Carrefour Spain has moved from Micro Focus to COBOL-IT in a multiserver HP Superdome Environment



Supermarket, Hypermarket



Batch Programs


COBOL-IT Solutions :

COBOL-IT Compiler Suite Enterprise Edition,



HP-UX 11.31
Micro Focus COBOL 5.x
HP Superdome
Oracle 10g, Oracle 11g, Informix 10.x,



HP-UX 11.31
COBOL-IT Compiler Suite Enterprise Edition
HP Superdome
Oracle 10g, Oracle 11g, Informix 10.x,



Micro Focus COBOL




Carrefour Spain migrated its core business batch applications from Micro Focus to COBOL-IT, realizing important savings, with improvements in technical support. The project consisted simply of replacing their COBOL compiler, and required no data migration. The entire migration was completed in less than a year.

“We developed a strong collaboration between our technical teams and the technical teams of COBOL-IT. We found that whenever we had questions, COBOL-IT was very helpful in finding solutions, in ways that were both effective and efficient. Some of the Micro Focus functionality that we relied on was undocumented, and our technical teams collaborated in creating the specs, so that COBOL-IT could provide us with the functionality we required. With COBOL-IT, we have 100% preservation of functionality, and equal or better performance. All of our cost-savings targets were met or exceeded.”

Alfonso Torres Rosell. Manager, of Production Operations, Carrefour Spain

Carrefour Spain, a Leader in the Retail Industry

Carrefour Spain is a leader in the retail industry. Carrefour Spain has 175 hypermarkets and 200 supermarkets. More than 600,000 items are managed by Carrefour Spain’s Batch Application, impacting more than 1 million customers per day.

The Carrefour Spain Software Application

The Carrefour Spain Batch Software Application was originally developed on an IBM 390 Mainframe between 1990 and 2003. All of the Batch programs in the Business Core were developed in COBOL. They were migrated from the IBM Mainframe to HP Servers running HP/UX in the 2000’s. The COBOL programs were originally migrated from IBM Mainframe COBOL to Micro Focus

COBOL. Other parts of the Enterprise Solution Stack included Oracle 10g / 11g database, and Informix 10.x database. Parts of the Enterprise Solution Stack were written in “C”.

The Carrefour Spain Batch Application consists of 18,000 programs with over 15 million lines of code. Carrefour employs between 10 and 40 programmers to maintain the application, which is very dynamic, reflecting the constantly changing demands of the retail industry.

The Decision to use COBOL-IT

After electing to perform their original migration using Micro Focus COBOL, Carrefour Spain found that the cost of maintaining their core COBOL batch application was greater than anticipated, and costs were increasing.

COBOL costs were tied to server configurations in a way that made increasing costs inevitable and unsustainable. Carrefour Spain concluded that they had to find an alternative to Micro Focus.

More than 600,000 items are managed by Carrefour Spain’s Batch Application, impacting more than 1 million customers per day.

The Carrefour IT team considered other COBOLs, and also considered rewriting their entire application in “C” or Java. The COBOL alternative was preferred, with requirements being that the change be transparent to Customers, that code changes be kept to a minimum, and that performance be equal or better than the performance provided by the Micro Focus products. Carrefour Spain also saw an advantage in being able to phase in the migration.

COBOL-IT succeeded in meeting all of these requirements. The migration was accomplished in phases, no data migration was necessary, minimum changes were required, performance was maintained, and the entire process was completely transparent to the customer base. Carrefour Spain spent 4 months developing a migration plan and testing it out, and 6 months executing the migration plan.

The Challenges

Carrefour Spain elected to do the migration in phases, which created a situation where for some time, parts of the batch application were running objects compiled by the Micro Focus compiler, while parts of the batch application were running objects compiled by the COBOL-IT compiler. It was a requirement then, that the behavior of the objects compiled by the COBOL-IT compiler be identical to their behavior when previously running as objects compiled by the Micro Focus compiler. It was also a requirement that performance be the same or better, in order to work within the same schedule.

This presented a number of challenges. For example, some of the COBOL code originally developed on the OS/390 was not standard, either for Micro Focus, or for COBOL-IT. The adjustments that Micro Focus had made to accommodate the code were not always well documented. The Carrefour Spain and COBOL-IT teams needed to work together to find solutions.

In the Performance area, some of the greatest challenges came from the change from Micro Focus’ external sort module MFSORT,  COBOL-IT’s external sort module CitSORT. It was a requirement that functionality and performance be the same. The smallest behavioral differences had to be reviewed and addressed.

COBOL-IT ended up making some changes to their external sort module specifically for Carrefour Spain. In the end CitSORT provided the same functionality, and equal or better performance than MFSORT.

“Carrefour Spain is a tremendous success story, demonstrating how when our technical teams engage, we can satisfy the demanding requirements of large enterprises. Using the COBOL-IT
compiler allows them to preserve their functionality, while achieving significant savings.”

Stephane Croce – CEO COBOL-IT