Top five myths of screen scraping: projects are unmanageable
Over the past few weeks we’ve been discussing the challenges facing companies that rely on older green-screen applications to manage their critical infrastructure, and some of the myths that surround “screen-scraping” applications. Our first post focused on myth that screen scraping is only a green screen in a browser. The second addressed the myth that keeping host and GUI in sync is hard, and the third debunked the idea that screen scraping is a maintenance nightmare. Today we’ll cover the fourth myth on our list.
Myth #4: screen-scraping projects are unmanageable
Screen scraping is often seen as a quick fix to complete a project at the last minute. Because of this perception, project management is often not taken into account until after a solution is
identified. This can be a costly mistake. With the traditional screen-scraping approach, developers operate in the dark. When building a new GUI front-end solution based only on live screens, the visibility into the level of effort is limited to the developer’s knowledge of the live application. You may be unaware of application features that only display in certain circumstances, or of modifications that only apply to certain customers or business units. Your visibility into maintenance costs is also limited.
However, if you’re using a modernization solution that provides you with complete information about all of the screens that are part of your project, you’ll be able to clearly understand,
estimate, and document the amount of work required to complete a modernization project. If you are considering a screen-based Web enablement project, you certainly have applications in mind that you want to convert. How many screens are in those applications? If you don’t know how many screens there are to create GUIs for, how can you estimate the time and effort it will take to complete the project? How do you even know when the project is complete?
By using a screen repository, a current modernization solution lets you quantify the work required to complete a project. Tools should exist in the solution that let you ascertain the exact number of screens in any application or module, as well as the complexity of each screen. A project estimator feature enables you to assign time to- complete values for screens of varying complexity and document the level of effort, down to individual screens and fields, to successfully implement your GUI interface.
In our next post, we’ll address the final myth–you can’t do SOA with screen scraping. Until then, you can learn about all five myths–and how to move past them–by downloading the complete whitepaper at the link below. You can also visit our website to learn more about our LegaSuite portfolio of Application Modernization tools.