Come on Developers – make something super!

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Or a modern development environment for re-energizing enterprise COBOL applications on distributed platforms? Actually, make that an award-winning development environment. Because as of Tuesday 19 May, the waiting was over.

Click on our Visual COBOL page. You’re looking at the winner of ‘Best Developer Tool’ at the inaugural Tech Hero Awards, hosted by UK tech publication The Inquirer. We saw off stiff competition, with the likes of Raspberry Pi, Canonical Juju, Imagination Technologies and Progress Software all adopting a fixed grin as we galloped up the steps to pick up our gong.



But as we said in our gushing acceptance speech, it’s also thanks to our customers and partners who use Visual COBOL every day, the social soldiers who spread the word among the dev community and Inquirer readers who all voted for Visual COBOL. Mwah! Mwah!

So why the award?

Simply because while other companies use the word ‘innovative’ as a marketing buzzword, we build it in to Visual COBOL as a feature. The integration with Eclipse and Visual Studio gives development teams the means to re-invigorate decades-old COBOL applications with modern features and functionality. It’s innovation in action.

Every day, hundreds of organizations across the verticals use Visual COBOL to realise their new business requirements. Integrating long-established COBOL systems with funky new Java and .NET technology, our customers take their applications to new heights, using cloud and mobile computing to unlock new value. Visual COBOL is the phone box that turns a mild-mannered newspaper reporter into the man of steel.

ZAP! Acciona Trasmediterranea felt the superhero effect, slashing costs and boosting uptime by taking their ticketing system into Azure. POW! Zucchetti reused a two decade investment in COBOL systems to deliver the application codebase onto both .NET and the JVM platforms.

INQUIRER Editor Madeline Bennett said: “Micro Focus was up against tough competition in the Best Developer Tool category at The INQUIRER Tech Hero awards, going up against organisations such as Canonical and Raspberry Pi. The fact that Visual COBOL got the award is testament to the firm’s calibre in the developer environment space. And as the awards are voted for by The INQUIRER readership, with 5,000 casting their votes overall, it shows that Micro Focus customers, developers and IT professionals highly rate the firm’s products.”




That’s right – COBOL. The decades-old language just picked up the 2015 award for best development tool. But COBOL is everywhere – busy running more than 85% of the world’s business transactions, $2 trillion worth of mainframe enterprise applications and supporting almost all the Fortune 100 companies’ core systems. Pretty damned super, I’d say.

And it is COBOL’s ability to not just keep the wheels of industry turning, but also to adapt and evolve over the decades that has caught the eye of the voters in Tech Hero awards. Businesses like the reliability of COBOL and developers love what they can do with Visual COBOL.

It is this new-found flexibility that is helping to reinvigorate COBOL in the eyes of the dev community; COBOL has reached the dizzy heights of 16 in the TIOBE index – yet another indicator of COBOL’s stickability and versatility. Thanks to Visual COBOL, companies with older applications can see a pathway to the future.

We’re certainly pretty heroic as far as Michael Purser, the President of Canadian application development specialists Bedford Systems, is concerned. “With our new Visual COBOL environment we can see how easy it will be to move our application onto future platforms such as mobile – a great advantage for our clients.”

underneath the mango tree

Another one for the mantelpiece

Micro Focus understands what our clients need and deliver products that meet those needs. Our customers and partners already know this – that’s why we have more than 20,000 customers across the globe. But every so often the industry recognises it too. Perhaps that is why a Micro Focus product was the first software to win the Queen’s Award for Industry. That was a COBOL product and our faith in is reflected in our continued R&D investment – currently $55m – mostly in COBOL. So anyone realising the potential of Visual COBOL today will be still seeing benefits long into the future.

We’ll be previewing the latest enhancements and success stories at our upcoming #DevDay events. Over 700 people around the globe have already attended one – so book your place if you’re interested in shaping the future of COBOL.  Not making the trip? Join the community or download a free copy of Visual COBOL integrated with Eclipse or Visual Studio here.







Melissa Burns

Senior Marketing Programs Manager

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