IBM i shops that develop in COBOL may be interested in learning about COBOL-IT, a compiler and collection of modernization tools that is developed in France under an open source license. Last week, the Canadian application modernization company Speedware announced that it’s now distributing COBOL-IT to North American customers.
According to the Paris-based company, the COBOL-IT Compiler Suite is an ANS85-compliant version of the popular procedural language. The compiler installs on Windows, Unix, and Linux machines, including Linux for z/OS, thereby providing organizations with hosting options besides the IBM mainframe, where a lot of legacy COBOL resides.
In addition to the core compiler, COBOL-IT works to ensure that compiled applications work with various databases. To that end, it’s certified with Oracle Berkeley DB with XA and the Ingres database. The company also includes other tools with the COBOL-IT Enterprise Suite, including sort and code optimization functions. Professional services and technical support are also provided through the Enterprise Suite, while the free Standard Suite does not.
The COBOL-IT products caught the eye of the folks at Speedware, the Quebec-based provider of application modernization and migration solutions for the System i and other platforms. In addition to selling licenses to COBOL-IT Enterprise Edition, Speedware will provide technical support and consulting services to clients looking to move or integrate their legacy COBOL apps.
Speedware marketing manager Dani Knezevic says COBOL-IT is an option for any applications that are written in COBOL, including those running under IBM i. “It is the lowest risk, lowest cost, lowest maintenance option for customers with AS/400s who want to move off of the AS/400 to an open platform,” Knezevic says.
Speedware president Andy Kulakowski says he is excited about the partnership. “COBOL-IT is to COBOL what Red Hat is to Linux, and we are proud to be North American distributors,” he says. COBOL-IT gives customers “the opportunity to substantially save on licensing costs while still benefiting from enterprise-grade support and services.”
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