SYSPRO needed to ensure they could attract new developer talent to support the future of their market leading ERP solution. They were looking to use industry standard tooling to complement agile software development practices and help on-board new developers unfamiliar with COBOL more easily.
Since the mid-1980s, SYSPRO has relied on COBOL and Micro Focus for the development and deployment of its ERP solution. The product and its user interface underwent continual improvement and from the late 1990s, SYSPRO used Micro Focus Net Express to deploy its product to the global customer base.
Russell Hollick, Chief Software Architect for SYSPRO, explains the need for a more modern development environment: “Net Express served us extremely well, but we are conscious that a new generation of developers does not perceive COBOL as modern and cutting-edge. At SYSPRO we have a development internship and so every year young people join our team of 110 developers and software testers. It’s important for us to remain relevant and a modern development environment is a crucial part of that. So, when we heard about Micro Focus Visual COBOL, we were very interested to understand what it might offer us.”
This coincided with SYSPRO wanting to offer 64-bit support within its ERP solution. Installation of licenses and application setup was regularly a challenge across their customer base and SYSPRO were looking to simplify the overall installation process for their customers.