Offer higher quality and cost-effective customer service by moving from traditional COBOL data files to modern relational database management systems (RDBMS). Manually updating COBOL applications to accommodate this move is costly and time-consuming.
Micro Focus COBOL has been in use for decades at Systems & Software and is the basis of enQuesta. This core COBOL system integrates very effectively with a Java Web services front-end.
COBOL data files are the traditional data storage mechanism integrated into the COBOL language. While fast and efficient, COBOL data files do have drawbacks, as David Atwood, Software Developer at Systems & Software, explains: “Recovering from a system failure can be very time consuming, as the data needs to be checked and repaired. Our solutions are absolutely mission-critical for our customers; some of them are even integrated into the power grid, so any downtime is unacceptable. Data analysis and reporting can also be difficult with COBOL data files. It’s hard to access the data directly and it often requires extra engineering. We felt we could serve our customers better if we moved to a modern relational database management system (RDBMS), such as Oracle.”
But although an RDBMS solution was highly desirable, manually modifying COBOL application source code to use SQL syntax, necessary for RDBMS integration, is a time consuming and complex process, as Atwood explains: “Our COBOL applications are large and complex and manually updating the code was a daunting prospect. We anticipated needing at least 2 years before we could get a new RDBMS solution to market”