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.
Visual COBOL 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.
Visual COBOL 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.
You can use Visual COBOL 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
Both new and existing COBOL can be compiled as .NET managed code. This enables you to:
Both procedural and OO COBOL are supported within the .NET framework. OO COBOL classes can inherit classes written in other Microsoft .NET languages and vice versa.
The managed 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 managed 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.
Visual COBOL provides the following support for Dialog System applications:
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 Visual COBOL 2.0.
You can modernize Dialog System applications within Visual COBOL. You migrate an application to Visual COBOL and from there you can run the application without change, or modernize it over time.
Modernization techniques include:
Visual COBOL 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, 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.