Advanced delivers focused software solutions for public sector, enterprise, commercial, and health care organizations that simplify complex business challenges and deliver immediate value.
With over 40 million Lines of Code (LOC), rewriting e5 was never an option, but amending it for the cloud market was, so Advanced CloudFinancials was created. Advanced was pleased to learn that Visual COBOL supports the Docker container platform, further increasing flexibility for application development and deployment. A Docker container image is a light-weight, standalone, executable package of software that includes everything needed to run an application: code, runtime, system tools, system libraries, and settings. Packaging the CloudFinancials application within a container ensures that all required software components are available irrespective of where the application is ultimately deployed – on premise or public cloud.
The Advanced team architected the CloudFinancials COBOL code to run as micro services within the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform. Running independently within Docker containers means several asynchronous COBOL processes can handle bulk updates, giving greater scalability and performance and making the most of compute resources available to CloudFinancials customers.
Visual COBOL also enabled Advanced to leverage PostgreSQL, an open source relational database management system. Cowell: “We can now offer customers a cost-effective alternative to traditional on premise RDBMS. Our ability to target multiple RDBMS vendors is a major part of the value we’re getting from Visual COBOL that we can offer to our customers.”
Visual COBOL support for Docker containers has optimized the development process within Advanced. A new DevOps approach ensures that when source code is changed a container is built automatically and promoted to a Quality Assurance (QA) testing environment in Amazon. From there, it’s automatically deployed in a continuous process, so that CloudFinancials customers have instant access to new features and fixes.
Being able to provide a cloud version of E5 has delivered many benefits, according to Cowell: “Our customers enjoy more cost-effective and flexible deployment, with higher server density. It used to take us at least half a day to configure a new customer. With Visual COBOL Docker support this is done in minutes now. Docker containers allow centralized process logging, and health checking of all containers, with a self-healing system in place. New instances can be started and stopped easily and our customers are at all times assured of the strict data privacy regulations CloudFinancials adheres to, using the container method.” He concludes: “Our choice for Micro Focus COBOL over 25 years ago is still paying dividends for us, having now made the move to the cloud, leveraging Visual COBOL and its Docker support.”