Modernizing a Dialog System Application

Modernize Dialog System applications by migrating them to Visual COBOL When you are ready to modernize the application, you can choose from a range of techniques. You have the flexibility to modernize as much or as little as you want in your own time. For example, you can replace one Dialog System dialog with a Windows Form or you can wrap a .NET WPF control as an ActiveX control and use that on a Dialog System dialog.

There are distinct advantages to modernizing gradually and using the interoperability techniques to keep the old and new code working together. Microsoft's recommendation is:

"The COM interoperability features of the .NET Framework are very powerful and, in nearly all cases, allow you to continue to use your existing code without migrating it to managed code. As you develop new parts of your application or reuse components of your application from newer managed code applications, in most cases you can simply call your existing components through the COM interoperability functionality provided by .NET."

There are a range of modernization techniques and a multitude of ways to adopt them. The technique to use depends on the application. You first need to understand the application, what it does, how it's structured, how it performs, and its limitations and benefits. You can then identify an area where you can improve things.

Some modernization techniques that you can use are:

Your Visual COBOL solution is likely to have some native code projects and some .NET COBOL code projects. The native code projects will contain the original code, largely unchanged, and also the .NET COBOL code projects will contain the new modernized elements.

Note: It is not possible to debug both native and .NET COBOL in the same session. You can debug them separately by setting the project you want to debug as the StartUp project. To do this, right-click your project, and click Set as StartUp project.