Backward Compatibility with Earlier Micro Focus Products

COBOL applications developed and built using previous Micro Focus products can be developed and built with Enterprise Developer. However, there are some differences in behavior and in terminology.

Diagnostic tools

The FaultFinder tool has been removed from the current version of Enterprise Developer. This includes the removal of the following tunables:

  • faultfind_level
  • faultfind_outfile
  • faultfind_recsize
  • faultfind_config
  • faultfind_cache_enable

You should either remove these tunables from your application or set the tunable cobconfig_error_report=false in your configuration file.

Backward Compatibility with Studio Enterprise Edition

File Control Description (FCD)
The FCD format for file handling operations in 32-bit applications defaults to FCD3 in Enterprise Developer; in Studio Enterprise Edition, it defaulted to FCD2.

Backward Compatibility with the Net Express and Mainframe Express IDE

The main differences between the Net Express, Mainframe Express and Eclipse IDEs are:

  • Perspectives. The Team Developer perspective shows the views and menus relevant to COBOL and PL/I development, such as the Application Explorer view, Program Outline, Outline and Console views. There are other perspectives for Debugging, the Interface Mapper and CTF.
  • Project > Build automatically. Whenever changes to a resource are saved, an incremental build starts, which rebuilds all the resources modified since the last build. You can force a rebuild by using Project > Clean.
  • Build settings. These are available in three places:
    • Project > Properties > Micro Focus > Project Settings. You can specify any additional directives to be passed to the compiler at build time. These settings do not depend on the active build configuration and are always passed to the compiler.
    • Project > Properties > Micro Focus > Build Configurations. You can have multiple build configurations for different build scenarios and swap between them. You choose the configuration you want to use, by setting it as the current active configuration. This then overrides the project language settings.
    • Properties on the context menu for a single file. To set this, right-click the COBOL file in the Application Explorer view. The settings are specifically for this file and they override the currently active build configuration and the Project Language Settings.
  • Debug and run configurations. You need one of these before you can debug or run a program. They are available from:
    • Project > Properties > Micro Focus > Run-time Configuration. These are the run-time settings for this project, such as run-time arguments, run-time tunables, COBOL switches and so on.
    • Run > Debug Configurations. Like build configurations, you can have multiple debug configurations and swap between them. These override the project run-time configuration.
    • Run > Run Configurations. These behave in the same way as debug configurations, but provide slightly different options.
  • Cheat sheets. These are like tutorials and give step-by-step instructions on how to do a task, together with brief explanations. See Help > Cheat Sheets > COBOL Development. There are cheat sheets to:
    • Create a project to say "Hello COBOL World".
    • Import existing COBOL files into Eclipse
    • Debug a program

Changes in some options and files delivered with the product include:

Treatment of DBCS literals
In Net Express, under the NCHAR directive, if an alphanumeric literal contained only DBCS characters, then the literal was treated as class NCHAR. In Enterprise Developer, this is not true, and you are required to prefix literals in the procedure division with N to achieve equivalent behavior (for example: IF N"dbcs-chars" = data-item-1.), which is significant when performing comparisons, where NCHAR literals get padded with double byte spaces. In Enterprise Developer, all literals that are surrounded by quotes without any character specified (B", N", etc...) are always treated as alphanumeric.
Note: In the following scenario, the literal is still treated as a NCHAR literal:
01 data-item pic N value "dbcs-charaters".
In earlier Micro Focus products, the default location for the ADISCTRL file was $COBDIR. The default location of the file in Enterprise Developer is $COBDIR/etc.
Default working mode
In versions of Visual COBOL R4 and earlier, the default working mode set by the COBMODE environment variable was 32-bit. With the current release of Visual COBOL and Enterprise Developer, it is 64-bit.
Format of the index files
In Net Express, the default setting of the IDXFORMAT option was 4. With the current release of Enterprise Developer, it is 8.
FILEMAXSIZE File Handler configuration option

In Net Express, the default setting for FILEMAXSIZE was 4. With the current release of Enterprise Developer, it is 8.

Coexisting with Earlier Micro Focus Products

Run-time system error due to COBCONFIG
A run-time system error occurs if the COBCONFIG environment variable is set when you run Enterprise Developer applications or when you use Enterprise Developer to edit or create projects and the configuration file it refers to contains entries that are not valid for Enterprise Developer.

For example, this might happen if you have Net Express or Studio Enterprise Edition installed and COBCONFIG is set for it.

To work around this issue, ensure that Enterprise Developer is not running and then modify the configuration file by doing one of the following:

  • If the invalid tunable is not needed by another application, remove it from the run-time configuration file.
  • Add the following as the first line in the configuration file:
    set cobconfig_error_report=false
  • Unset COBCONFIG (or COBCONFIG_) or set it to another configuration file that does not contain the invalid tunable for the particular session you are running in.
Licensing error due to environment settings
The message "Micro Focus License Manager service is not running" can occur when you invoke a Net Express, Mainframe Express or Studio Enterprise Edition utility from Enterprise Developer. This happens when the tool is invoked with Enterprise Developer environment settings while it requires the Net Express or Studio Enterprise Edition ones.

This happens when you edit files such as .dat that have a file association with Net Express or Studio Enterprise Edition. This can also happen when invoking a utility within the Net Express or Studio Enterprise Edition products as an external tool from Enterprise Developer.

You can workaround this problem in Enterprise Developer as follows:

  1. Create a batch file that unsets COBREG_PARSED before the tool is invoked. The batch file contains:
    Call [PathToUtility] %1

    Where PathToUtility is the path to the Net Express or Studio Enterprise Edition utility.

  2. In the Visual Studio IDE, add the batch file instead of the utility itself as an external tool.

    This ensures that the proper environment is established when running that tool.