Tutorial: OpenESQL Assistant

Guides you through the process of using the OpenESQL Assistant to generate SQL queries and a COBOL application to contain them.

In this tutorial, you create an application using OpenESQL Assistant to generate a skeleton COBOL program, an SQL query to embed into that program, and to generate and embed an INCLUDE statement for a generated copybook that defines host variables. It also takes you through the process of customizing the program code, and debugging the resulting application.


This tutorial is written from the perspective that all of the following is true. Specific instructions for setting up your environment to adhere to these assumptions is found in the Before you begin this tutorial section that follows:

  • Windows File Explorer is set to show file names and extensions.
  • You are running the latest version of Micro Focus Visual COBOL, which has been installed on your local machine using default installation settings.
  • You have installed and can access a supported version of Microsoft SQL Server.
  • Visual COBOL is started on your local machine, and the appropriate Perspective and View are open..
  • Eclipse options are set to build projects automatically.
  • Eclipse Enterprise Server preferences have been set to automatically start and stop the associated enterprise server region when debugging, and dynamic debugging is enabled.
  • You have addressed all of the items in the Before you begin this tutorial section below.

Before you begin this tutorial

Install Microsoft SQL Server
To complete this tutorial, you must have Microsoft SQL Server, including the SQL Server Management Studio, installed and configured on your machine. For information on current supported versions, see the OpenESQL section of the Database Management Systems (DBMSs) topic.
Set Windows File Explorer options
These tutorials assume that your Windows File Explorer options are set to use the Details layout, and to show file name extensions. See your Windows documentation for more information.
Start Visual COBOL
Start Visual COBOL using the default workspace, which is c:\users\username\workspace where username is your operating system login ID. If you need instructions to get Visual COBOL started on your local machine, see To start Visual COBOL.
Open the appropriate Perspective and View in Eclipse
When you start Visual COBOL for the first time, the COBOL perspective starts automatically by default, and shows the COBOL Explorer view. If this is not the case, open the COBOL perspective as follows:
  1. From the Eclipse IDE, click Open Perspective Open Perspective.
  2. On the Open Perspective dialog box, select COBOL, and then click OK.
Set Eclipse to build automatically
By default, the Eclipse Build Automatically option is turned on, which means that Eclipse builds a project automatically each time a change is made. To ensure that this Build Automatically is turned on:
  1. From the Eclipse Main Menu, click Project.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If the Build Automatically menu option has a check mark to its left, it is already turned on. No further action is required.
    • If the Build Automatically menu option does not have a check mark to its left, click the option to turn it on.
Set Enterprise Server debug options
  1. From the Eclipse main menu, click Window > Preferences.
  2. In the left pane, expand Micro Focus, and click Enterprise Server.
  3. Set the following options to Always, and then click Apply and Close:
    • Automatically start the associated server
    • Automatically stop servers started by Eclipse when closing Eclipse
    • Automatically enable dynamic debugging


To complete this tutorial, progress through these topics in the order presented here. The bottom of each topic provides Next topic and Previous topic navigational links to help you proceed in the proper sequence: