GMM relies heavily on an in-house developed COBOL application, which manages all aspects of the organization: purchase and resale of parts, maintenance of existing lifts, construction of new equipment, as well as design and delivery. It is vital for running the business and with a database of over 75,000 parts the application underpinning it has over the last 10+ years grown to include 500 programs, 380 copybooks, more than 150,000 lines of code.
Isidore Liria, IT Manager for GMM, explains the challenge: “We needed to replace our dated character-based user interface with something more modern, taking advantage of today’s graphical capabilities. Faster time to market was a priority too as we regularly need to enhance or customize the application which can take time. We investigated the market for a replacement, particularly in the ERP space, but simply could not find anything which could be customized to cater for our particular business.”
In reviewing their options, the GMM team looked closely at the latest features of the extend toolset and were keen to see if the graphical development tools for the Windows platform could be used to update the application user interface (UI). They found that the ACUCOBOL-GT tools not only enabled them to create a modern UI but the automatic code generation tools also meant they could deliver new functionality more rapidly than ever before.
The GMM development team decided to move forward with this solution and having removed the old character screens, a single developer was able to replace them with a new graphical UI in just 18 months.
“We never had any downtime with our application, ACUCOBOL-GT is a very stable solution and since we started to work with the Micro Focus team, the customer care and support we’ve experienced has been excellent. At each of my “How to” questions, I always got clear answers and guidance. This really made a positive difference for our team and recently we decided to upgrade to the latest version to take advantage of the most recent enhancements to the Graphical Technology,” comments Mr. Liria.
The decision to develop in COBOL has paid off for GMM. The application, modernized through ACUCOBOL-GT, continues to deliver value to the business. The company remains committed to COBOL and the extend product line, of which ACUCOBOL-GT is a part.
“Given our investment in COBOL so far, ACUCOBOL-GT has given our application a future and the latest version has given us many new features to take advantage of in our development activities.”
Micro Focus, a member of the FTSE 250, provides innovative software that allows companies to dramatically improve the business value of their enterprise applications. Micro Focus Enterprise Application Modernization, Testing and Management software enables customers’ business applications to respond rapidly to market changes and embrace modern architectures with reduced cost and risk.