Moving to a more modern development IDE to deliver a user-friendly GUI. The company also needed real-time and relational access to its COBOL application data.
COBOL is crucial to running its operations. From handling customer orders, to inventory control, purchasing, bill of materials, accounts receivable/payable, general ledger, and production, every element of the business is controlled by COBOL programs. Shipping nearly 450,000 items each year, and managing over 200,000 inventory items across different locations in different states, calls for sophisticated IT support.
The company moved from Micro Focus Object COBOL (OCDS) to Server Express, but its IT Manager still struggled with some limitations: “Our application users were limited to 24x80 screens which meant lots of navigating between screens to complete actions. We felt a more modern development IDE would help us design a user-friendly and efficient interface. We also noticed an increase in demand for querying our COBOL data for reporting purposes. We used Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) drivers to access and extract data, but this could only give us a snapshot in time, when we really wanted near real-time and relational access to data to share with our Window applications. Finally, more recent hires in our IT department were not familiar with COBOL, and we looked for a development environment where we could leverage our 25 year COBOL investment, and yet attract a new generation of developers.”
The company maintained over 1,000 COBOL programs, containing 1,700,000 LOC (Lines of Code) while also sharing macros. The IT team wanted to improve both the end-user and developer experience.