Dehner GmbH & Co. KG has moved from Bull GCOS 7 to Open Source with COBOL-IT Software under the guidance of EasiRun Europa/TELEBIG.








Nursery and Gardening



Online Transactional Processing with Batch component



COBOL-IT® Compiler Suite Enterprise Edition

COBOL-IT® Developer Studio



BULL GCOS 7 Mainframe


UFAS Data Files



Enterprise Linux

COBOL-IT Compiler Suite Enterprise Edition

Oracle 11g Database

HTWC XBM Batch Manager






EasiRun Europa, TELEBIG



Migration + Suite for BULL GCOS7 from TELEBIG

Migration + EasyMap for the mapping of UFAS data filesinto ORACLE

COBOL-IT Compiler Suite Enterprise Edition

HTWC XBM Batch Manager

EasiRun/SMART as basis for the test framework

EasiRun Europa GmbH(EE) and TELEBIG are pleased to announce the successful completion of the migration of the core business applications of the Dehner Gartencenter group, based in Rain am Lech. The COBOL applications, now running with the COBOL- IT Compiler Suite Enterprise Edition, were migrated from BULL GCOS 7 to LINUX. EE and TELEBIG have worked together in a strong partnership for over 25 years. The two organisations share the same vision regarding IT modernization efforts and solutions, and develop and share common technologies.

“The migration of the ERP system was a critical strategic business decision for Dehner. Thru the ex- cellent cooperation of the three organizations involved, it was possible to manage the entire com- plexities of the project in a period of 2 and 1⁄2 years. TELEBIG migrated the sources and data with a high level of precision. EE assured the quality of the conversion and assisted Dehner in the wide range of activities required. The implementation of the system and the intensive tests were perfor- med by a 100% motivated joint team including the Dehner staff from all areas of the business.”

Dr. Hansjörg Flassak. joint CEO Dehner

Dehner GmbH & Co KG, an industry leader

Dehner GmbH & Co. KG is market-leader in garden-centres in Eu- rope, with over 100 outlets in Germany and Austria, and with an online Shop at The sales channels are linked thru a multichannel strategy. Dehner employs over 5000 staff, with over 1000 employed at the head office in Rain. Dehner offers a comprehensive selection of products for all aspects of gardening and gardens. The sale of agricultural seed, pesticides, the produc- tion of food for domestic animals & winter birdfood, as well as fer- tilizers are further areas of competence of the company.

The Dehner Software Application

Dehner‘s business ERP application was developed internally in over 30 years, with continuous ongoing development to meet the needs of the market, the growing activities of Dehner and the corresponding constantly changing requirements. The challenge of the project was in the relocation and rehosting of the applica- tion from the BULL mainframe platform under GCOS7 to a LINUX based operating environment.
The scope of the project included over 4.000 COBOL programs (online and batch), over 3000 Jobs, and 650 data files. The new operating environment was selected to be SUSE SLES/11, and the Database ORACLE and c-tree. During the project a code-freeze was not possible, so the continuous business requirements modifi- cations were also migrated on an ongoing basis, increasing the scope of the project substantially.

The Decision to use the EasiRun Europa/TELEBIG solution with COBOL-IT.

At the end of 2010, Dehner decided to migrate their application and issued a request for proposals, to which all of the major infra- structure suppliers and system integrators responded.

EE and TELEBIG presented a joint proposal, including the COBOL- IT Compiler Suite Enterprise Edition, with which they succeeded in winning the project against the competition, primarily for the fol- lowing reasons :

  • Technical specification best matched the requirements of Dehner
  • Successful reference projects
  • Highly automated procedures for the conversion and migration
  • Market-relevant pricing
  • Quick response times, flexibility and technical competence • Communication in German, English and French
  • Communication in German, English and French
  • Active involvement of both managing directors and other senior management
  • Mapping of the structures present on the application and environment

COBOL-IT is a Partner with EasiRun Europa, TELEBIG, and HTWC. Each of these teams has refined their Migration Tools for use with the COBOL-IT Compiler Suite Enterprise Edition. Years of collabora- tion between the technical teams have created the highest level of confidence and responsiveness possible. All of these factors proved critical in successfully migrating Dehner’s COBOL applica- tions in the quickest possible timeframe.

The Challenges

An extract of the major challenges of the project includes the fol- lowing:

  • Implementation of a high number of GCOS7 specific func- tionalities
  • High and intensive workload of batch and online TP monitor activities
  • Extremely high and complex requirements for the functional and regression tests, performed with latest framework de- veloped specifically for the task by EE
  • Replacement of the 24/7 batch operations utilising HTWC‘s XBM scheduler

The primary task of TELEBIG lay is the migration of the programs, data, screens and jobs, while EE concentrated on the compre- hensive functional and regression testing, the implementation and deployment of all aspects of the application in the LINUX en- vironment, as well as the training of the development and opera- tions team at Dehner in the use of the COBOL-IT Compiler Suite and Utilities.

Dehner defined the integration platforms, and implemented the infrastructure. Dehner also managed the overall deployment process and their integration into the other deployment pro- cesses. Furthermore, Dehner verified the converted application with respect to functional correctness, performance and usability in tests involving users from all user groups.

The results achieved and status of the solution met Dehner‘s ex- pectations. In particular, the performance requirements defined could be met successfully. The structure of the migrated applica- tion offers large potential for iterative and successive improvements in the use of the new technology, performance optimisa- tion and the use of other modern technologies, without impac- ting on the core business logic of the application.

After a series of intensive dry-run tests for a go-liveimplementa- tion, which took place during October and December of 2013, the final go-live took place on the weekend of the 21-23 of De- cember 2013. The conversion of the systems was well received by all involved parties and had no negative impact on the users or developers during the as well as no negative impact after the go-live.

“Our Migration Partners are extremely experienced in managing system conversions. With their technical expertise and sophisti- cated toolsets adapted for use with the COBOL-IT Compiler Suite, partners such as Easirun Europa, and TELEBIG help COBOL-IT deli- ver on the promise to allow our Customers to migrate, deploy, and maintain their legacy COBOL applications with minimal cost and minimal risk.”

Stephane Croce. CEO COBOL-IT

“From our perspective, the project was particularly influenced by the very high level of coordination and cooperation required. This was, due to the complexity of the application and the landscape prevalent and continuously changing throughout the entire pro- ject cycle. These requirements were successfully met thru the ex- cellent cooperation with Dehner and TELEBIG. Flexibility was required of all involved and was never in question. All in all, a very demanding as well as very well executed project, with full success.”


“This project required close communication between technical teams at TELEBIG, EasiRun Europa, COBOL-IT, and Dehner over a period of several years. The Dehner application contained a large number of GCOS7 funtionalities not commonly encounte- red. The automated mapping of ISAM files to Oracle had to be handled very carefully in order to achieve high performance, with no application source code changes. Multiple validation sites were required, with documentation in both German and En- glish. Using TELEBIG’s Migration+ software , we were able to meet all of the technical challenges.”

Don Fitzgerald. CEO EasiRun Europa