Friday, January 05, 2007

Migrating Legacy Applications

My most recent project involves WebFocus from Information Builders. Although WebFocus is a very powerful platform, the client was still using a fairly old version so we opted to move the application to SQL Server. This in itself was quite a task as WebFocus doesn't offer an ODBC connector to pull data out of it's proprietary database.

WebFocus allows you to export data directly to SQL Server, Excel, CSV, and many other file formats or database systems, but migrating a real world application out of WebFocus wasn't nearly as simple as they lead you to believe.

In comes Data Integrator, a product from Pervasive. Data Integrator is a very powerful tool that allows you to move data to-and-from roughly 150 different file formats and database platforms. Data Integrator allows you to build an easy and reproducible process to migrate data out of your legacy applications.

This white paper about Intuit shows the true power available within Pervasive's suite of products, and I highly recommend taking a look if you find yourself needing to migrate a legacy application. Although the white paper shows an extraordinary use of their products, they can be used to simplify even the most basic of integration projects.

Feel free to ping me at if you find yourself heading down this road. I would be more than happy to help out and/or share some of my experiences with this process.


  1. Hi Michael,

    I picked up your blog from a Google Alert.

    I'm sorry it was hard to migrate off of the legacy FOCUS database you were using, but we do indeed offer ODBC and JDBC drivers for FOCUS (along with about 75 other data sources, modern and legacy), and an ETL tool (DataMigrator) that can handle an end-to-end integration process. In fact, our subsidiary iWay Software is an integration company, and we gain a lot of capability from them. (I was on the iWay side of the fence just two months ago.)

    I'm not sure how complex your migration was, but I imagine we could have handled it. Sorry we didn't talk to you sooner.

    You might also point out to your readers that there are two aspects to the application you're talking about: the FOCUS database, which you migrated to SQL Server, and the WebFOCUS Business Intelligence and Reporting tool, which you didn't discuss in your post. You told us what you did with the data; what did you do with the application?

    Jake Freivald
    Information Builders and
    iWay Software

  2. Hi Jake,

    I appreciate you taking the time to leave your comments.

    When I spoke with support from Information Builders, I was told that there was no way to connect 'TO' a Focus database using ODBC. I was given the impression that you can only create and ODBC connector to an external datasource. Our client is still running WebFocus v5.1.

    We are replacing the Focus database with SQL Server and moving the application logic and presentation to ColdFusion.

    I look forward to hearing from you,