Misfortune paints a misdeed more accurately
After its pros retire, MPE remains employed

COBOL moves upward with new Java client

Veryant, the COBOL provider which specializes in integration with the added networking of Java, has introduced an SP2 version of its app suite that can embed JavaScript into COBOL clients. These are the sorts of features which can motivate a migration off a 3000. Java/iX has become as static as the rest of the MPE environment, another example of HP's dropped developments.

The Veryant product is called isCOBOL, and its Application Development Suite (APS) improves the thin client performance by way of a 2.0 version of Web Direct and a retooled Indexed Sequential Access Method (ISAM). Veryant boosted the ISAM performance by taking the what it calls JISAM into an all-Java design.

Veryant is also targeting the users of Micro Focus products such as ACUCOBOL with this latest release, promising that the latest isCOBOL has "greater compatibility with outdated platforms such as ACUCOBOL-GT and RM/COBOL, further simplifying the move to isCOBOL from alternative COBOL compilers."

The ACUCOBOL approach to migrating COBOL has also offered extended COBOL features for the 3000 user who migrates from HP's COBOL. ACUCOBOL was built with the 3000-specific intrinsic calls of COBOL II in mind, so that ACU software can be used to lift-and-shift as an initial migration phase. Veryant's reps say that these 3000 nuances need to be rewritten for when deploying isCOBOL. But the latest Veryant solution adds much more for fans of Java.

The 3000 migration community has heard of Veryant -- Speedware's Nick Fortin listed it among a handful of COBOL options -- but so far there are no reports of a migration site choosing this COBOL over Micro Focus, Fujitsu or ACUCOBOL. However, Veryant offers a novel approach for the 3000 developer and architect who may be daunted -- or just short on time, for getting immersed in Java. Alfredo Iglesias made a case for isCOBOL not long ago.

The majority of Veryant customers find the idea of leveraging their COBOL and application expertise while deploying pure Java applications very attractive. They do not have to learn the Java programming language, Java scripting, Ajax, Web programming, etc. They are able to play in the Java sandbox using the COBOL programming language (including OO COBOL), a standards base COBOL compiler, a graphical, portable debugger with remote debugging capabilities and a COBOL friendly IDE based on the Eclipse platform.

Details on the SP2 enhancements to indexing and thin client performance are available at the Veryant Web page about the new release. A few ACUCOBOL-GT statements and the ACU report section are better supported if a customer is migrating (again) from ACUCOBOL to isCOBOL. There's an extensive data sheet to peruse as well.

Veryant offered a highlight in its press release about a independent software vendor who saw improvements in client-side performance when moving their ERP app to the SP2 version.

Integrated ERP provider Softwrx used the thin client approach to add distribution flexibility and enhance the appearance of its COBOL-based financial accounting application. The company moved 880 programs from ACUCOBOL-GT to isCOBOL in under a month. Today, Softwrx offers a modern thin client deployment model where customers can access COBOL applications directly on the desktop or distributed across a virtual private network (VPN).
“Implementing a universal thin client distribution model and browser-based access has enabled us to improve customer satisfaction and streamline operations,” said John Jackson, chief information officer of Softwrx. “Our decision to move to Veryant has lowered our total cost of ownership without resulting in additional complexity for our programming team.”