Overview of Application Development

Visual COBOL Development Hub can be used standalone or in conjunction with Visual COBOL for Eclipse.

The following is an overview of the process of developing programs if you are using Visual COBOL Development Hub as a standalone product:

  1. Access Visual COBOL Development Hub:
    1. Connect to the UNIX or Linux machine that has Development Hub installed.
    2. Open a terminal and set the environment - see Setting up the product.
  2. Create a program:

    Use a UNIX-based editor to create a COBOL source file and type your code in it.

  3. Compile the program:

    When you have created your source program, you can invoke the Compiler and try to compile the program to ensure it is valid COBOL.

    If the Compiler finds any syntax errors, return to the editor to correct the errors before compiling again.

  4. Debug the program:

    When the program compiles with no errors, you debug, run and test it using Animator. Animator enables you to watch and control the working of your program, seen entirely as COBOL source, and therefore makes testing and debugging very efficient.

    If you find an error while testing, go back to the source in the editor to correct the error. You then need to invoke the Compiler and Animator again.

    You can use Animator only on native COBOL programs that have been compiled or linked to any of the formats supported by Visual COBOL: intermediate code, generated code, callable shared object code or system executable code. The ability of Animator to debug all supported executable formats means that you can debug programs at any stage of the application development cycle.

    Note: You can only use Animator to test native COBOL programs. A debugger for JVM COBOL at present is only available if you use Visual COBOL for Eclipse to debug your sources on the remote UNIX or Linux machine.
  5. When your program is working correctly, you can run it. Any subprograms and run-time support modules that it needs are automatically loaded as necessary.
  6. Ship the application:

    When your application is working correctly you might want to optimize it and ship it to your users.

    The Compiler's syntax check phase produces intermediate code; this is a Micro Focus proprietary code, contained in a file with a filename extension of .int, which can be interpreted by Animator and the Run function. If you want faster execution, you can create optimized object code in two native machine code formats:

    • Generated code, contained in a file with a filename extension .gnt
    • Callable shared object code, contained in a filename extension .so

    You can run files in both formats in the same way as intermediate code.

    You can create generated code or callable shared objects using the menus, or by using the cob command. You can also create an executable file by creating native machine code, with the filename extension .o, and then linking this with the run-time support files to create a system executable file (which usually has no extension and is known as an a.out file). This executable file can call .so, .int and .gnt files if required.

    Shipping components of this system to users is subject to a license agreement.