10 BEST IBM i (AS/400, iSeries) Modernization Services 2023

Read this review to compare the features, pricing, etc of the top IBM i Modernization Services required for more secure and fault-tolerant applications:

The rapidly changing IT landscape is the prime driver for technology modernization required by existing or so-called legacy applications.

The need of the hour is to identify the key components and create a modernization plan that is incremental in nature and ensures that users go step by step rather than modernizing all at once, which could cause major disruptions and possibly lead the teams to abandon modernization projects and continue with legacy applications, bearing the burden of technical debt in the future.

Older IBM application systems like AS/400 software offer a host of features but have become a legacy or older because newer versions offer a lot of new features.

What is a Modernization Service

IBM I (AS400, ISeries, System I) Modernization Services 2022

IBM i modernization service is nothing but a set of tools, methods, and solutions that can enable you to determine the appropriate strategy to modernize legacy applications or those on older infrastructure.

Why do we Need Modernization

Companies get a host of benefits out of modernization to newer platforms and technologies:

  • Improving customer experience.
  • Easier data management
  • Making application deployment smoother and more streamlined.
  • Making systems and applications more secure and reliable.
  • Innovating and scaling effectively.
  • Complying with adherence to processes and being audit ready.

Market Trends: According to Enlyft, 33.1% of companies use IBM AS/400 as server hardware. IBM AS/400 is most often used by small to midsized companies with 50 to 200 employees and between $1 million to $10 million in revenue.

IBM AS/400 as server hardware

Expert Advice: Modernizing applications based on IBM i AS/400 software is generally done with a phased and incremental approach in order to cause minimum disruption to the business-critical functionality provided by those applications. Modernization typically addresses three areas: database, application, and UI modernization.

Basic steps for starting a modernization project for the legacy application should consist of these three steps:

  • Analyze applications to detect anomalies and redundant code.
  • Estimate efforts and implement a structured process to prioritize components accordingly.
  • Quantify the work completed and test early and often to ensure the progress is on the right track.

FAQs on IBM i Modernization Tools/Services

Q #1) Why is modernization required?

Answer: Modernization of applications built on AS/400, more commonly called IBM i applications, is required because of the obsolete architecture and availability of a modern tech stack that is more robust and scalable.

Q #2) What are the benefits of application modernization?

Answer: Application modernization helps make them more secure and fault-tolerant as well as compliant with processes and ever-increasing audits.

With the evolving technology landscape, it’s absolutely essential to keep legacy apps constantly evolving, leading to longer-term gains in terms of productivity as well as cost savings.

Q #3) What is the impact of modernization?

Answer: Application modernization helps organizations make the best use of digital technologies like AI, big data, and the cloud.

Some of the important impacts that you may see after modernizing your legacy applications are:

  • Accelerated digital transformation helps you stay ahead of changing customer expectations.
  • Enhanced security and reliability with greater adherence to audit processes.
  • Easier application deployment.

With the above in mind, it’s important to chalk out a phased modernization implementation plan to ensure that there is a minimum business interruption for the existing applications.

Q #4) What is modernization IBM?

Answer: IBM modernization is nothing but using a set of tools and services to modernize or upgrade the existing applications on AS/400 or IBM i based systems to a better and modern technology stack that is more web and cloud-based and can help leverage modern architectural principles.

In order to plan an application modernization, you should ideally follow the steps below:

  • Determine the requirements: Understand business needs and ensure that the modernization plans don’t result in any business interruption.
  • Estimate effort: Estimate the effort needed to ensure a smooth upgrade and follow the plan.
  • Prioritize the approach and effort: Once the effort for individual components is determined, prioritize the modernization approach in a phased manner that would cause minimum or no business interruption to the existing application.

Q #5) What is AS/400 technology?

Answer: AS/400 or IBM i is a midrange computer system launched in 2006. It is designed for small and medium business enterprises and has a world-class application server that is robust, reliable, and scalable. Applications built on AS/400 systems are usually business-critical as they are one of the major revenue drivers.

But over time, newer technologies have emerged and led to the AS/400’s monolithic architecture becoming obsolete. Hence, there is the need to modernize applications on AS/400 or IBM i.

Q #6) What are the advantages and disadvantages of modernization?

Answer: There are both pros and cons of modernizing your legacy applications. However, in most cases, the pros outweigh the cons.

Pay-as-you-use model of cloud will result in direct cost savings. Being on premises can lead to buying over capacity, which incurs more cost.
It's easy to find engineers with newer technology stacks.Legacy developers are hard to find in the market.
Newer technologies and solutions are more mature and more robust.Disaster-recovery measures are obsolete.
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List of the Top IBM i Application Modernization Services

Popular IBM i modernization tools list:

  1. Visual LANSA (Our Recommendation)
  2. ARCAD Software
  3. Rocket Software
  4. Eradani
  5. Fresche Solutions
  6. MRC Productivity
  7. Profound Logic
  8. SrinSoft
  9. Arbor Solutions
  10. Zend

IBM i Modernization Services Comparison Chart

ToolProduct/ ServicePricingFeatures
• $563 monthly per developer for the development environment
• $1,480 monthly per developer for production environment
• Web enable and customize the legacy applications.
• Supports hybrid low-code model for IBM i.
• Instant prototyping assistant.
ARCAD SoftwareARCAD on
On-demand .
Contact sales team
• Create modern web interfaces for green terminal screens.
• Convert RPG IV code to RPG free form, which is easier and maintainable.
• Convert database to DDL or SQL as a fully relational database.
Rocket SoftwareRocket Modern Experience (formerly Rocket Legasuite)On-demand contact sales team• Swap IBM i green screens to modern UIs.
• Create agile web and mobile experiences for your existing IBM i applications.
EradaniEradani Connect$5,000 per partition• Use multiple built-in components for interfacing with new applications.
• Support for modern languages like Python and JavaScript.
• Open, extensible, and instantaneous.

Detailed reviews:

#1) Visual LANSA – Recommended Tool

LANSA – Best for modernizing existing applications as well as supporting the creation of new applications within the same framework.


LANSA offers customized modernization solutions by designing according to your business needs with a suite of separate, but complementary, products: aXes, Visual LANSA, and RAMP.

aXes allow you to web-enable 5250 screens on the fly. With Visual LANSA you can create new, fully-featured web applications up to 10x faster than traditional coding, with full native integration with your IBM i. And RAMP combines your existing 5250 displays and new applications built at Visual LANSA into a web-enabled and scalable framework.


  • Offers iterative and incremental modernization approaches.
  • Instant prototyping assistant for generating new applications.
  • Wizard-based isolation engine to differentiate between navigation and destination.


  • Easy to learn and use.
  • The incremental approach allows users to work in a defined way toward the final goal.
  • One of the best low-code development tools on the market.


  • Debugging is a little tricky.
  • IDE is a bit slow at times.


  • Pricing starts at $563 per developer per month for the development environment.
  • For the production environment, it costs around $1,480 per developer per month.
  • Perpetual licensing options are available with competitive service options.

#2) ARCAD Software

Best for teams looking for end-to-end IBM i modernization.


ARCAD offers end-to-end integrated IBM i modernization tools for each application tier. Its Observer product provides instant insights into the application architecture and business rules in your existing application.


  • Supports creation of I/O and workflow diagrams for existing applications.
  • Analyze through a high-level view of your application architecture with database relationships as well as functional dependency relationships.
  • Helps generate technical documentation that can be guaranteed to remain up to date.
  • Impact analysis of changing existing applications helps you make a conscious call regarding selecting components and areas to modernize IBM i applications.


  • Provides modernization as a service for IBM i applications.
  • Supports full-stack modernization like database, source code, and UI.


  • On-demand by contacting their sales team.

=> Visit ARCAD Software Website

Suggested Reading => All That You Need to Know About Low Code and IBM i

#3) Rocket Software

Best for teams looking to enhance existing enterprise applications built on the IBM i platform with modern user interfaces and reusable components.


Rocket offers multiple solutions, with the most-used one being the Rocket Modern Experience (previously known as Rocket LegaSuite) for running the modernization journey. It lets your web-enable critical backend applications that can be accessed on web and mobile browsers.


  • Support for Workflow discovery, which runs in the background and helps to construct a model enabling end-to-end workflow visibility.
  • Simplified web development with electronic data interchange.
  • Supports drag-and-drop development tools with runtime components.


  • Drag-and-drop development tools.
  • Reusable components
  • Easy navigation and workflows.


  • Moderate to the steep learning curve.
  • Publishing and deployment aren’t very user-friendly.


  • On-demand by contacting their sales team.

=> Visit Rocket Software Website

#4) Eradani

Best for enhancing the user interfaces of existing IBM i applications.


Eradani offers extensions of existing IBM i applications using Eradani API enablement. It provides multiple built-in connectors that can directly work with your IBM i applications.

It offers great expertise in helping customers move to the latest technologies for modernizing their legacy systems.


  • Helps unleash the power of open-source with IBM i applications.
  • Multiple built-in components readily interface with existing applications.


  • Eradani Connect Framework acts as an interface or gateway between open-source languages and your IBM i applications.


  • Comparatively newer frameworks with limited documentation and support.


  • Eradani Connect comes at $5,000 per partition it runs on. This excludes support charges as well as additional plugins.

=> Visit Eradani Website

#5) Fresche Solutions

Best for transforming IBM i applications to Java or PHP using X-Modernize solution.


Fresche Solutions is one of the premier partners offering transformation and modernization of IBM i applications. It has worked with more than 2,200 clients worldwide across industries to transform its technology and business needs.


  • Supports a wide range of development and IBM i (AS/400 software) modernization services.
  • X-Modernize is the solution offered by Fresche for the IBM i modernization needs.
  • Generate standard and portable code in Java or PHP.
  • Supports application security and usability testing.
  • Modern web UI.


  • Experienced staff and learned developers.
  • Provides consulting services for end-to-end project needs.
  • An automated approach reduces errors with enhanced accuracy.


  • On-demand

=> Visit Fresche Solutions Website

Recommended Read => Most Popular Cloud Managed Services That You Should Know

#6) MRC Productivity

Best for creating low-code applications with blazing fast deployment.


MRC Productivity provides an extended-and-surround approach that helps eliminate risk and modernize your applications without causing any disruption to the business.

MRC is trusted by over 1,500 companies across the world to provide consulting and expert support services as well as to create application-development software.


  • Modernize depending on your needs without impacting any business disruption.
  • Support for reusability and flexibility.
  • Includes security features like single sign-on and multitenant security.


  • Integrates well with SQL-Server
  • Excellent reporting capabilities
  • Ease of use and learning


  • Doesn’t scale well with a large amount of data.
  • Documentation is not very helpful.


  • On-demand

=> Visit MRC Productivity Website

#7) Profound Logic

Best for teams looking for flexible code transformation of legacy IBM i modernization applications.


Profound UI is a solution for IBM i modernization that supports continuous application code improvement.

It greatly helps in automating the transformation of legacy code into low-code Node.js-based solutions for modernizing the applications with a faster development cycle.


  • Supports modularization of monolithic RPG-based applications as well as automatic fixes of go-tos.
  • Offers conversion of legacy IBM i RPG source code to Node.js or truly modern RPG (a high-level programming language introduced by IBM for business applications).
  • Supports an iterative approach to business transformation.
  • It includes a tool called Genie that translates green screens to web pages in real-time.


  • Node.js is native and less complex than Java and at the same time offers optimized code that is flexible and scalable
  • Support for automatic transformation helps to make the process less cumbersome


  • No support for languages other than Node.js and modern RPG.


  • On-demand by contacting their sales team.

=> Visit Profound Logic Website

#8) Srinsoft

Best for teams looking for a full application suite for modernizing legacy applications to modern technology stacks.


Srinsoft possesses a vast background as well as expertise to modernize IBM i based applications to web-based applications without causing business disruption.

Their team has expertise in transforming AS/400/iSeries business logic or modules as web services that can be integrated and utilized as web applications across different platforms like web, mobile, and tablets.


  • UI modernization with improved looks and features.
  • Real-time web-based reports and dashboards.
  • Helps in event-driven architecture with business modules restructured as web services.
  • Improves database design.


  • Expert, the in-house team provides solutions using multiple existing tools for modernization.
  • Supports reface, rewrite, and renew approach by enhancing the overall value of the application with full-stack modernization covered.


  • On-demand by contacting their sales team.

=> Visit Srinsoft Website

#9) Arbor Solutions

Best for small to midsized organizations looking to outsource their modernization tasks to experienced teams.


Solution engineers at Arbor Solutions can help you take your green-screen applications to the web. They offer legacy modernization for clients using RPG and COBOL or using PHP on IBM i. PHP can be used to handle the web script as well as to call legacy systems built on older technologies.


  • Offers application development as well as modernization services for IBM i applications.


  • Experienced staff and solution engineers.
  • Arbor Solutions has partnered with IBM for more than 20 years to provide enterprise-class AS/400 applications to their clients.


  • On-demand by contacting their sales team

=> Visit Arbor Solutions Website

Also Read => List of the TOP AWS Managed Service Providers

#10) Zend

Best for teams looking for PHP-based modernization using Zend server, which provides a full PHP stack for the IBM i platform.


Zend supports IBM i modernization for application, data, and platforms—or all three. It provides solutions as well as services for achieving this modernization.

Zend offers products like Zend Server, which can run natively on IBM i environments with a preloaded IBM i toolkit, enabling easy deployment of modern web-based applications.


  • Supports application, data, and platform modernization.
  • Provides products like Zend Server, which is a fully certified PHP stack for the IBM i platform for building web interfaces.


  • Zend has partnered with IBM and provides consulting services for end-to-end modernization.
  • Provides technical support during new application development or modernization journeys.


  • Tooling is restricted to PHP-based products.


  • On-demand by contacting their sales team.

=> Visit Zend Website


In this article, we learned and discussed the different tools as well as services available to modernize applications based on the IBM i platform, which is an enterprise-class framework for building business applications but has started to become obsolete in a lot of ways.

AS/400 or IBM i application systems store large amounts of valuable information as well as core business logic critical to running various enterprise applications. However, there are limitations due to the monolithic architecture, green-screen-based access, and tightly coupled business logic that needs to be updated in order to support growing needs and have a more secure and change-tolerant system.

Multiple solutions that provide modernization approaches, as well as consulting services, are available. Some of the most used are Visual LANSA, Rocket Modernize suite, and Profound Logic tools.

Our Review Process:

  • Time Taken to Research this Article: 20 hours
  • Total Tools Researched: 15
    Other than the ones reviewed in this article, we have researched other tools like:

    • Mendix
    • Appian
    • Skytap
    • OutSystems
    • Synchrony Systems
  • Top Tools Shortlisted: 10
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