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GCN : August and September 2016
BY STEPHANIE KANOWITZ A Florida county saved money and tightened security by converting legacy forms and reports to run on its Java and .NET stacks What does it takes to leave a legacy platform behind? Florida’s Miami-Dade Coun- ty Information Technology Department faced a tough choice. One of its middleware stacks had reached its end of life, and offi- cials could either upgrade or get rid of it and convert its forms and reports applications to two other stacks. On the surface, Option A looked like the easy choice. But Miami-Dade offi- cials went with Option B — and saved money. The county tapped Morphis, a com- pany that specializes in modernizing clients’ legacy IT, to help with the con- version. Officials needed to do away with Oracle Application Server (OAS), which the company had stopped sup- porting in 2011, but upgrading would have meant switching to Oracle Web- Logic, a suite that includes functions the department didn’t need. “We’d have to have the servers and all the resources to support this ap- plication just for this small piece [that we needed],” said Sue Camner, the county’s database manager. “It didn’t seem to be cost-effective to go that route.” Because the department has two other middleware stacks — IBM’s WebSphere Application Server for Ja- va-based apps and Microsoft’s IIS for . NET applications — officials decided to convert Oracle Forms and Reports to run on one of those stacks. The move would save the county money by removing a stack and all its related maintenance. “Once all of the applications are out of OAS, we can get rid of that whole infrastructure — the servers and the storage, the licensing, everything in- volved in that stack — and just mi- grate everything to one of the other two,” Camner said. Neil Hartley, head of North Ameri- can operations at Morphis, said, “We GCN AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016 • GCN.COM 47 case study MODERNIZATION FLICKR.COM/MIKETROYY 0916gcn_047-048.indd 47 8/31/16 9:06 AM
June and July 2016
October and November 2016