• Customer: Financial Services Company
  • Country: Hungary
  • Product Used: Ispirer Toolkit customization
  • Source Technology: Informix 4GL
  • Target Technology: Java
  • Project Scope: 2 000 000 LOC
  • Extension Stage: 40 000 LOC
  • Project Duration: 4 months

As part of an extensive migration project involving the transformation of 2 million lines of Informix 4GL code to Java, the customer received a tailored version of the tool that can help save up to 40% of the migration expenditures.


The outcomes of migrating from Informix 4GL to Java encompass a range of changes and improvements, which can be summarized as follows:

  • Reducing operational expenditures on maintaining the software based on the legacy Informix 4GL language.
  • Increases the ability of business to reach new heights without any technical constraints through software scalability.
  • Enabling various integrations with the new Java-based application, thereby enhancing the application's overall efficiency and performance.
  • Effectively mitigating the constraints arising from the diminishing Informix 4 GL talent pool and the waning market support.

Customized Ispirer Toolkit made it possible to accelerate migration from Informix 4GL to Java three times.


Our customer specializes in delivering a wide spectrum of financial services tailored to meet the diverse needs of their clients. Operating primarily in Hungary, Bulgaria, and Croatia, the bank and its subsidiaries offer a comprehensive suite of services, including loan solutions, vehicle financing, automotive sector support, and real estate leasing services.


The customer owns a software suite of Informix 4GL-based applications that required to be modernized due to a number of reasons.

Firstly, as the programming language becomes more outdated, it becomes increasingly challenging to find specialists who are proficient in it. This was the primary reason behind the client’s decision to move away from Informix 4GL. In today's competitive landscape, companies often find it imperative to distance themselves from legacy systems, opting instead for contemporary technologies that offer a competitive edge and do not cause additional difficulties for the business.

Secondly, the client encounters a series of integration difficulties with their current application. This lack of flexibility has, over time, impeded the company's ability to swiftly adapt to the evolving demands of their business operations.

Lastly, the financial aspect comes into play, as the cost associated with maintaining and supporting the aging Informix 4GL infrastructure can be quite burdensome. This financial burden is exacerbated when specialized skills are required for upkeep. In response to these financial challenges, the client embarked on a strategic initiative to minimize maintenance costs by migrating to more modern and cost-effective solutions.

With all the reasons above, the company chose to migrate the application to the Java language. The new technology provides rich integration opportunities, allows to save up maintenance costs, and simplifies the process of adding more valuable features to the initial infrastructure.

At first, our client approached Ispirer Systems with a request to migrate over 2 million lines of Informix 4GL code. Considering the substantial volume of code, manual migration would take several years, a huge team of developers, and imply numerous migration risks. Therefore, the primary requirement for the project was automation. After evaluating various options, the client ultimately chose Ispirer as a software provider. Our experts consulted the client and proposed the customization of Ispirer Toolkit before buying a license in order to achieve a high automation rate of the migration and significantly reduce the project timeline. To customize the toolkit, Ispirer developers received 40,000 lines of representative code.


To ensure that Ispirer Toolkit could effectively convert the client's code, a crucial proof-of-concept stage was carried out. During this phase, Ispirer experts transformed a sample of the client's code to showcase potential conversion results. Once the results were analyzed and approved, the Ispirer team moved on to the next step, which involved extending the toolkit.

The Ispirer team has meticulously integrated a substantial set of crucial conversion rules into the toolkit. The rules play a vital role in guaranteeing a hassle-free and efficient migration process. They are designed to address specific challenges and complexities in the code transformation, ensuring that data, functionality, and compatibility are seamlessly preserved during the migration. As a result, clients can confidently rely on these rules to navigate the intricate process of migrating their software systems. Here are some examples of the rules included:

  • statements whenever error continue
  • whenever error goto
  • whenever error stop try blocks with special processing were implemented in the catch block

Additionally the team developed a solution for working with labels. The way they are utilized differs significantly between Informix 4GL and Java. Ispirer Toolkit takes into account the nesting features and the order of execution of labels in Informix 4GL.

When we convert Informix 4GL to Java, our client not only receives the converted code but also a framework developed by our company. This framework is designed to implement the unique functionality of the source technology, which does not have direct equivalents in the target technology. These are some of the framework classes that were implemented:

  • and - for working with dates and their transformation
  • - to extract the entire data into an object at once (select queries)
  • - for forming an insert query, and for dynamically inserting parameters by object fields

To enhance the database interaction efficiency, the Ispirer team made a significant change by transitioning from the previous database programming interface to the JDBC (Java Database Connectivity). This transition was motivated by the recognition of the JDBC API as a more dependable and faster alternative. By adopting JDBC, the Ispirer team was able to harness its reliability and speed to facilitate smoother and more efficient communication with the database.

As a result, the client received a customized Ispirer Toolkit for a hassle-free and highly automated migration from Informix 4GL to Java.


Thanks to the proficiency of the Ispirer Toolkit, the migration process underwent a significant transformation. What once demanded 2-3 months of effort was boiled down to a month, thus proving the remarkable efficiency and time-saving capabilities of the toolkit. The client received the customized Ispirer Toolkit with a high automation rate of Informix 4GL to Java migration to proceed with the migration of the entire 2 mln lines of Informix 4GL code.

The outcomes a customer received:

  • Resolved the problem of a lack of qualified personnel with Informix 4GL skills.
  • Migrated Informix 4GL code to Java, which significantly reduces maintenance costs.
  • Benefited from the new integration features, which greatly simplify further enhancement of the application.
  • Implemented the flexible Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) API for using databases.