The core CPS application system was originally developed for the Unisys mainframe environment, which uses COBOL as its primary development language. Due to the complexity of Brazilian laws around long term mortgage loans, many batch and online programs are used, which requires frequent modifications.
CPS wanted to improve development team productivity. One development team was dedicated to the maintenance of the Unisys environment and the other team developed specific products for the Windows platform. Additionally, the time it took to deliver new functionality was a huge concern for IT. In an effort to address these business problems, CPS moved its core mainframe application code to a distributed platform under Net Express. This move provided incremental improvements and performed very well. However, with an eye to the future and anticipating further application requirements down the line, a more efficient application development and deployment solution was needed.
Micro Focus Visual COBOL provided a natural continuation for CPS and their core application portfolio. The process of upgrading their Net Express application to Visual COBOL was a straightforward task and one that enabled CPS to offer a more modern solution to their customers. With prior expertise and a successful track record using Micro Focus technology, CPS was confident that Visual COBOL was the natural path for modernization and improvement of their core applications.
CPS saw immediate benefit in the immense development capability available under Visual COBOL. With the COBOL language tightly integrated within a modern development environment, CPS developers could quickly edit, compile, debug, and test their apps with proficiency. As a result of these new development aids, a more streamlined, integrated and quality-driven development process for CPS was achieved. Additionally, development and test efficiencies gained, as a result of the modern tooling, allowed for faster service provisioning, providing new functionality to their users, faster.
CPS’s ability to maintain quality throughout the development, testing and maintenance process was a key requirement. The Visual COBOL for Visual Studio solution provided advanced editing, debug and testing features which proved very beneficial for the CPS team. Access to the COBOL language within a modern IDE, such as Visual Studio, made application development much easier, more efficient, and it enabled faster feature delivery. It also broadened access to skills across the CPS organization. These development aids and process integration benefits will reduce IT costs, over time, as its dev team improves their proficiency and productivity using these tools.
Edson Salles Teixeira, Technology Director, explains: “Micro Focus Visual COBOL gave us the ability to instantly unlock the value within our core systems and take our COBOL apps to new distributed platforms, such as Windows.”
After the recent move from Net Express to Visual COBOL, CPS can now access key COBOL business services from new devices, including smartphones and tablets. The service is delivered as a Software as a Service (SaaS) to banking clients leveraging the power of cloud computing. Texeira: “We recently delivered a web services project for one of our clients. Using Visual COBOL, in 30 days we delivered what would have taken us six to seven months in the previous environment!”
The CPS development efficiency gains seen as a result of Visual COBOL have been remarkable. Texeira comments: “Visual COBOL has significantly increased our development productivity and simultaneously allowed us to preserve valuable application code containing 30 years of investment and development. We were expecting some upgrade issues, but moving from Net Express to Visual COBOL was an amazingly simple process. Having had a prior background in the Visual Studio IDE, and within two weeks of effort, our developers were up and running and fluent in the new development environment.”
A clear, simple and integrated development environment means vast improvements in developer productivity and performance as everyday navigation and functionality is considerably better. Visual COBOL provides the ability to compile and debug COBOL programs now fully integrated with .NET languages. This enables CPS to align its application portfolio with its IT strategy and deliver new functionality to its customers significantly faster than before.
User interfaces are being customized to provide a better user experience – all without making changes to the existing core application programs. CPS has developed tools and processes which help deliver these UI capabilities much faster.
Micro Focus has provided CPS with a modern, productive and efficient development environment, but also enhanced the integrated process of application development and testing within IT, ultimately improving development quality and time to delivery. Teixeira: “We feel that Micro Focus Visual COBOL is all we need in order to optimize our development work on a modern platform. Our productivity and quality has increased beyond measure. We will continue writing in Visual COBOL and developing our applications further, secure in the knowledge that Micro Focus will support our core applications and our COBOL strategy.”