Large toy retailer consolidates Mainframe and Open Systems COBOL applications on Linux, AIX, and Z/Linux platforms with COBOL-IT.

November 10, 2015 by Case study

An industry-leading toy retailer has consolidated all of its Mainframe and Open Systems-based COBOL applications, and re-hosted its solution stack on Linux, AIX, and z/Linux servers using COBOL-IT.

With over 100,000 employees, the toy retailer generates over $12 billion USD in annual revenues, and has millions of customers world-wide. Their COBOL applications were distributed across multiple platforms, and maintained using a combination of COBOL compilers from Micro Focus, IBM, and Unisys. Future directions required that the applications be consolidated, and maintained with a single COBOL compiler. Primary motivations included reducing costs of ownership and maintenance. Requirements included reduced costs, identical functionality, low-level testing for identical results, and equal or better performance.

The applications were a collection of batch programs that stored sales data in Oracle and DB2 databases and provided a full range of reporting functionalities. Consisting of 200 programs and over 400,000 lines of code, the batch application ran nightly inside very tight time windows. The migration was scheduled in stages, with separate testing required to validate the migration of each of the COBOL compilers to COBOL-IT. Tests were run against Oracle and DB2 databases. Stress testing for performance was also critical and demonstrated faster execution times in many cases.

Cost savings targets were all met, as the migration was completed in 6 months. Costs of COBOL-IT subscriptions provided significant savings when compared against all of the original COBOL compilers.

“The key to the success of this migration was COBOL-IT’s ability to demonstrate compatibility with Micro Focus, Acucobol, IBM, and Unisys COBOL compilers. We succeeded in consolidating all of the previous platforms and compilers, maintaining the data in Oracle and DB2 databases, and providing superior performance. This was a terrific success story.”

Dave Murphy, Managing Partner, ESI


ChallengeSolutionCustomer Benefits
High costs from maintaining multiple COBOL compilers on multiple platforms.Consolidate the platforms, and use a single COBOL-IT
compiler for all applications
Lower costs, easier maintenance, and better performance
Very tight batch windowsPerformance-testing of all components.Improved performance, providing additional flexibility.
Oracle and DB2 databasesDetailed test plan, with collaboration of partnersSuccessful demonstration of preservation of functionality at the lowest level.



About ESI

ESI Services, LLC (ESI) is the COBOL-IT distribution and technical support center for North American operations. ESI was originally founded in 1973 in Tallahassee, Florida, as a provider of tools and services to users of Burroughs equipment. Over its 42+ years in North and South America as well as in Europe, ESI has grown and evolved as a provider of IT-based business solutions, particularly in the area of COBOL and the migration-conversion of COBOLbased systems to current technology. Our successful experience includes building over 30 awardwinning products as well as hundreds of varied application development and migration / conversion projects, from small to multi-million dollar projects, all centered around best-in-class project management and testing methodology to insure on-time, on-budget results meeting or exceeding our customers’ goals.

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COBOL-IT is the first company to offer a high quality, professional COBOL compiler to large enterprises seeking to migrate, deploy, and maintain their COBOL applications at the lowest cost and lowest risk. Founded in 2008, COBOL-IT has rapidly assumed a position of leadership in the global COBOL community, migrating hundreds of customers with hundreds of thousands of users and hundreds of millions of lines of COBOL code. With a robust product suite and a proven migration process, the company provides solutions that allow its clients to preserve the functionality of their strategic COBOL applications with superior performance, agility, and a significant reduction in costs. Technical Hubs located around the world allow COBOL-IT to guarantee that all of its clients have access to expert, responsive technical support. Partnership agreements between COBOL-IT and the leading providers of technical services and software solutions in Open Systems ensure that moving to COBOL-IT can be accomplished at low cost and low risk everywhere in the world.

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