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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Free Mainframe COBOL Developer IDE

If you are currently logging onto a mainframe to do COBOL application development, you now have access to a free graphical editor.  Visit and download your own copy of Micro Focus Enterprise Developer for free!

It works with either Eclipse or Visual Studio and is 100% free.  Use it at work or take it home.  It beats the heck out of logging onto TSO and won't require you to go get a purchase request approved by the bean counters. 

For those of us who are a bit thrifty (you know who you are), it could also make a great Christmas gift for your cubicle mate!  Then they can't say you never got them anything. *grin*

Friday, October 26, 2012

COBOL is Trending UP

As we all know, COBOL has been announced "dead" or "dying" multiple times over the years.  And for many shops it has left the building as the applications written in this language have been replaced with packages such as SAP and PeopleSoft.

What you may not know is that COBOL has recently climbed from the bottom end of the Tiobe Programming Community Index to a healthy 26th spot on the chart. 

How high will it climb?

Monday, April 23, 2012


Where else is COBOL being used?

When I get asked this, my first impression is that the person asking feels all alone in their use of the language, almost ashamed, believe it or not. 

The media, tool /software vendors, consultants, and even college professors have made the statements telling us all how COBOL is the "old" and we should be doing the "new".  They've done a good job promoting the fact that if you are using the new gadget then you must be missing out.

My answer to them is always the same.  COBOL is an ever advancing language and is as current and modern as anything else out in the market.  COBOL is in use every day in literally thousands of companies.

But the number is shrinking.

And I believe it is because of this perception that "we must be all alone".

Well, I've got news for everyone...  COBOL is still alive and kicking.

The problem is that no one is waving a flag saying "We use COBOL".

Yes, usage is down.  The numbers will continue to shrink until reaching an equilibrium or point of balance. 

Here's why - Back when COBOL took the stage, there were only so many options available to a company.  Nowadays, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of ways to create and deploy a business application. 

How many companies will be using COBOL in 5 or 10 years?  Idunno. 

I think a very scientific number will be "a bunch of them".  Not as many as there were, but enough to be significant.

Today thousands of software companies, banks, insurance companies, manufacturers, and credit card processing companies are spending millions of dollars on their COBOL applications.  And they will continue to do so.

As for those of us who write COBOL applications and are trying to figure out what they should focus on for the future, my advice is simple: 

Learn a framework like .NET and become somewhat language independent.  Learn as much as you can about how to leverage things like .NET and other technologies that are used within your shop.  And use your expertise with COBOL to become the expert at briding that gap. 

My buddy Doby!
Learn some new tricks!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

COBOL Developer Conference. Ya'll Come!

If you or your company has an investment in COBOL, you need to be in Dallas in April for the 2012 Micro Focus Developer Conference.  Micro Focus will be hosting this event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Dallas Texas.  Registration starts at 5:00 p.m. April 16th with sessions running the 17th and 18th all day.

Want to know where COBOL is headed?  Trying to figure out how to take advantage of the years of application code that run the business?  Can you take COBOL to the Cloud? 

All good questions.  And this is the place to find out.  Best of all, admission is free!

To learn more, visit the registration site by clicking here!