundant code within each program. We will also detect any issues for which we need to agree a solution, such as new program/data naming conventions.

You should be aware that Mantis is much more flexible that COBOL, and has such capabilities as dynamically positioned ‘pop up’ screens, which COBOL does not support. This is one of several ‘special’ capabilities that Mantis has in which cannot be directly emulated in COBOL.

Due to our experience, we have work-arounds to all of these issues, but we will need to discuss them with you to ensure we provide the correct solution for your environment.

At this stage, we can give you a firm price for the overall migration and discuss the timescales and then define the roles and responsibilities for the main project.


Main Migration

Once the project scope is agreed, we start by performing a small proof of concept, This normally consists of four or five typical programs, which are then delivered back to the client to test.

This will enable us to ensure that any environmental issues are resolved, and demonstrate the quality of the converted code.

Following the POC we move to the main part of the migration. This is normally separated into a series of separate sub projects, based upon the actual applications systems themselves.


Other Mantis migration issues


We provide an onsite two day overview for the structure of the new COBOL programs.

We can also provide training in COBOL and CICS, at any level.