back to article NHS Scotland to refresh creaking, 25-year-old apps

NHS Scotland is dragging its big iron software into the 21st century by putting out a call for suppliers to replace some very dusty applications, which in some cases are a quarter of a century old. A contract notice for the Mainframe Solutions Transformation Programme was published in the Official Journal of the EU, and the …

  1. tin 2

    Sounds bad already

    The replacement for the community health index already has a name - and by the seems of it will do something different? I'll call it out as a catastrophe right now.

  2. Buzzword

    Can't be too hard

    A twenty-five year old system must surely be incredibly basic - the state of the art desktop computer back then was the Intel 486DX. Replicating that functionality with modern tools will be quite straightforward.

    Of course then some idiot will come along and add tons of superfluous features, and ten years down the line they'll be tendering for the replacement of a thirty-five year old system.

    1. FlossyThePig

      Re: Can't be too hard

      Did you miss the word "Mainframe"?

  3. Bogle
    Thumb Up

    Generational thinking

    That's actually pretty impressive, to get 25 years out of an application (or applications). Even though they say it's expensive to maintain you can divide the total cost over all those years and I believe you'd be seeing good value. Do you think that could be a requirement in the new invitations to tender? Must last a quarter of a century?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Generational thinking

      Thats a brilliant Idea.

      Also being so old, or mature, or bedded in, there is not much that can go wrong with it, also the management users are on top of what they need it to do. Any fluctation from this path is met with swift retaliation....

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will this be any more successful than the Scottish bizzies 'i6' omnishambles? Of course it won't!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeap, because the folks in charge are keeping a tight eye on them.

      Now where did I put the rose tinted glasses all round

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How's that data held?

    Our company is running a 28 year old MUMPS based accounts system, which we're looking at migrating away from now. The problem I can see coming up is not how to implement a new system that performs the same functions better, in fact I'm looking forward to it. It'll be getting the existing data out of a system that's extremely densely programmed and structured, with few if any comments. Its data is effectively stored in a massive multidimensional array, some fields are obvious, others not so much.

    The original developer (it's one bloke) is still around, so should be able to help with some of this. I wonder how many people currently actually administering those NHS systems actually know it inside out? And it's not the only one by a long chalk. I still see terminal sessions when I use my local NHS services.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How's that data held?

      Some of the ladies as well as the guys that look after it are the same folks since the 90's and are also now retiring one by one, but they have a strong training program for any new comers and their documentation is second to none.

      A lot of systems don't need any new fancy screens put on them and that's why there are still Green Screens flying about, some screens have been modernised where it was felt the resources were worth it since we were working in that area anyway. After all screens are just a layer to access the data and nothing more and indicates no fitness for purpose or not

      As you say still lots of systems out there, and they are the workhorses so to change any of them is a decision not taken lightly.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why Replace it

    The system is a few years old, but that's the function, not the kit. The kit is constantly maintained and upgraded. So why change when you consider what it does

    Also welcome to BB now we have you all on the main index lets call it a population index

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