Building a stronger sense of community–It’s a topic often discussed across many industries and technical professions and coincidentally, also a favorite topic at Micro Focus #DevDay events. Amie Johnson, Solutions Marketing strategist at Micro Focus digs deeper into this topic and uncovers some core reasons why community matters while also sharing some exciting product news for COBOL and Mainframe enthusiasts.
If you haven’t attended a Micro Focus #DevDay event in the past few months, let me recap that typical attendee experience for you. It’s a day jam-packed will technology demonstrations, interactive Q&A sessions, hands on labs and much more. Its eight hours of technology focused discussions designed for the COBOL and Mainframe developer. If you look closely though, you’ll also see something else, beyond the tech – community development. I’m always pleased to see attending delegates in engaging conversation with other peers often sharing their ‘COBOL’ stories. This sense of community both educates, and builds best practices while establishing long term relationships for all involved. It also removes any perceived isolation that could occur if such conversations did not occur. You’ll also see many of these experienced professionals talk shop, exchange stories from the past and seek answers to needed problems and questions. In many ways, #DevDay is the place where enterprise developers belong and where everyone knows your name.
This week’s events in Dallas didn’t disappoint with a strong focus on COBOL application modernization, and performance, along with a desire to ‘sell that strategy’ upwards in the organization. With thousands upon thousands of COBOL applications supporting everyday activities including banking, insurance, air travel, equities trading, government services and more; it’s no surprise that (for many attending) COBOL remains a solid choice for core business. Most acknowledge though that there are external pressures, though, to consider new solutions, perhaps even re-write or re-place those applications with new technologies. Underlying complexity and cost, however, often sideline those projects in favor of less risky approaches to modernization. After all, these (COBOL) applications are essential to business success and the tolerance for business is often very low. But there’s pressure to modernize with an eye to embracing new models, new tech and the future.
Micro Focus Continued Investment in COBOL and Mainframe Technologies
The goal of course, through event discussions is to ensure that all guest leave the event feeling it was valuable and delivered some practical skills which they could use when back at the office. Yes, many attending are interested in the Micro Focus investment strategy for COBOL and Mainframe tech. We cover that with ample detail and discussion ensuring all understand that COBOL is just as modern as the thousands of new programming languages available today—and they see it too through many demo examples.
This future proof strategy for COBOL ensures that applications, many of which support global enterprise, continue to function and support the business. Supporting this strategy are the following key data-points discussed while in Dallas:
- 85% of surveyed customers believe their COBOL applications are strategic to the business
- 2/3 of the survey respondents that maintain these COBOL applications are seeking new ways to improve efficiency and the software delivery process while modernizing their applications to work with next gen technology including relational database management systems, Web services, APIs and integrate with Java and .Net code environments
These drivers underpin the continued Micro Focus commitment to support the widest variety of enterprise platforms. Today, over 50+ application platforms are supported providing maximum choice, freedom and flexibility for anyone using COBOL. This capability coupled with a continued annual R&D investment of $60M reaffirms that COBOL is ready for innovation whether it be .NET, Java, mobile, cloud, or the Internet of Things. And this week brings even more exciting news as we released the latest updates to our COBOL Development and Mainframe technologies.
Mainframe Development Solution Updates
Versions 2.3.2 of Enterprise Developer, Enterprise Test Server, Enterprise Server, and Enterprise Server for .NET are now available. The Micro Focus Enterprise product suite helps organizations build, test, and deploy business critical mainframe workloads with an eye toward future innovation and market change.
Highlights in this latest update include:
- Latest platform support – including Linux on IBM Power Systems and Windows 10 – future-proofs applications.
- Ability to extract COBOL and PL/I business rules to copybooks makes code re-use easier so developers can work smarter and faster.
- Enhanced CICS Web Services support helps customers more easily meet the demand for web and mobile application interoperability.
- Improved mainframe compatibility simplifies re-hosting and extends modernization options for customers deploying to .NET and Azure.
COBOL Development Solution Updates
In COBOL development, the latest version of Visual COBOL 2.3 Update 2 includes the latest updates that helps you organize and manage core IT systems developed in COBOL, providing a pathway to new IT architecture and access to modern tools for enterprise application development. This release includes over 100 customer requested enhancements and support for the latest enterprise platform updates and 3rd party software.
Highlights in this latest update include:
- New support for the JBoss EAP platform
- Updates for the latest releases of supported operating systems
- Over 100 customer requested fixes and enhancements
For Micro Focus customers on maintenance the latest updates can be downloaded via the Supportline portal
So check out these latest COBOL and Mainframe solutions. Read how these customers are embracing next gen technology alongside their existing core business systems. And for those interested in joining the COBOL community at the next Micro Focus #DevDay, check out our events calendar here. Save your seat and join the conversation.