Dialog System information and restrictions

Visual COBOL includes the Dialog System run-time components, Dialog System painter and a subset of the development components. This includes:

  • Dialog System run-time system and run-time components.
  • Panels V2.
  • Dialog System painter.
  • GUI class library and OLE class library. These libraries are needed if you migrate an existing Dialog System application that was extended using those libraries.

    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.

  • Visual Studio plug-in to associate screensets in Visual Studio with Dialog System. Double-clicking a screenset in Solution Explorer in Visual COBOL starts the Dialog System painter.
  • Sample applications demonstrating a range of modernization techniques.
  • Supporting documentation in this Help explaining the significant elements of the sample code.

Prerequisites and Requirements

  • Visual COBOL for Visual Studio 2019 provides full support for developing and running applications.

    You can run Dialog System applications (not develop them) if you have COBOL Server installed.

  • Previously, the Dialog System components were installed as part of the Compatibility AddPack for Visual COBOL. If you have an older version of the AddPack installed on the same machine, it must be uninstalled before you install this release of Visual COBOL.

Starting Dialog System

To start the Dialog System painter:

  • In Visual Studio, click Tools > Micro Focus Dialog System.
  • Alternatively. double-click a screenset file, .gs, in your project in Solution Explorer.

Restrictions and Limitations

The following restrictions apply to the Dialog System Runtime:

  • It is not possible to edit screensets in Visual COBOL. To make changes to a screenset, you use the Dialog System painter which is installed with Visual COBOL.
  • Several Dialog System extensions are not supported, such as DSGRAPH, DSDDE, DSPLAYER and DSONLINE.
  • Only x86 projects are supported, because there is no 64-bit support for Dialog System.
  • Unlike in Net Express, debuggable versions of the class libraries are not installed automatically (and there is no debugger switch to enable use of the debug versions as there is in Net Express). Instead, you need to build the libraries yourself. See Migrating a Dialog System Application to Visual COBOL in Related Information at the end of this topic.
  • The Dialog System painter generated incomplete code for ActiveX controls if the controls contained internal objects. No code was generated for finalizing these objects which can cause the application to crash upon exit. To ensure the application exits cleanly you need to add some code to finalize these objects as part of the finalization of the ActiveX control itself. Specifically, any objects created by invoking the ActiveX control’s domain object through the “GetDomainObject” method must be finalized prior to exiting the application.
  • Applying the Windows visual styles to existing Dialog System applications might result in changing the size and positioning of controls and in UI inconsistency of your applications between different versions of Windows. For more information about some of the UI inconsistences that can occur, see ....