Transoft Wins Deal to Migrate Critical Lignite Mining, Modelling & Data Processing Systems

Mitteldeutsche Braunkohlengesellschaft mbH (MIBRAG), the East German company that mines up to 20 million tons per year of lignite - brown coal - providing reliable power and heat in Germany, has awarded Transoft, a leader in helping companies evolve their existing legacy applications, a contract to migrate its critical mathematical modelling and data processing applications.

These applications support the production processes and the accounting functions of the open cast mining. For example the quality of lignite (heating value, sulphur content, etc.) is traceable throughout the whole process from planning, mining and different means of transport to the customers. This is important because there are different modelling systems for each transport type, including "shuffling" lignite between stockpiles, which must meet strict values. Data is delivered by OPC-Servers, from each device and laboratory, to the various applications and displayed on the screens from which the operations are controlled.

The applications currently run on ageing HP OpenVMS Alpha server hardware and are written in Fortran using the Rdb database and DCL scripting language. Transoft will migrate them to an open and more flexible Microsoft Windows Server environment with Oracle 11g replacing the Rdb database. Transoft’s Open Libr8 and Open DCL products will also be deployed to support the OpenVMS system services and DCL scripts respectively. Transoft will use its Legacy Liberator toolset for OpenVMS to automate the majority of the migration process and hence shorten delivery times, minimise costs and ensure the quality of the migration.

Transoft has already undertaken a PathFinder Assessment phase in order to analyse the applications’ assets, and assess the scope and complexities of the project. It also ensured a firm price for the project was provided.

Rainer Waldbauer, CIO of MIBRAG, commented, "We needed to de-risk the dependency of our critical applications on the ageing OpenVMS Alpha platform and with there being no possible package replacement, migration offered the quickest, cheapest and minimum risk option."

With the move to the Windows environment, MIBRAG is also able to consolidate its skill-set by maintaining all its applications within the more productive Microsoft Visual Studio development environment and will enable better future integration into the .NET architecture. Taken together MIBRAG should be able to reduce its operating costs while obtaining greater reliability and flexibility for the future.

Walbauer continued, "We chose Transoft for this complex and demanding migration as it had both the technical expertise to convert our OpenVMS applications to Windows and also its well established migration methodology".

Geoff Baker, General Manager of Transoft, commented, "We were delighted to have been chosen for this significant project and it further consolidates Transoft’s position as the premier OpenVMS migration company. More and more companies with mature mission critical applications on older platforms view migration as the most cost effective and least risk replacement option. We were also ably assisted in obtaining this significant contract by our German partner, B+B Unternehmensberatung, who provided specialist German knowledge."

About Transoft

About MIBRAG (

Mitteldeutsche Braunkohlengesellschaft mbH (MIBRAG) is a modern, high-tech mining company headquartered in Zeitz, a town in the south of Saxony-Anhalt. MIBRAG is one of the three largest brown coal producers in Germany.

The company’s core business is the production and sale of raw brown coal (also known as lignite). Continual investment paired with the use of state-of-the-art technology makes MIBRAG an important factor in the economy, the community and in cultural life in the region around Zeitz: it employs around 2000 people in secure jobs, provides vocational training for young people and contributes sustainably to regional economic development.

In its Profen and United Schleenhain mines, MIBRAG contributes over 10 percent to total brown coal production in Germany. The company’s output amounts to around 20 million tonnes annually, the vast majority going to the power stations at Schkopau in Saxony-Anhalt and Lippendorf in Saxony. Other major customers include the Südzucker AG sugar mill in Zeitz and municipal utility companies in Dessau and Chemnitz.

In addition to its mines, MIBRAG also operates a processing plant and three power stations. These supply power for mining operations, and district heating and process steam for around 9000 local customers.

About B+B Unternehmensberatung (

B+B Unternehmensberatung, based in Bad Dürkheim, Germany, has placed its knowledge and experience at the service of companies and organisations since 1986.

The Personnel Management division of B+B provides services for organisational and staff development, HR consulting and coaching.

The Information Management division focuses on projects and services for proprietary operating system environments and mainframes (e.g. MPE/iX, OpenVMS, z/OS, VSE). This division of B+B supports customers in modernisation and the migration of legacy applications. As regards development languages, B+B specialises in COBOL (ACUCOBOL-GT / Micro Focus COBOL) and provides application outsourcing services in this space.



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