Transforming Legacy Systems into a Valuable Heritage: The Case of the FixIT Migration Tools in Finland
Mikko Korpela (University of Kuopio, Finland), Juha Mykkänen (University of Kuopio, Finland), Mika Räsänen (University of Kuopio, Finland), Hellevi Ruonamaa (University of Kuopio, Finland) and Marko Sormunen (University of Kuopio, Finland)
Copyright: © 2000
A migration strategy can turn legacy systems into a valuable heritage. In Finland, most hospital information systems are based on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs FileMan/Kernel technology. By the mid-1990s, the user interface and system architecture had become obsolete. The University of Kuopio together with a consortium of vendors and hospitals developed a migration strategy and toolkit, Delphi-FixIT, to move the viable systems to the client/server architecture and graphic user interface. An alternative toolkit, Web-FixIT, was developed in 1998–99 to allow a further migration to the Web browser interface and Java applets. The next step in 2000–01 will be to encapsulate existing functionality into components. This will make it possible to replace even the FileMan database by an object database at some later time. The migration strategy will thus keep the systems always abreast with technological progress without major disruptions. The technological solution developed is argued to be scalable down to very small setups in Nigeria, and up to quite large setups in the USA.