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COBOL Migration

A good translator does not simply translate each word in a sentence, it rather translates the ideas and the meaning of each sentence.

In the same sense, the right migration strategy for an application can’t be limited to the translation of instructions between the involved programming languages. It should rather capture and preserve the intentions of the developers of the original application.

This is why our approach leverages the configuration of Transformer-COBOL, obtaining an integrated comprehension, reengineering, enhancement and migration environment, that is tailored to each project. This environment will represent through models all the source environment’s components and characteristics.

Transformer-COBOL supports models that represent all particularities of both the source and target environments, like the adopted technologies and frameworks, the structure and organization of the target code and programming best practices.

Markings and transformations are configured for all these models, be it source or target, allowing:

  • Assess and prepare all model elements in preparation for the migration. These are applied to source representative models and some transformation examples include: Go To, Perform Thru and Next Sentence elimination; separation of the persistence logic and the interface; and marking processes highlighting business rules and “intentions”.
  • Optimize the structure, organization and patterns of the migrated code with the objective of improving code quality and reducing future maintenance costs. These are applied to target representative models and some examples of these transformations are: promoting common structures and methods to superclasses; externalizing messages and constants to resources, thus allowing multi-language support; and replacement of interface items for other, more rich and complex ones (calendars, grids, …).

Transformer-COBOL also offers a set of functionalities aimed at reducing risk and improving the migration process’ quality, such as:

  • Continuous validation of the models’ integrity and consistency;
  • Ad-hoc marks for the detection of potential threats or improvement opportunities in terms of syntactic constructions;
  • Model objects functional and strategic classification through aspects and tags, based on user input;
  • Report generation, for a better understanding of a system’s cartography;

Lastly, Transformer-COBOL is based on a Model Completion approach. This is the key to being able to generate up to 100% of the code. This doesn’t mean the entire processes is automatic, but the final generation is and the output code will require no further intervention. Some of this approach’s advantages are:

  • Reduced migration risk, effort and cost;
  • Reduced code-freeze time windows;
  • Continuous migration support;

The main advantage of the versatility of the migration approach is the ability to quickly be able to support new environments, languages and technologies, both at source and target level.

If your application involves some environment, language or technology not included on the list bellow, we can still address the migration. All we need is a short evaluation period in order to adequately integrate with the migration plan the support of those new features.

We have acquired experience in several migration projects on the following list of environments, languages and technologies:

Supported Legacy Systems:

  • OpenVMS
  • Unisys ClearPath MCP
  • IBM iSeries
  • IBM z/OS
  • Unix

Source Languages and Dialects:

  • Vax Cobol
  • Enterprise COBOL
  • ProCOBOL
  • Cobol ANSI-85
  • JCL


  • VSAM
  • DB2
  • IMS
  • Oracle
  • SQL Server
  • MySql

Source Interfaces:

  • BMS 3270
  • FMS
  • DDS


  • CICS

Target Arquitectures and Platforms:

  • J2EE WebMVC
  • .NET Web Mvc
  • .NET Windows Forms
  • .NET WPF

Target Languages:

  • Java
  • C#

Target Frameworks:

  • Frames (front end)
  • Foundations (server)

Target Report Generators:

  • Jasper
  • SSRS

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