Large French Social Security Fund migrates their Revenue Collection application running on AIX Servers to COBOL-IT









French Social Security (Public Sector)



Online and Batch Programs



COBOL-IT® Compiler Suite Enterprise Edition

COBOL-IT® Developer Studio



Bull Escala PL829R (Power4+) Servers

AIX 5.2


Micro Focus Server Express 4.0

Oracle 9

C-ISAM data files



Bull Escala Power 7

AIX 6.2

COBOL-IT Compiler Suite

Oracle 11g

C-ISAM data files



Micro Focus Server Express 4.0







Large French Social Security Fund moved their Revenue Collection application from Micro Focus Server Express to COBOL-IT.  They were then able to reduce COBOL costs while updating their entire Enterprise Solution Stack.

“I express my satisfaction for the successful conclusion of the project, which was performed in a good atmosphere” , J. M., Deputy Director of National Funds of Revenue Collection application – French Social Security

“I can confirm that the migration of the technical platform went really well, from my point of view, there is no negative feedback. The new system keeps on going; Atos proved to us their knowledge and professionalism on that subject.” S. F., System Architect, Revenue Collection application – French Social Security

“With this project, we faced numerous challenges: complex integration with third parties like MANTIS, many proprietary Micro Focus COBOL features to migrate, OS and Oracle upgrades, etc. Thanks to our strong partnership with COBOL-IT, we were able to go live on time and under budget. Alain CIVEL, ATOS Technical Director (Sophia Antipolis)


About the Large French Social Security Fund

Located in Paris, France, the Large French Social Security Fund is a social security framework for self-employed persons.  The mission of this Social Security division is to manage the compulsory social protection of more than 6.2 million independent entrepreneurs and their beneficiaries.

This division has an annual revenue of 18 billion euros, with over 6000 employees.


The Large French Social Security Fund application for Revenue Collection

The Revenue Collection application is a highly strategic, mission-critical application, used for the collection of the Social Solidarity Contributions made by privately owned companies under the rules established by the French Social Security.  Currently, Social Solidarity Contributions exceed 5 billion euros per year.

The Revenue Collection application was originally written in the 1980’s in COBOL on a Bull Gcos7 Mainframe.  It was then migrated to a set of Bull Servers running AIX with Micro Focus Server Express and a front-end developed using the MANTIS (CINCOM) 4GL. The MANTIS programs call COBOL programs where business functions are performed, and return data to the MANTIS interface.  The application contains also a large batch component.

The application is currently being maintained by a dedicated team of developers and IT professionals, who maintain and enhance the application as required by legislative changes.  Altogether, the application consists of over 500 COBOL programs, and 300 MANTIS programs.  There are 170 shell scripts.  Data was managed in 120 tables in an Oracle 9 RDBMS, 536 Sequential Files, and 81 Indexed Files.  Production, Pre-Production, Test and Development environments all required migration.

The migration was completed in less than 9 months, and continues to be maintained by the same Development/IT team.  The Development team is now using the COBOL-IT Developer Studio to maintain and enhance the Revenue Collection application.

150 end-user staff use the COBOL-IT application to service the 6.2 million individuals who serve as contributors and beneficiaries under the Large French Social Security Fund program.


The Decision to use COBOL-IT

The Social Security hardware and software had been operating reliably for close to 20 years.  As the hosting platforms aged however, the risks began to outweigh the benefits.  Retaining support for some of the older components in the Platform stack became increasingly difficult and it became clear that updates would be cost-effective.   The customer then began a renovation initiative which included updating their Bull hardware, AIX operating system, Oracle RDBMS, and MANTIS/COBOL business processing programs.

The Large French Social Security Fund entered the renovation initiative with the goal of upgrading all of the software and hardware components in their Solution Stack, preserving functionality, and realizing improvements in performance.  As they priced out their initiative, they discovered that Micro Focus prices for an upgrade to their latest COBOL version were significantly higher than previous prices and they elected to examine alternative solutions.

COBOL-IT provided full compatibility, including interoperability with the programs written in MANTIS at a fraction of the cost.  COBOL-IT’s ability to provide a stable price with no new license costs was a key differentiator.  Performance improvements were recorded in all areas of the application.


The Challenges

Upgrades to the Bull Servers and AIX operating system were handled without problems.

Upgrades to the Oracle RDBMS was handled without problems.

There were 170 shell scripts, parts of which had to be re-written to replace Micro Focus components and flags with COBOL-IT components and flags.

The Large French Social Security Fund application made broad use of compiler directives, including EXTFH and EXTSM.

Partners identified the equivalent settings in the COBOL-IT configuration file, and were able to preserve full functionality, and match the runtime behaviors affected by the directives.

The application had an extensive interface between programs written in the MANTIS 4GL and COBOL.  While this is an unusual occurrence, it did not present an unusually difficult challenge.  The MANTIS rules for calling COBOL were mapped from the Micro Focus API to the COBOL-IT API, with no problems.


“When Companies are upgrading older hardware and software, and when they are using Micro Focus COBOL, they are likely to find price increases being quoted for their new COBOL licenses.   We encourage all Corporate Enterprises, ISVs and Government Agencies who are upgrading their hardware and software to evaluate COBOL-IT.  They will find lots of satisfied customers, and will find that they can preserve their functionality with high performance and interoperability at a fraction of the cost.”

Stephane Croce, CEO of COBOL-IT


ChallengeSolutionCustomer Benefits
Interoperability with MANTIS programsMinor modifications to the MANTIS programs to interact with the COBOL-IT Runtime APINo change apparent to users
High number of Micro Focus Compiler DirectivesPartners identified corresponding settings in COBOL-IT configuration fileRuntime behaviors identical
Large number of IBM C-ISAM indexed filesCOBOL-IT has compatibility with IBM C-ISAM files through EXTFHNo data conversion necessary
High costsAvoid new license costs with COBOL-ITSubscription-based pricing guarantees a stable price regardless of changes to the operating platform and Solution Stack
High performanceCOBOL-IT Compiler, Runtime running on updated platformsSome batch programs registered performance improvements of 300%
No code changesCompatibility100% preservation of functionality. Change is transparent to users


COBOL-IT Marketing team