Developer Days: Applications and Andy Warhol

So, the current season of ten Developer Day events has just wound up, and now all the presentations are done and the prizes handed out – what are the take-outs for Micro Focus?


Well, they can’t be measured in numbers alone. Industry statistics about COBOL’s continued popularity may be interesting, but nothing beats hearing first-hand about the value our customers’ COBOL applications are delivering to their businesses. And while case studies are valuable, anecdotal material is priceless.

At Developer Days, we’re hearing from people getting great results using Visual COBOL systems on new platforms, such as .NET, Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and the cloud, as well as UNIX, Windows and Linux, without changing a single line of code. It’s good for the business-critical applications users already have, and those they will need in the future. After all, building applications is what COBOL is for. And how many other programming languages can boast 50 years of service?

The DNA of Business Applications

At Micro Focus, we think COBOL is the most valuable application development option available to our customers, and that’s what we are hearing at our Developer Days. These are real people talking about real world applications. Some are focussed on getting more out of their current business-critical applications, others want to implement innovation for the future. We don’t call it the Agent of Change for nothing.



Gartner confirms the ongoing resilience of COBOL. They estimated that about 80% of the 300bn lines of computer code currently in use are COBOL. People are still hiring COBOL developers to work on new projects, and we’re using our own initiatives to ensure they’ll be there, supporting future business initiatives.

But COBOL is just for financial services, right?

Wrong. Sure, COBOL supports much of the world’s banking and insurance vertical markets, but it is at play in many of our customers’ applications and they shared some of the details with us at the developer day events. We serve a diverse client base. To quote a few examples, they are using COBOL to create apps that manage livestock genetic information across US, and play-by-play editing software for sports coaches, to quote two examples. Need more proof? We heard all about how Micro Focus COBOL development innovation is at work in so many situations. They included…

  • An application that manages ingredient supply chain across a New York Kosher store chain
  • An application to drive footwear inventory and retail POS in Massachusetts.
  • A Private Mortgage Insurance system in Boston
  • A Hospital Material Supply Management and Tracking application in Atlanta
  • An application to provide Boat Insurance in Washington, DC
  • A Life, Property, Casualty Insurance system  in the North East
  • An outdoor and hunting Sport Accessories Wholesaler and Distributor in Canada
  • An application providing County Government Citizen Services in Texas
  • A Retail food manufacturer and wholesaler system
  • A range of back-office applications for a major ISP and Communications provider
  • A range of internal systems supporting a global Automotive manufacturer and retailer

The customer view – Neil Willby

The recent UK Developer Day event saw a customer showcase presentation from Neil Willby, managing director for Eurorealm Consultants, an ISV specializing in accountancy software. Neil demonstrated how Eurorealm have gone from green-screen to Cloud and mobile, keeping pace with industry trends for four decades using innovative COBOL technology from Micro Focus.

Guess the brand

Some big names dropped by to our Dev Days. These are contemporary brands that recognise how their future could be written in a language half a century old. They include a major urban shoe retailer, a ‘star’ of the German car market and a company whose product featured in one of Andy Warhol’s most iconic paintings. Hundreds of attending customers recognise the potential value that Visual COBOL could bring to their applications and, by extension, their business.

Developer Days are now also attracting non-COBOL people with differing job descriptions, all interested in the possibilities that COBOL applications and data handling could offer them. Because there are more similarities between COBOL and modern data processing systems than you might think.

Better performance for more people

Micro Focus Visual COBOL uses the very latest technology to deliver industry-leading development and deployment tools across a variety of platforms for different skillsets. From business analyst and IT manager right through to developers – who can’t use dramatically-reduced development costs and improved application and organizational performance?

Come along and see for yourself. Share your COBOL story and see the possibilities that COBOL could offer your organization going forwards. We’re pulling together our programme of the Developer Days for 2014 and we’d love to see you there. Discover more here



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