Platforms! Platforms! Platforms!

COBOL applications have formed the nucleus of core IT systems for several decades, providing the basis for new systems and central to innovation. How have COBOL applications been able to offer such enduring value to the businesses that rely on them when so many technologies have failed to live up to expectation?

Those of us in the know need little in the way of reassurance about the continued relevance COBOL systems play on the global IT stage. The industry at large has perhaps had a slightly harder time accepting this but the evidence is indisputable and even the most vocal disbelievers have finally come to terms with this simple fact, COBOL is at the heart of most of the world’s business systems.

How this has come to be has been blogged by Derek Britton in his series of articles about key traits of COBOL, traits that have made COBOL the most successful programming language of all time. One of these traits is portability, discussed here in Derek’s blog on this topic.

To understand the significance that the portability of COBOL applications has played for business applications, one need only review the list of platforms Micro Focus has supported COBOL application deployment.

Operating systems, manufacturers, processors – a union that defines the medium of deployment.

For business with COBOL systems, this portability helps secure investments made years ago, continue to pay dividends many years hence; as COBOL applications once created on the mainframe, now find themselves powering .NET, JVM and Cloud deployment.

Arguably, the language of COBOL is in itself inherently portable with data types and structures that enable developers to write applications that can be ported to new platforms with minimal or indeed, no change; with this, minimal cost to the business and accelerated delivery cycles. Underpinning this portability has always been the Micro Focus COBOL runtime system, the technology that delivers a common execution environment for COBOL applications, irrespective of platform.

Whilst the picture above for today’s platforms may look a little less chaotic, platforms continue to evolve and will always remain fundamentally important to the service Micro Focus provides you, giving you freedom and choice of deployment. That’s why in Visual COBOL 2.1, we’ve added support for new platforms, Oracle Linux, Redhat and Suse linux on z/Series and Solaris 11 on Intel and SPARC processors – just part of our commitment to the future success of your IT systems.

Visual COBOL 2.1 will be released later this year.

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