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Home Knowledge Base Runtime Support Manual vs. Automated Runtime Migration

Manual vs. Automated Runtime Migration

The migration of software applications requires the translation of the source code as well as the emulation of of the source language's runtime support. This emulation consists of building a codebase that has the interface and behavior similar with the original runtime. The implementation process is either automated or manual.

The automated migration of the runtime support uses the same migrator as the translation of the source code. When the runtime contains source code in complementary languages, the migrator must be able to translate bindings to this language. However, if the target language does not support bindings to a particular complementary language, manual runtime translation is a better option.

An automated runtime migration is preferred over a manual one. Manual runtime translation should take place only when automated translation is not an option. Program libraries' source code availability is a fundamental factor in determining the opportunity of automated runtime migration.

From the categories that form the application runtime, in-house libraries are the only ones that have the source code at hand. The standard library and the third-party libraries rarely have the source code available. Another scenario is that the source code is available, but its licensing model forbids the use for development of derivative work. In this situation, the source code provides only a way to understand the inner workings of the library, but cannot be used as input for an automated runtime migration process.