IDMS migration at Northeastern University with Anubex

Anubex helped Northeastern University modernize their IT platform from a mainframe IDMS environment to an Oracle database environment. In the process, the university was able to retain their application assets and improve the openness of their historical and current student enrolment data.

The university took the decision to consolidate their underlying IT platforms after conducting an objective assessment of their application portfolio.


In the process, the university discovered three weaknesses in its mainframe-based applications:

  • First, it was difficult to manage and access data in the mainframe IDMS database and the COBOL VSAM files.
  • Second, the university was faced with skills shortages since staff able to maintain and support the IDMS legacy applications on an IBM z/OS mainframe is increasingly difficult to find.
  • And third, costs for running the mainframe apps (the total cost of ownership) were unacceptably high.

The Project

From this exercise grew the "Mainframe Retirement" project, a project that had as objective the elimination of the university’s dependency on the mainframe platform. The university took the decision to engage Anubex after a thorough study of the application modernization solutions available in the marketplace. Anubex was able to complete the migration project within the agreed deadlines, including the transformation of both the IDMS database and the COBOL VSAM files, thanks to its proven suite of conversion tools and unique project approach.

At the university, the project was hailed a success. According to the Director of Administrative Application Services, "Anubex provided a superior solution for our IDMS migration project. The Anubex staff was professional, accommodating, and efficient. Our project was completed within budget and exceeded our expectations."

Anubex is pleased with the result. Louis Heymans, Managing Director of the Belgian company, said, "Although most of our migrations take place outside Belgium, a number of times now we have been successful at winning and completing a migration in the United States."

"In the United States, software applications tend to be less complex than in Europe, although data volumes tend to be larger," continues Heymans. "Thanks to our specialized software tools and unique methodologies, we are consistently able to reach and exceed 99% automation in our projects."