Modernize Your Applications and Processes

Following industry standard development practices

Many source code control systems and Agile tools can be integrated into the Visual Studio IDE.

You should also consider using continuous integration, which involves the automatic building and testing of an application after a change occurs to the source code. This method traps errors sooner in the development life cycle and can greatly improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Interface modernization

Enterprise Developer enables you to use Visual Studio's built-in design tools to create more intuitive user interfaces. By wrapping existing procedural COBOL in an wrapper class you can integrate your code into Windows Forms (WinForms) and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) technology, and WebForms for ASP.NET browser-based applications.

Multi-user applications

Enterprise Developer includes a Run Unit API to enable multiple users to simultaneously use an application based on COBOL code that was designed originally for a single user.

Developing Web-based applications

You can use Enterprise Developer to migrate existing, core applications to a service oriented architecture as Web services, and deploy them using Micro Focus COBOL Server and Enterprise Server, so that you can develop COBOL-based software components to be invoked across the Web.

You can do this by creating an Enterprise Server application

Developing .NET applications

Both new and existing COBOL can be compiled as .NET code. This enables you to:

  • Reuse existing COBOL business logic and data access across the .NET environment
  • Access .NET Framework classes and features from COBOL applications including Windows Forms and Web Forms
  • Create and extend composite applications consisting of COBOL, C#, VB.NET, C++ and ASP.NET
  • Reuse and extend Open ESQL applications

Both procedural and native OO COBOL are supported within the .NET framework. Native OO COBOL classes can inherit classes written in other Microsoft .NET languages and vice versa.

The .NET COBOL syntax includes many extensions to the COBOL language to support .NET features; for example, the TRY ... CATCH syntax to enable exception handling in COBOL.

There are also certain directives that help integrate your .NET COBOL with other languages in the .NET environment. For example, you can now expose the Linkage section and entry points in your COBOL to other managed languages by compiling with the ILSMARTLINKAGE directive.

Modernizing Dialog System applications

Enterprise Developer provides the following support for Dialog System applications:

  • Dialog System run-time system and run-time components.
  • Panels V2.
  • Dialog System painter.
  • GUI class library and OLE class library. These libraries are needed if you migrate an existing Dialog System application that was extended using those libraries.

    Projects for building the GUI and OLE class libraries from source are also supplied. Additionally, a project file for the Base class library was added in Enterprise Developer 2.0.

  • Visual Studio plug-in to associate screensets in Visual Studio with Dialog System. Double-clicking a screenset in Solution Explorer in Enterprise Developer starts the Dialog System painter.
  • Sample applications demonstrating a range of modernization techniques.
  • Supporting documentation in this Help explaining the significant elements of the sample code.

You can modernize Dialog System applications within Enterprise Developer. You migrate an application to Enterprise Developer and from there you can run the application without change, or modernize it over time.

Modernization techniques include:

  • A Windows Forms form replacing a Dialog System dialog, where the form can contain .NET controls. See the Customer + .NET WinForm sample CustomerWinForm.sln.
  • A Windows Forms control wrapped as an ActiveX control and used on a Dialog System dialog. See the Customer + .NET GridView User Control sample custgrid.sln.
  • A WPF user control hosted by a Windows Forms user control, which is then exposed as ActiveX ready for use by Dialog System. See the Customer + .NET WPF GridView User Control sample CustGridWPF.sln
  • A .NET code application interacting with Dialog System as native COBOL .dll. See the .NET COBOL Customer sample ManagedCustomer.sln.

Data File Tools

Enterprise Developer comes with two versions of the Data File Tools utility: Data File Tools and Classic Data File Tools.

The Classic Data File Tools is the utility that was previously available in Net Express. It includes the Data File Converter, Data File Editor, IMS Database Editor, Segment Layout Editor and the Record Layout Editor. This utility is only available on Windows.

Data File Tools is a new version of the utility and comprises the Data File Editor and the Structure File Editor. This utility is available on both Windows and UNIX.