Simplifying COBOL Portability to Java, Azure and .NET

Thursday Jan 20th 2011 by Keith Vance
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Micro Focus announced a new product today to make it easier to write portable COBOL so that it works with Java, Microsoft Azure or .NET.

COBOL was created in 1959. And over the last 52 years, it's been beaten and battered by many and classified as dead more than once.

"The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should, therefore, be regarded as a criminal offense," computer scientist and Turing Award recipient Edsger Dijkstra said in 1975.

But COBOL is not dead. According to the folks at Micro Focus, the language powers applications that move 72,000 shipping containers, manage 60 million patient records, process 80 percent of point-of-sale transactions and connect 500 million mobile phone users.

Today, Micro Focus announced a new product called Visual COBOL R3, which gives programmers the ability to keep building and maintaining COBOL applications, but with the power of Java, Microsoft Azure and .NET.

"Taking COBOL to new platforms like .NET, JVM or the cloud supports a growing trend toward developers choosing the best language for the job, independent of the choice of best deployment platform to use," Gartner Research vice president Mark Driver said.

"By running COBOL on the JVM," Micro Focus says, "they can combine the features of the JVM with all the advantages of COBOL."

COBOL R3 works with Visual Studio 2010 and Eclipse.


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