back to article IBM gives a cloudy outlook for COBOL

IBM is giving its COBOL environment a cloudy flavour with an update to the ancient venerable and unkillable language. To the cool kids, COBOL probably looks like a zombie, complete with loose bits of decaying flesh. However it still accounts for a vast amount of operational enterprise code that's too expensive to replace all …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sure, they managed to get "mobile" and "cloud" in there, but where is the "social". Somebody is for the high jump tomorrow!

    1. MrT

      Social and COBOL...

      Error code 23.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Social and COBOL...

        "...but where is the "social""

        The social part comes in when everyone is huddled up 2 years from now asking why their company invested in this.

        I'm figuring someone right now, somewhere, is devising a new candle marketing strategy because candles still work too.

        1. billse10

          Re: Social and COBOL...

          candle marketing strategy?

      2. Philip Lewis

        Re: Social and COBOL...

        SOC7 surely!

    2. Captain DaFt

      COBOL's always had a social component. It's called the "compiler".

      Plenty of time for a smoke, cuppa, and a bit of socializing while it's running.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "the landing page for IBM's Enterprise COBOL for z/OS is out of action due to heavy load"

      Presumably because it runs on some poorly scaling legacy crap like Lotus Notes...And as it's at IBM no doubt on a painful OS Choice like AIX too....

  2. Captain DaFt

    COBOL ain't going nowhere soon.

    COBOL may be creaky, but it does the job it was designed to do, and does it well enough.

    At hundreds of millions of lines of code (and yes, more being added daily) it'll be around a long while.

    1. Lars Silver badge

      Re: COBOL ain't going nowhere soon.

      I suppose it must have been +20 years since I did anything with COBOL but mini skits still look good (depending on the legs) and cars still have four wheels and in decent countries a steering wheel on the right side to no surprise for kids of to day, and I have since seen code looking more "messy" than COBOL. Newer met my grand father but I think I would still like my Mustang from the year of 1965. Wonder what happened to Fortran (or was it FORTRAN) and Algol. Mona Lisa looks god too, even if I cannot understand her smile, given the times.

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: COBOL ain't going nowhere soon.

        Fortran is still alive and well in the scientific and engineering worlds.

        Where I work, most of the HPC workload is coded in a hybrid of Fortran77, 95 and a smattering of 2003 (with small bits of C glue code to do some of the things that are difficult in Fortran).

        Because of the relative simplicity of Fortran, it generates very predictable code that the clock-cycle counters trying to get the maximum from their extremely expensive systems still like quite a lot. It's also pretty portable across architectures.

    2. Stevie

      Re: COBOL ain't going nowhere soon.

      Does the job it was designed to do in spades.

      Sensible, consistent punctuation rules that are easy to teach and use, so no missing or extra semicolons to f*ck up your week (goes double if you insist on using vi on a console to edit), inbuilt currency compatible data type so no having to watch over the shoulder of the new hire or the systems programmer slumming it in applications to guard against floating point use in the general ledger, and inbuilt intuitive support for overlaid structures.

      No fuss, no muss. Write your OS-level stuff in C++, keep your finances straight with Cobol, and do whatever you want with Java but not near me. For everything in between, perl size fits all.

  3. Philipsz

    By the Lords of COBOL

    So say we all.

    1. Simon Harris

      Re: By the Lords of COBOL

      I would have upvoted you...

      ... but after the travesty of the final episode, I was trying to put that show out of my mind.

  4. James Anderson

    but all those features are in the current release

    Everything mentioned is in the current release.

    O.K. java 7 support is new, but, I don't see its going to be much different from the current java 6 support.

    Looks like they just cut and pasted from an old press release.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CICS (Customer Information Control Center)

    Shurely CICS (Customer Information Control Shystem)

  6. Derek Britton (Micro Focus)

    good news

    This announcement from IBM further demonstrates significant ongoing investments being made by the leading COBOL technology vendors, to support and enable the continuing evolution of the market for the most trusted enterprise application development technology. This can only be good news for the COBOL world at large.

    Targeting the vast global mainframe COBOL application development community, Micro Focus recently launched Enterprise Developer for zEnterprise. The solution offers both on and off mainframe development, integrates simply with existing z/OS workflows and tools, and supports the major z/OS sub-systems, all from within an Eclipse-based IDE. By providing a full z/OS development system that can reside on, say, a zEnterprise zBX partition, Micro Focus enables z/OS application teams an efficient development and unit testing solution that fully harnesses the power and flexibility of zEnterprise.

    Coupled with the anticipated performance improvements of z/OS COBOL apps as mentioned by IBM here, a highly productive and high performance future awaits new generations of core mainframe COBOL systems delivery.


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