German Rental Car Company migrates their online reservations application to COBOL-IT










Rental Cars



Backend for Online Reservations System



COBOL-IT® Compiler Suite Enterprise Edition

COBOL-IT® Runtime

COBOL-IT® Developer Studio



Linux x86

Micro Focus COBOL


Oracle Pro*COBOL

Oracle 11g



Linux x86



Oracle Pro*COBOL

Oracle 11g



Micro Focus COBOL




EasiRun Europa



A Leading German Rental Car Company moved from Micro Focus COBOL to COBOL-IT, achieving cost savings of over 50%.

“The rising cost of licenses and maintenance costs made planning with Micro Focus impossible.  The COBOL-IT solutions were so compatible, the entire migration, end-to-end, was completed by in-house resources in a matter of months.”

Don Fitzgerald – CEO EasiRun Europa


About the Company

A Leading German Rental Car Company provides rental services in major cities around the World.  Following a highly Customer-centered philosophy, they were one the first rental car company to accept mobile reservations, and now manage a highly agile mobile reservation application, which Customers can access any time, any day of the year from anywhere in the World.

The Company is headquartered in Germany.  With an annual revenue of over 2 billions euros, and a world-wide fleet of over 170,000 cars, the Company is consistently rated among the top rental car companies in the World.


About the Software Application

The Software Application is run centrally in Germany as a backend for a browser-based front-end written in PHP.

Originally developed on an IBM Mainframe, the Software Application was migrated to Open Systems 15 years ago with Micro Focus COBOL.  The data was migrated to an Informix database.  In 2007, there was a further data conversion from Informix to Oracle. The front end was subsequently migrated to a browser-based system written in PHP.

Supporting a mobile reservation system requires a highly agile development team.  After the migration was completed, and fully tested, the software architecture made it possible to swap the Micro Focus COBOL compiler with the COBOL-IT compiler in just a matter of hours, with no impact on operations, and no impact on users accessing the system.

The COBOL application undergoes regular maintenance, and functional updates, as required by the highly competitive car rental industry.

Maintenance and new development are managed by a team of developers using the COBOL-IT Developer Studio, and COBOL-IT Compiler Suite.

The Software Application migrated consists of 2800 COBOL programs and 500 copybooks.  The Software Application uses Pro*COBOL to interact with an Oracle 11g database.  There are also several hundred sequential files required for purposes of handling the user interface, and for other temporary storage.


The Decision to use COBOL-IT

The rising cost of licenses and maintenance costs made planning with Micro Focus impossible.  Technologies are evolving rapidly, and maintaining a competitive edge in a World market requires having access to the best technologies.  In the end, Micro Focus’ requirement that updates to databases, or operating environments required new licenses, with increasing new-license costs made it impossible to calculate long-term costs, and plan accordingly.

After concluding that it was necessary to seek an alternative to Micro Focus, the Company outlined their requirements which included fully compatible COBOL compiler, certified for use with Oracle Pro*COBOL, allowing the Company to preserve the entire source code, functionality, performance, and support from the Oracle partner.  The Company sought to reduce their costs and to avoid new license costs associated with upgrading other elements in their Enterprise Solution Stack.

It was also a requirement that in-house staff be able to perform the migration.  Following introductory training by COBOL-works, in-house resources managed the entire migration.

No other options were evaluated.


The Challenges

There were no changes in hardware, or data.  There were minimal dependencies on non-standard COBOL behaviors, since the COBOL programs were pre-compiled with the  Pro*COBOL Oracle Pre-Compiler.

The Company only had to focus on the transition from Micro Focus to COBOL-IT COBOL compilers, and on the interoperability of the COBOL-IT object code with “C” and PHP.

Scripts, which required modifications for Compiler and Runtime options, were discussed in the early meetings, and tested in early training sessions.  Interoperability issues also were discussed in the early meetings, and tested in early training sessions as part of pre-sales support.

The Company’s highly agile development team managed the project completely internally, after initial pre-sale support: clarification of application, performance requirements, compiler, runtime options and source code modifications.

When their migration was complete, they were able to swap the COBOL objects for the Micro Focus objects in a matter of hours, with no impact on operations, and no impact on users accessing the system.


“Applications that are running Micro Focus with Oracle Pro*COBOL can be moved to COBOL-IT with very low costs and risks.  The Company will achieve their long-term cost-savings goals, and also have a foundation for agile IT and digital business enablement.”

Stephane Croce, CEO of COBOL-IT


ChallengeSolutionCustomer Benefits
High costsAvoid new license costs with COBOL-IT.In rapidly evolving web-based operating environments, fixed-costs are critical.
Compatible with Oracle SolutionsCOBOL-IT is certified with Oracle Pro*COBOL and Oracle Databases.Customer can preserve entire solution stack. Change to COBOL-IT is completely invisible to the customer.
100% preservation of functionalityHighly compatible COBOL-IT Compiler Suite.Minimal efforts in transitioning test scripts. Seamless transition for Customer.
Perform migration in-housePre-sales support, evaluating challenges, and training.Potential risks identified early in project- and then transferred to in-house resources, reducing costs and risks.



Philippe Fraysse, COBOL-IT VP Sales