Onderlinge’s-Gravenhage has moved from the Bull GCOS 7 Mainframe to Open Source with COBOL-IT, Metaware and Phoenix Management


Life Insurance Policy Management



COBOL-IT Compiler Suite Enterprise Edition

COBOL-IT Developer Studio



COBOL-IT® Compiler Suite Enterprise Edition

COBOL-IT® Developer Studio



Bull GCOS 7 Mainframe


Oracle 11g

UFAS ( Unified File Access System )



Intel Servers

Redhat Linux

Oracle 11g

COBOL-IT Compiler Suite Enterprise Edition

COBOL-IT Developer Studio

Metaware MW Refine







Phoenix Management




Onderlinge’s-Gravenhage has moved their Life Insurance Policy Management System from the GCOS 7 Mainframe to Enterprise Linux using COBOL-IT, Oracle and MW Refine. Onderlinge’s-Gravenhage successfully completed their Enterprise Application Modernization in 20 months. The migration was completed with no change in functionality, with performance improvements in batch programs and with significant cost savings.

“A platform migration project is intense, but worthwhile. It made our software more flexible and adaptable.”

Hein Kouwenhoven, Project Manager, Onderlinge’s-Gravenhage

About Onderlinge’s-Gravenhage

Located in The Hague, Netherlands, Onderlinge’sGravenhage provides Life Insurance Policy Management Services globally. Onderlinge’s-Gravenhage has an annual revenue of € 220 million and 170 employees.

The Onderlinge’s-Gravenhage Software Application

The Onderlinge’s-Gravenhage software application was first developed in 1980 for the purpose of administering Life Insurance Policies on the Bull GCOS 7 Mainframe. The application is continually enhanced and maintained as required by changes in business rules in the Insurance industry.

The Decision to use COBOL-IT

Onderlinge’s-Gravenhage recognized the need to undertake an Enterprise Application Modernization project for the primary purposes of Cost Savings and Improving Agility. Maintaining their application on the Bull GCOS 7 Mainframe was costly and the lack of agility was both a source of opportunity costs and a cause of high maintenance costs. They elected to undertake a migration to Open Systems moving from the Bull GCOS 7 environment to an Intel-based Linux environment. With the move, they upgraded their performance with COBOL-IT and the Oracle 11g database with no disruption to their Customer base. Given the requirements of Onderlinge’s-Gravenhage, the

Migration Partners Metaware and Phoenix Management, recommended COBOL-IT. The Migration was completed with no business disruption, and complete preservation of functionality. Benefits included improvements in performance and considerable cost savings. For their 20- month effort, Onderlinge’s-Gravenhage estimates a cost savings of over €1 million and a complete Return-onInvestment in 18 months.

The Challenges

Migrating a legacy application from a Bull GCOS 7 Mainframe to an Enterprise Linux platform requires a team with a deep understanding of the application as well as a deep understanding of the differences between the Mainframe and Open Systems platforms.

Onderlinge’s-Gravenhage estimates a cost saving of over €1 million and a complete Return-on-Investment in 18 months.

Validating the preservation of functionality required developing, identifying and testing hundreds of function points. There were special cases where the Mainframe application’s behavior relied in part on interaction with lowlevel functions that did not exist on the Enterprise Linux platform. There were cases where the Mainframe application’s behavior relied on the collating sequences of EBCDIC data encoding which changed when the data was translated to ASCII on the Linux platform. Metaware and COBOL-IT have experience identifying challenges and addressing them. The Metaware Refine technology allowed Onderlinge’s-Granvenhage to automate both the Migration, and the development of regression tests, greatly reducing both costs and risks. The collaboration between the technical teams was highly productive and all problems were resolved quickly and effectively. Overall, the support of COBOL-IT and Metaware was excellent.

A Successful Migration with Tangible Benefits


The Onderlinge’s-Gravenhage Enterprise Application Modernization was successful, providing tangible benefits to the Customer.

A Successful Enterprise Application Modernization with Experienced Partners

“COBOL-IT lowers costs and lowers risks for Enterprises by working with highly experienced Certified Partners with proven products and processes. Onderlinge’s-Gravenhage is positioned now to move forward with lower costs and greater agility using the COBOL-IT Open Source solutions.”

Stephane Croce, CEO COBOL-IT


ChallengeSolutionCustomer Benefits
Acquire more flexibility.Use of modern
Quicker response times making changes in the application.
Lower costs.Improve Price/Quality ratios of all components of the Enterprise Application Solution Set.Lower costs for maintenance of the application.