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Finding Vintage App Support: Protos

Commitments to the HP 3000 for enterprises demand support resources. There's a limit to how much expertise a company can carry for applications and code that might be more than 15-20 years old. At some point, homesteading firms need to reach out for application support that's not on the payroll.

ProtosOne good example is software written using Protos, a 3+ GL used in the '80s and '90s in HP 3000 environments. Protos gave its sites a way to code using advanced, time-saving functions, but the output from this language was COBOL. The company gave way to changes after Y2K and ended support, but Protos code lives on in a few mission-critical uses.

We've run across an independent support pro who counts Protos among his skills. Clint Ellis, of Ellis Dodge Technical, included Protos among a toolset of 3000 staples such as COBOL, Pascal, Fortran and Basic. He's also consulting on Linux, so there's a range of services available from him. Protos has been found at migration sites, too.

These are the sorts of skills that any application support provider should be able to locate and engage on behalf of a 3000 customer. Application support is a growing segment of business for 3000 vendors who are serving the homesteading customer. As migrations decline in your community, the experts who made them possible are making a transition into such support.

Protos is a favorite of Ellis's experiences, but it's in his past. "I have not done any Protos stuff for quite awhile," he reports. " I was at the Wichita Eagle newspaper in the mid '80s -- we used Protos for all our new development (and since it generated COBOL it allowed us to be compliant with corporate standards)  I attended at least one advanced course with Protos in Austin. Haven't seen it since. While I was a strong COBOL programmer, I liked Protos very much."