Features Added in Visual COBOL 2.2 Update 1

This release provides enhancements in the following areas:

Micro Focus Heartbleed Update

This product includes OpenSSL version 1.1.1b.

COBOL Source Information

The Quick Browse option is now available as a context menu command in the editor.

Compare and Synchronization Monitor

Note: This feature is only available in a Windows environment.

With the release of Visual COBOL 2.2 Update 1, the Compare and Synchronization Monitor has been updated to version 2.

Version 2 is greatly improved in terms of performance, especially during initial checkout of partitioned data sets or when synchronizing a large number of members. Also, the user interface has been improved, and some of the functions available in the old version have now changed or become obsolete.

Compiler Directives

The following Compiler directives have been added in this release:
Determines the way in which you call a method that contains an array as its last receiving parameter.
Initializes Working-Storage Section data items to a default value, according to their type.
  • Alphabetic, alphanumeric, alphanumeric edited, and numeric edited items are initialized to spaces.
  • Numeric items are initialized to zero.
  • Pointer items are initialized to null.
  • Index items are initialized to the value 1.

Database Access

The following new features have been added as part of database access support:

  • Support added for DB2 LUW version 10.5.
  • Enhanced RETURN-CODE processing.
  • Enhanced internationalization support for UNICODE, DBCS and MBCS.
  • Enhanced GET DIAGNOSTICS statement support.
  • Enhanced LOB support for CLOB, BLOB and DBCLOB data types.
  • Enhanced IDE support for OPTION directives.
  • Now provides support for the creation of save points and rolling back to save points.
XA Switch Modules
Restriction: This feature applies only when the Enterprise Server feature is enabled.
  • New two-phase commit module for SQL Server based on Microsoft's XA switch. This provides support for xa_recover.
  • Support for DB2 LUW version 10.5.
  • Support for Oracle version 12.1.

Eclipse IDE

Assigning memory to Linkage Section items
If the debugger steps on a line with an unassigned linkage item (for example, if you are debugging only a part of your application and no memory has been allocated to that linkage item), debugging terminates. To assign linkage to that data item and continue debugging, you need to select the data item, right-click it and click Inspect COBOL. When prompted, confirm and assign a value to the data item. Alternatively, to assign linkage, you can right-click the data item in the Variables view and click Change Value.
Indicating that a file is a copybook or a COBOL program
In COBOL Explorer, you can now use two new file context menu commands to indicate that a COBOL program is a copybook (Transform Program to Copybook) and that a copybook is a COBOL program (Transform Copybook to Program). You may need to use these in situations when you imported existing COBOL source code in the Eclipse IDE and some of the files were incorrectly identified as either a copybook or a COBOL program.

Enterprise Server Integration in the IDE

You can now use the context menu for the servers in Server Explorer to enable the display of the Enterprise Server log information in the Console view.

Environment Variables

The following environment variable has been added in this release:
strictvsam enables strict mainframe emulation when processing VSAM files.
When set to ON and running under mainframe emulation, file status 37 is returned for an existing VSAM file when opened for OUTPUT if the file has data or previously had data written to it, or if the file is of a different format to the file on disk. When set to OFF, file status 0 is returned and a new file is created when an existing VSAM file is opened for OUTPUT. This variable is set to OFF by default.

Fileshare Recovery

Recovery of Fileshare data files has been enhanced.

Rollback recovery is a faster process that aims to fix the files from their failed state.

This process cannot be used in all scenarios, but a new user exit has also been introduced that allows you to programmatically control which files you wish to recover with this process.

Hot backups are also a new introduction, which allow you to perform a backup without having to shut down Fileshare.

Line Numbering for COBOL Programs

This release provides options for auto-inserting or removing line numbers in source files open the editor. Features include:

  • COBOL numbering - line numbers are inserted in the sequence area of the code (columns 1 - 6), starting by default at 000100 at the first line, incrementing by 100 by default.

    Micro Focus recommends that you use COBOL numbering only if your files are in fixed or variable source format.

  • Standard numbering - line numbers are inserted immediately to the right of area B, in columns 73 - 80, starting by default at 00000100 at the first line, incrementing by 100 by default.

    Micro Focus recommends that you use Standard numbering only if your files are in fixed format.

  • The Renumber and Unnumber commands available from the context menu in the editor.

Working with the Mainframe

This release includes the “Launch ISPF” functionality as a technical preview. This feature is supported only under z/OS 1.13.

Managed COBOL

Visual COBOL now provides support for Java managed beans (MBean) in JVM COBOL code that enable you to manage and monitor RunUnits, and to identify certain issues such as leaks and long-running RunUnits.

  • You can enable an MBean only for a particular RunUnit level or for all RunUnits you create.
  • You can view and use MBeans from programs such as Oracle's Java Mission Control or JConsole.
  • MBeans include the LogicalRunUnitCount and LiveRunUnitCount attributes that enable a visual indication of how many RunUnits are live. If the values of these two attributes are different, this might indicate some issues.

This release also includes the following tutorials for JVM COBOL:

Deploying JVM COBOL to an Application Server
Using some ready-made sample projects, this tutorial guides you through implementing your JVM COBOL code into an Enterprise JavaBean (EJB), then deploying it to a JBoss application server. Instructions are also included on how to deploy the application to WebSphere and WebLogic application servers.

Managed COBOL Syntax

This release includes the following enhancements to the managed COBOL syntax:

Specifying parameters in the method signature
You can now specify passing parameters and returning items in the method signature, instead of using a Procedure Division header. This applies to methods, indexers, iterators, constructors and delegates.
CONSTANT keyword
Use the CONSTANT keyword on a field to protect it from being altered.
Operations on string fields
You can now use the STRING, UNSTRING and INSPECT statements on fields of type string.

Project and Item Templates

Support is now available for using existing projects and files as custom templates to create new projects and files. You create and configure projects that include the files and settings you would like to use as templates.

Remote Connections

Visual COBOL now provides a new connection type, Micro Focus DevHub using SSH, that uses a Secure Shell daemon process to launch a server on the remote host.

You can use this type of connection when the UNIX machine you are connecting to uses LDAP authentication which is not supported by the DevHub daemon.

Using this connection also means you do not need to run the DevHub daemon process with root privileges. It also gives you greater flexibility in setting environment variables needed for building or debugging on the remote server.

Rumba Integration with Eclipse

This release provides enhanced integration with the Micro Focus Rumba application for running and debugging Mainframe Subsystem applications that require a TN3270 emulator to run. You can now configure Eclipse to launch a Rumba mainframe display embedded in the IDE or a mainframe session of Rumba Desktop.

Terminfo Files

The following terminfo files have been added:

  • ansi80x25 - this is based on the old ansi file. A newer version of ansi exists in this release that has no function key support, which is consistent with ansi terminfo files on various other UNIX platforms. If you currently use ansi and require function key support, you should instead set the TERM environment variable to ansi80x25 to continue previous behavior.
  • xterm-color and kterm-color - these are now available on all UNIX platforms - previously, they were only available on Linux.
  • aixterm-old (AIX systems only) - this has similar capabilities to the AIX OS terminfo file of the same name. It differs from the existing aixterm file, because it has no line drawing capability. Line drawing is only possible with aixterm if it is displayed on an appropriate display (X server).
  • vt220-w - this is the wide (132-column) version of the vt220 file, and is based on the vt100-w file. For more information, see Wide Terminal Mode in the documentation referenced at the bottom of this section.

There have been a number of additions and fixes to existing terminfo files; refer to the Terminfo Database and Terminal Devices section of the documentation for full details.

There have also been a number of terminfo files that have been removed; refer to the Backward Compatibility section for a complete list.