Proprietary Payloads in Years Gone By
Since the advent of the Client-Server revolution, data has been transferred between software systems in different formats. With the advent of XML and JSON , there is now a standard way to transport payloads between software systems as both standards are designed to be machine readable on any machine. Until this breakthrough, most organisations used proprietary payloads described by legacy languages such as Assembler, COBOL, RPG, PL1 or Natural.
In many cases, the knowledge around the payloads and the languages that described them have been lost as the years have gone by.
Proprietary Payloads in Business Today
Most of these payloads are passed from client to server and in many cases, though the clients have been upgraded, the services are still operational and remain critical to business operations today and into the future. Few, if any, of the service virtualisation vendors are willing or able to support the virtualization of these payloads and there are a number of reasons for this:
- There are fewer and fewer people with the skills available to understand the languages that describe these messages.
- The message content is often rather cryptic due to a desire at the time to shorten the data lengths to avoid wastage of storage or bandwidth and thus is difficult to interpret ‘out of the box’.
The Need to Understand the Payloads
However, this does not mean that the challenge is insurmountable. While the services may be used ‘as is’ (and are often in heavy use), in order to replace or upgrade them, they must first be understood.
The most effective and risk free way to achieve this understanding is to create virtual services around these payloads. Consider the following:
- A technology that understands these payloads based on their legacy language descriptions.
- Even when there is no programmatic description available, it is possible (with limited manual assistance) to rebuild the description of the payload.
- A company that has in-depth experience of these legacy payloads and languages.
- A company that has real expertise in creating virtual data around these payloads.
Ostia Can Help
Ostia’s Portus technology can help by creating virtual services to help test and understand those payloads.
In addition, Portus Test will enable you to reduce your risk in the knowledge that you can either upgrade or replace services using these payloads based on that understanding as Portus can also act as an enabler by wrapping services based on these payloads as standards based REST and SOAP services.