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Micro Focus Simplifies COBOL and Introduces Easy Portability to Java, Microsoft Azure Cloud and .NET Platforms

New Micro Focus Visual COBOL R3 enables developers to migrate their COBOL applications to modern platforms, without rewriting

 

Rockville, MD, January 20, 2011 – With an estimated 220 billion lines of COBOL code in active use in business and finance applications today, COBOL systems are powering more than 70 percent of the world’s businesses.  Rewriting these COBOL applications to incorporate new technologies and platforms can be a costly and risky proposition for companies. To help defray costs and minimize risk, Micro Focus today launched Visual COBOL R3, which gives developers the freedom to extend COBOL to the latest platforms using a variety of application development environments, without having to rewrite code.

Micro Focus Visual COBOL R3 brings COBOL to a broad range of industry-leading deployment platforms. In addition to Windows, UNIX, Linux and .NET, COBOL applications can now be deployed to the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and the Microsoft Windows Azure cloud platform for the first time. With Visual COBOL R3, developers can choose to work with either the Visual Studio 2010 or the Eclipse Integrated Development Environment (IDE).  They can also deploy core COBOL applications to multiple platforms from a single source – without the need for any platform-specific work.

“There is an ongoing shift towards examining the impact and specific role of the chosen language in conjunction with selecting a platform,” said Mark Driver, Research Vice President of Gartner Research. “Taking COBOL to new platforms like .NET, JVM or the cloud supports a growing trend toward developers choosing the best language for the job, independent of the choice of best deployment platform to use.”

Visual COBOL R3 is the first solution to translate the COBOL language directly to the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), allowing developers to create COBOL applications for the JVM framework and seamlessly integrate with Java. By running COBOL on the JVM, they can combine the features of the JVM with all the advantages of COBOL.

Visual COBOL R3 allows developers to deploy the same COBOL code on .NET and the Microsoft Azure platform as well. Extending COBOL functionality to the Azure, .NET and JVM platforms not only enhances and streamlines application portability but also increases productivity by giving developers the ability to easily manage core applications across multiple platforms. This flexibility also simplifies systems management as multiple application types are running on a single stack, allowing data center administrators to use the same tools and processes they are familiar with for other languages.

With the Visual Studio 2010 and Eclipse IDE integration, developers have even more tools and resources needed to work with COBOL in a way that's intuitive to .NET and Java programmers. And Visual COBOL R3 brings a number of enhancements to the COBOL language, with C# and Java-like constructs, making it even easier to learn for both new and existing COBOL users.
 
“I envision a bright future for Micro Focus Visual COBOL since it is based on Visual Studio," said Jim DuLaney, Visual COBOL R3 beta user and owner of Jim DuLaney and Company, Inc. "COBOL can now be used to build modern applications, not just traditional procedural programming. Visual COBOL combines the best features and benefits of a visual language with easy natural English-like COBOL syntax."

Visual COBOL R3 also introduces the Visual COBOL Development Hub, a highly productive development tool for remote Linux and Unix servers. This Hub allows developers to use COBOL on the desktop to remotely compile and debug code, reducing development and testing times. The availability of this tool within Visual COBOL R3 reduces user on-boarding time, increases developer productivity and ensures users can quickly deploy COBOL applications to multiple platforms.

“As today’s enterprises continue to expand into new markets, the need to introduce innovative products, reduce time to market and increase efficiency is more critical than ever,” said Stuart McGill, CTO, Micro Focus. “Visual COBOL R3 combines the productivity and innovation of the industry’s leading development environments with COBOL’s business-tested performance. New recruits to COBOL can learn it in hours, not days, helping them extend the life of business-critical applications and develop new, high-powered applications using COBOL – which many may not even considered possible before."

For more information on Visual COBOL R3, visit: http://visualcobol.microfocus.com

More on Today’s COBOL

  • COBOL systems are responsible for transporting up to 72,000 shipping containers, caring for 60 million patients, processing 80% of point-of-sales transactions and connecting 500 million mobile phone users.
  • It has been estimated that the average American relies on COBOL at least 13 times during the course of a routine day as they place phone calls, commute to and from work, and use credit cards. 
  • Around 5 billion lines of new COBOL code are added to live systems every year. 
  • There are over 200 times more transactions processed by COBOL applications than Google searches each day.

About Micro Focus
Micro Focus, a member of the FTSE 250, provides innovative software that allows companies to dramatically improve the business value of their enterprise applications. Micro Focus Enterprise Application Modernization, Testing and Management software enables customers’ business applications to respond rapidly to market changes and embrace modern architectures with reduced cost and risk. For additional information please visit www.microfocus.com

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