Chapter 7: Migrating from COBOL Workbench

COBOL Workbench was designed for developing applications for PC or mainframe, and also includes features for backward compatibility with much older Micro Focus products. Mainframe Express supersedes COBOL Workbench for developing mainframe applications. This chapter describes differences between COBOL Workbench and Mainframe Express that might require you to make alterations in existing applications that you are migrating, or to change familiar methods of working.

7.1 Overview

The COBOL Workbench versions covered are V3.4 and V4.0. These are functionally more-or-less equivalent - V3.4 is 16-bit and V4.0 is 32-bit, but this difference is not likely to be relevant for developing mainframe applications, since on your workstation you are interested only in the development environment. In this book, we make no distinction between V3.4 and V4.0. We generally use the term "Workbench" to mean both COBOL Workbench V3.4 and V4.0.

Certain self-contained areas of Workbench are covered in the separate chapters Editing and Animating (Debugging), Data Tools, File Handling and Your Mfextmap File. All other areas of Workbench are covered in this chapter.

7.2 Excluded Components

The following Workbench components have no equivalent in Mainframe Express:

7.3 Command Prompt

A few components that you may have used in Workbench are not available from the IDE, but can be run from the Mainframe Express Command Prompt, which you start by clicking Programs on the Start menu, then Micro Focus Mainframe Express, then Mainframe Express Command Prompt.

Not all are supplied as .exe files - you use the run command to run those that aren't. For example, to run the Source Converter (module name MDECONV), enter:

run mdeconv ...

where ... represents the component's command line, given in the online help or online books.

If you use one of these components a lot, you can add it to the IDE's Tools menu yourself. Click Customize IDE on the Options menu, then click the Tools tab and click New Tool to see how to do this.

7.4 Details

This section advises on what to use where a Workbench feature is not in Mainframe Express or has changed. Where we believe you can continue using a feature without change, it is not mentioned. This book does not cover enhancements.

7.4.1 BASIS mechanism

Compile-time statements (BASIS, INSERT, DELETE) in COBOL to insert and delete source lines temporarily.

Status in Mainframe Express:

Included, but handled by a preprocessor not by the compiler itself.

To migrate your application:

You must use the PREPROCESSOR(BASIS) or P(BASIS) directive. Click Build Settings for... on the Project menu, then click the COBOL tab, then the Preprocess subtab. Put a check mark by Use additional preprocessor and directives, type BASIS in the field below it, then click OK.

7.4.2 Character Tools

Character mode tools such as Editor and Animator included in Workbench for convenience of users familiar with earlier products.

Status in Mainframe Express:

Not included.

What to use in future:

All desirable functionality is included in the IDE.

7.4.3 COBSQL

Support for Oracle databases.

Status in Mainframe Express:

Not included. Mainframe Express supports only IBM DB2 (via Host Compatibility Option) or DB2 emulation (via SQL Option).

7.4.4 Embedded SQL toolkit for MS SQL Server

Optional add-on support for SQL Server databases.

Status in Mainframe Express:

Not included. Mainframe Express supports only IBM DB2 (via Host Compatibility Option) or DB2 emulation (via SQL Option).

7.4.5 Hexedit

Editor for editing in hexadecimal, useful especially for program files and other files with no record structure.

Status in Mainframe Express:

Not included.

What to use in future:

For data files, use the hex editing features in the Data File Editor.

7.4.6 Parameter Passer

Facility to pass parameters to a program.

Status in Mainframe Express:

Not included.

What to use instead:

Use the PARM= string in the JCL EXEC PGM= statement or a parameter on a CALL statement in a CLIST.

7.5 Frequently Asked Questions

This section answers questions that may arise in the course of migrating.

7.5.1 Can I use population files in Mainframe Express?

Population files created by Advanced Organizer in Workbench are supported by Mainframe Express to help you migrate from Workbench. Look up Population files in the index of the Mainframe Express help for details of how to use them.

7.5.2 What character set should I use for source files?

Mainframe Express assumes that source files use the ANSI character set. When it downloads source files from a mainframe (using Micro Focus's Mainframe Access product), it automatically converts them from EBCDIC to ANSI.

If you've downloaded using other software, it may have been converted to ASCII not ANSI. Earlier Micro Focus software converted to ASCII. See the chapter National Language Support in your User's Guide for details of how to convert your ASCII files to ANSI.

Most characters are the same in ASCII and ANSI, so this is only likely to affect you if you're using accented characters, from the extended ASCII character set.

7.5.3 Is code written for Workbench compatible with Mainframe Express?

Source code used in Workbench for deployment on a mainframe is compatible with Mainframe Express. Source code using Micro Focus extensions such as Object Orientation is not compatible

Although .int code produced by Workbench will run in Mainframe Express, you cannot debug it. You will need to recompile your programs to allow them to be debugged using Mainframe Express, and to ensure the executable(.int and .gnt) files are put into the correct locations (the loadlib folder within the project folder).

However, .gnt code produced by Workbench is not compatible with Mainframe Express.

.obj code is not used by Mainframe Express.

7.5.4 Why is Windows NT trying to start CCITCP2 twice?

If CCITCP2 is installed as an NT service, it will be started automatically when the NT system is restarted. If you have added CCITCP2 Server to the Startup group on your Start menu, you should remove it and run it only when needed. Otherwise Windows NT will try to start a second instance of CCITCP2.

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