COBOL conversion to Java vs .Net

10 pts.
Tags:
COBOL
Java
JSP
zSeries
Our CIO has announced that he wants to eliminate the mainframe by the end of FY 07-08. We are in the strategic planning phase currently and are examining the options. Our current system is z890-2086 running z/OS 1.4, CICS/TS, CA-7 job scheduler, CA Top Secret etc. Our criminal justice system runs on a Datacom/DB database. Most program source is COBOL with some Assembler and a few IDEAL modules. I am fairly familiar with Micro Focus and Fujitsu methods for converting IBM S/390 COBOL to an "Intel" Windows or Linux platform. The real unknown is Java. The CIO seems bent on converting to Java because that's what he's hearing from the main person who has his ear (that person is NOT mainframe or COBOL experienced, he is a web developer/java guy). What I'd like to hear from you folks is: 1) What, if any, code conversion is available to convert COBOL to Java OTHER THAN LegacyJ. This would include both CICS online as well as batch programs AND the JCL (jobs, procs, and cntllib members etc.) 2) If the code can be converted, what automated job scheduling is available for the batch environment. 3) Which would conversion (Micro Focus, Fujitsu NetCobol, Java or ?) would you recommend and why? 4) My gut says Fujitsu's NetCobol is the way to go because 1) they can basically replicate the entire justice system (CICS and batch etc.) on either Windows or Linux, and 2) because if the converted/migrated system stayed in place long-term, COBOL expertise may not have to be retained in-house as much as it would for the Micro Focus solution... both of which are enjoying very good success on large, complex systems these days. 5) Any of your observations/real-life knowledge I didn't address that we should consider. Thanks very much in advance, Jim 39+ years of this and still learning
ASKED: March 29, 2006  12:14 PM
UPDATED: March 8, 2012  3:40 PM

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BlueKnight:
It sounds like you’re currently on an IBM platform so why not use IBM to do the conversion? They bought the Rational Software about 3 years ago, and now have a system of Rational pieces that stand on top of the Eclipse editor, which includes the traditional Rational suite of ClearCase, ClearQuest, etc..

The one you would be interested in is the “Rational Architect” that includes “EGL” (Enterprise Generation Language), which automatically converts COBOL to Java.

This is an appealing choice because there are many automatic code generators for Java (after the conversion takes place, and you are a new Java developer) that can create code from Use Case diagrams for EJB (beans), and actually hook together the source code, Use Case Diagrams, Requirements and Incident reports for totally integrated project management. Do not have experience how well this works as my company is just starting down this road – but certainly looks like a great choice so far.

I have been using Eclipse with Rational Clearcase and ClearQuest for several years, but so far I have had to download and put in the add-on plugs myself. This new system is already totally loaded and ready to go.

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  • Fr123
    how to convert cobol programms to java programs
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  • Uniconjames
    You may want to consider automated conversion to native open systems. This method takes your legacy COBOL online and batch apps, and converts them directly to Open Systems COBOL (Fujitsu, MF etc) or you can even choose Java. There is no emulation involved, the converted apps run completely natively in your chosen environment, namely Windows, UNIX or Linux. The JCL is converted to scripts and the ISAM data comes over to either ISAM datasets or RDBMS depending on preferences. All the business logic is retained in the converted apps. This process also offers conversion directly to .NET, therefore instead of the screens being converted to Screen Sections, they can be converted to Winforms or Webforms. Obviously this just skips across the surface, but at least you now know another solution is out there, allowing you to jump ship from the legacy IBM/CICS world into true open systems, without major culture shock.
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  • Stevenf17
    I'm currently looking into converting cobol batch to Groovy script at the moment and was wondering because groovy works on the JVM, is there any new better ways of converting cobol into java?
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