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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Visual COBOL Now Supports Dialog System Applications

Once upon a time, Micro Focus introduced a slick little piece of technology known as Dialog System.  Its purpose in life was to allow the COBOL developer the ability to build nice looking user interfaces.  In its day, there was nothing better.  Thousands of applications were built using the tooling and everyone was happy.

Then along comes .NET and what was once "leading edge" soon became somewhat obsolete.  But those that build applications using Dialog System were left hanging. 

What do you do with these applications? 

If you are the application owner, reworking them as WinForms or Web Forms was a manual effort at best.  If you are the CIO, having your team completely rewrite these applications just because you wanted a slicker UI was often more work than could be justified.  And Micro Focus hasn't had much of an answer for converting these applications either. 

That is up until now...

With the latest release of Visual COBOL R4 Update 2, Micro Focus is providing tooling to allow you to continue to work with your Dialog System applications or begin the process of converting them to something else.

Yes, its true!  You can either keep them "as is" and continue to support them or you can begin to modernize your user interfaces as it makes sense.  With this new release, there is no longer a need for an "all or nothing" approach. You can either start taking advantage of .NET elements within the existing Dialog System application interface or you can begin moving completely out of Dialog System.

For instance, you want to introduce WPF into your Dialog System application?  Go for it.  You want to drop a .NET grid control into you interface?  Not a problem. 

So, if your shop has an application written using Micro Focus Dialog System screens, you now have options.

For more information, check out the online docs here