Why Move to .NET COBOL Code?

Using .NET COBOL code has many advantages such as:

Micro Focus COBOL already is a .NET language:
The COBOL language has been extended over the years and supports a lot of the features in the .NET framework.

In most cases, the process of moving to .NET COBOL code entails recompiling the existing COBOL code to .NET COBOL code in Visual COBOL. Also, you can use the ILSMARTLINKAGE COBOL compiler directive to recompile to .NET COBOL code (see the Examples section in this topic). ILSMARTLINKAGE enables COBOL to interoperate with other managed languages.

Take full advantage of the capabilities of the .NET framework:
  • Use the run-time system services provided by the CLR - these provide for integrity and the security of your COBOL applications, and provide exception handling and garbage collection. As the run-time system services optimize how your code executes, this results in improved application performance over time.
  • Improve your application performance - the .NET framework applies many optimizations including those based on how the code is actually executed at run time; therefore, it can make optimizations that a static analysis cannot.
  • Create your own .NET COBOL objects - with .NET COBOL you can do a lot of what you can do with any other managed languages, such as creating your own methods, classes, delegates, and interfaces. See An Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming for COBOL Developers, available on the Micro Focus Customer Support Documentation Web site.
  • Easy to learn if you have experience with other managed languages - learning .NET COBOL doesn't differ from learning any other managed language. If you already program in other managed languages, you only need to learn the syntax rules.
  • Access a variety of reusable libraries of code - the .NET framework includes large libraries of reusable code and constructs which you can reuse directly in .NET COBOL code. This means you can easily solve just about any programming task, and be more productive in your work.
COBOL can interoperate with other languages:
  • Since all .NET languages compile to files that use the same Common Intermediate Language (IL), COBOL compiled to .NET COBOL code can talk to other .NET applications written in any other .NET language, or be deployed on other .NET platforms.
  • COBOL can interoperate with other languages - other languages can call COBOL and vice versa.
  • Debug COBOL and parts of your application in other .NET languages together. You can step between the COBOL code and the code written in the other .NET language.
Create new, modern user interfaces:
Using .NET COBOL code is a great way to modernize the look and feel of your applications through the use of technologies such as the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF).
Create applications for deployment on the Web and mobile:
Modern application servers are designed to be used by applications written in a managed language such as C#, Java, and .NET COBOL. Using native COBOL for applications you upload to the server might not be possible or could lead to instabilities if the native program terminates due to an error condition.