Natural to Java or C#.NET

Many organizations are trapped by large “Natural” applications running on ADABAS. The high maintenance costs are causing many to look at more modern options – Natural conversion to Java or  C# .NET. Our ADABAS / Natural migration solution allows you to convert from Natural to a modern language using a relational database.

Our Natural to Java or C#.NET solution provides a automated migration to more modern architectures without functional change. Generated screens and windows use modern technology, but still are recognizable to current users. This minimizes end-user re-training effort while the generated code uses an object oriented open source framework, an excellent vehicle for training your Natural programmers in Java. A complete solution is provided for migrating applications, data models and data. The end result is easy to maintain, well documented, and exists in a newer, lower cost environment.

Features and Benefits

  • Supports data from ADABAS, VSAM, IMS, DB2, SQL Server, or Oracle
  • Handles all aspects of the Natural syntax including specific constructs such as REINPUT statements
  • Handles all Natural objects including programs, subprograms, DDMs , maps and data area types
  • Supports both reporting and structured mode Natural
  • Can be combined with the migration of COBOL to a relational database
  • Multi-tier J2EE architectures with HTML/JSP client, Java core and JDBC data access
  • Highly maintainable – can be enhanced in the new environments
  • Allows customer specific migration options such as naming convention changes
  • Support for JCL migration for a mainframe destination OR
  • JCL to script for Unix and Windows destination


Natural programs can be transformed into Java or  C#.NET. The migrated code is based on a special framework that emulates the behaviour of the various Natural statements and data types. Since most of the Natural statements and data types do not exist in the Java/C# languages, and since there is no equivalent statement in Java or C#.NET to replace them, a special library is used that supplies exactly the same functionality as the Natural statements.

This framework is an object-oriented library that is inherited by all the migrated Natural programs. It includes numerous support classes that handle various aspects of the Natural language including memory management, database management, Natural variable types, Natural system variables, sorting, printing, etc.

Mapping Natural Programming Objects to Java Objects

  • Each Natural program, subprogram, subroutine, local data area, global data area and map containing processing rules becomes a single Java/C#.NET source file (class).
  • Internal subroutines become methods in the generated program.
  • The Natural library containing the application becomes a single Java/C#.NET class. The Global Data Area (GDA) becomes a class within the Natural library class.
  • Each Natural INPUT statement in the application—whether in a MAP or in-line—corresponds to a single JSP (Java Server Page) or ASPX.
  • Each Natural DDM in the application generates a single Java/C#.NET source program.

The Java/C#.NET code encapsulates the logical-to-physical mapping and is the single point for changes in the way data is physically stored.

Programming Objects to Java Objects

JCL Migration

All JCL members, PROCs, and control statements are identified as being related to the target application and that need to be changed, are modified to operate with the new subsystem(s).

If OS/390 JCL will continue to be used—either because the migrated batch application will run on a mainframe or because environments such as Micro Focus MTO, Fujitsu zBATCH, or Sun MTP are being used to execute JCL on non-mainframe platforms—global changes are made to replace the ADABAS batch related information with the new information. Based on specified defaults, ADABAS file DD statements are deleted, a TMP program name with the required parameters is inserted into the EXEC statements, a new DD statement referring to the RDBMS plan and program names is inserted, and more. Also, changes to job statements and other JCL information (file names, print class, etc.) can be made at this time.

If the destination platform is Unix or Windows, the JCL can also be converted to KShell or VB.NET scripts.

Map Before Modernization

Map After Modernization

The application experience is upgraded by changing style sheets, using Custom Renderers and editing the JSPs with modern tools – example setting “occupation” field style and setting a drop-down list and a date picker on 2 fields.


Total Cost of Ownership (“TCO”) and Return on Investment (“ROI”) are two financial indicators that help decision makers ensure they are taking the right approach. These indicators enhance the operational and technology drivers to modifications and enhancements in IT systems.

Reducing license costs, facing diminishing skilled personnel for legacy systems, and providing an agile environment to cope with operational and technological challenges, are critical issues in an organization that need to be addressed.

Building a comprehensive modernization plan for enterprises can save tremendous cost over time, making the enterprise more competitive in the market, increasing profitability, and therefore making it more attractive to investors and shareholders.

There are several modernization conversion alternatives available to organizations. Some deal with part of the modernization challenge, and some deal with the entire challenge. The use of 99.8% Automated Tools for modernization provides a complete resolution of the legacy IT challenge with the fastest ROI and best improvement in IT TCO.

Reviving Yesterday’s Systems for Tomorrow’s Business