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Medford schools learning to migrate

The Medford, Oregon school district is taking the road away from the HP 3000 and into the .NET path, signing on with UNICON Conversion Technologies to migrate the district's custom applications to Windows servers.

The district (MSD) issued an RFP in July requesting proposals to migrate its in-house developed Student Information System to a native Windows environment -- and the solution needed to avoid using emulation. The apps run today on an HP 3000 N4000/200 across multiple sites within the school district. MSD’s applications are predominantly written in HP COBOL, using VPlus screens and IMAGE databases. UNICON says it got the nod for the work because it will engineer a solution that's all-Windows, according to the company's James Harding.

UNICON was selected over multiple bidders after offering its pure ‘native’ migration solution. This deliverable does not employ the use of system emulation or proprietary middleware; thereby it does not lock MSD into the project vendor after the migration -- a very important consideration for future operations where dependence upon third-party vendors can seriously compromise the stability and ongoing viability of such implementations.

UNICON will be using its in-house developed automated conversion tools to convert the HP COBOL to pure open systems Fujitsu COBOL for .NET and Windows. The tools will also to convert the IMAGE databases to Microsoft SQL-Server.

The migration supplier says there's an uptick in the number of companies which want a solution that's not tied to an environment as proprietary as the one HP's offers in its Unix. "At a time when many HP 3000 users are heavily researching migration options due to HP’s ‘end-of-life’ announcement for the HP 3000 platform, UNICON has seen a dramatic increase in the number of organizations seeking a non-proprietary approach to migration," the company's release said. "In addition, UNICON is no stranger to education, nor is it to state government, having performed many migrations for both sectors over the years.

UNICON will be performing MSD’s conversion at the vendor's main offices in Laguna Hills, California.