ARTICLES

The Value of Incremental Modernization for COBOL Applications Portfolios

The concerns facing businesses regarding COBOL modernization are issues that have been created over five decades. This is more than enough time for inherent and potentially unseen variables to develop, and those issues shouldn’t be so quickly dismissed. Yet, there is a perception that a complete and total replacement is a single-step process! Reduced Risk The risk of completely rewriting applications seems appealing to those who don’t understand the value of COBOL or who view

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Best Practices for zIIP Using COBOL and Db2

Hopefully, you’ve been reading along in this series of articles on effective usage of the zIIP on the IBM System z mainframe. But even if you have not, this article focuses on a single topic that does not require in-depth knowledge of zIIP particulars. Herein we will discuss best practices for COBOL and Db2 users to bolster their usage of zIIPs. Why do this? As we have discussed in prior installations, the primary reason to

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A Better Approach – Self-directed, Self-Funded COBOL Modernization

In our previous writings, we’ve discussed the scale of COBOL investment over the last several decades and the challenges of continuing to depend on this legendary programming language. The drivers for modernization remain, and COBOL can’t help but be caught up in the plans of many mainframe organizations.  ANY modernization approach has risks associated with it. The volume of that risk is directly related to the number of components, programs, and applications that need to

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Common zIIP Usage Mistakes and How to Identify Them

Many organizations using the IBM System z have begun to use zIIP processors to help reduce the overall cost of their mainframe environment. But… Assuming Everything Will Run on the zIIP One of the biggest mistakes you can make is assuming that everything that is eligible to run on the zIIP will actually run on the zIIP. Although this may seem like a reasonable assumption, it neglects to take into account what is sometimes referred

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Modernizing COBOL for Maintainability, Automation, and Quality

The debate as to whether you should or shouldn’t modernize any portion of your application portfolio is a separate question to the ways to do it correctly. While many people discuss “COBOL modernization,” there is much more involved than simply translating the syntax of COBOL to the syntax of another language. The keys to effectively modernizing COBOL applications must include considerations for maintainability, code quality, and computational precision. Transforming the syntax of COBOL to that

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Options for Converting from COBOL to Java

Our last post looked at the five significant benefits of Java and zIIPs, detailing how the combination can reduce cost, simplify support and maintenance, deliver the performance you need, and improve portability. But most enterprise mainframe applications are written in COBOL.  Now, most organizations are not likely to embark on a full-fledged campaign to convert all of their COBOL to Java. But converting some programs to Java can make sense if you use the proper

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Driving Balance: COBOL, Mainframes, and The Changing Needs and IT Environments of Modern Organizations

It’s clear that the volume and importance of COBOL-based applications remains high. Despite the variety and volume of “stones” thrown by the modern IT intelligentsia at this language and the mainframe platform, these technologies continue to provide valuable solutions that answer the technology demands of many organizations.  The reason to address an organization’s existing portfolio of legacy applications isn’t that some enterprise architects – many of whom were trained solely in modern tech stacks –

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Java and the zIIP: The 5 Major Benefits

In this series of blog posts on the zIIP, we have looked at the various types of specialty processors and the zIIPs place among them, honed in on zIIP usage and eligibility issues and terms and examined the types of processing that can utilize zIIPs. Having digested all of that information, we will turn our attention to Java and take a look at the five most significant benefits it can bring to your environment. Before

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The COBOL Situation – So Much Code, So Little Modernization.

COBOL, arguably one of the earliest of the 3rd generation programming languages, is still used extensively. In particular, IBM mainframe platforms are still home to a significant number of applications originally developed in this language that continue to power many Fortune 500 companies today. Furthermore, several shrink-wrapped software packages, originally implemented decades ago in COBOL, are still used, e.g., PeopleSoft, emPath, Logo, Lawson ERP, etc. These facts are more a function of history than any

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Modern Portals to Quality for Mainframe Transformation

Mainframe modernization can feel like a scene from Poltergeist, or any other thriller movie where the protagonist is trapped in an endlessly stretching hallway with a door that keeps receding into the distance. Ask anyone who’s survived a major enterprise upgrade. Transforming thousands of files and COBOL and JCL code into a form that will play nicely with modern Java architecture and cloud computing infrastructure seems to be an endless concern with few offramps. Even

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COBOL Modernization Myth Busting: Maintainable Java

COBOL Modernization Myth Busting: Maintainable Java

The drive to get COBOL applications into the cloud, and specifically Java, created a monster: JOBOL. It is the evil offspring of COBOL and Java when no planning, optimization, and design is applied to transformation.  JOBOL is the byproduct of speed at all cost, check-the-cloud-box initiatives. But when modernization efforts deliver JOBOL to application teams, […]

The Value of Incremental Modernization for COBOL Applications Portfolios

The Value of Incremental Modernization for COBOL Applications Portfolios

The concerns facing businesses regarding COBOL modernization are issues that have been created over five decades. This is more than enough time for inherent and potentially unseen variables to develop, and those issues shouldn’t be so quickly dismissed. Yet, there is a perception that a complete and total replacement is a single-step process! Reduced Risk […]

Best Practices for zIIP Using COBOL and Db2

Best Practices for zIIP Using COBOL and Db2

Hopefully, you’ve been reading along in this series of articles on effective usage of the zIIP on the IBM System z mainframe. But even if you have not, this article focuses on a single topic that does not require in-depth knowledge of zIIP particulars. Herein we will discuss best practices for COBOL and Db2 users […]