PagesJaunes has moved from IBM Mainframe to Open Source with COBOL-IT Software and SODIFRANCE










Internet and Directory Advertising



Online Transactional Processing, with large Batch component


COBOL-IT Solutions :

COBOL-IT Compiler Suite Enterprise Ed. COBOL-IT Developer Studio



IBM Mainframe / MVS (z/OS)



Sparc Enterprise M5000 Server
Sun Solaris 10 / Oracle Pro*COBOL
Oracle 10g Database / JBOSS







PagesJaunes, (the French Yellow Pages), undertook a project with the goal of achieving significant cost savings on both the hardware and software level, while enhancing their ability to ex- pand Java-based development oriented towards the delivery of Web Services. The COBOL-IT Compiler Suite helped them achieve both goals. The project was completed on time, in less than a year.

“Thanks to SODIFRANCE and COBOL-IT, our transition from an MVS/DB2 platform was completed successfully in advance of a hard contractual deadline. With the completion of our DataCenter Consolidation Project, PagesJaunes will achieve savings of more than €1M/year, without any disturbance in service in two critical areas of our back-office! ”

Fabrice Fontaine, Director of the Solution Center, PagesJaunes.

Pagesjaunes, an industry leader

PagesJaunes is the French leader in local advertising and information on the Internet, in mobile and print media. It belongs to PagesJaunes Groupe that employs over 4,500 people in France, Spain, Luxembourg and Austria, including 2,100 sales advisors supporting 715,000 local and national advertising customers. Providing services in the delivery of content, media, and advertising, PagesJaunes Groupe is an industry leader, with the 6th highest revenues in the world in internet-based advertising. In 2010, PagesJaunes Groupe generated over €537 million in revenue on the Internet, representing 47.8% of its total revenue.

Pagesjaunes software applications

PagesJaunes relies on a set of applications which are designed to maintain, reference and manipulate enormous quantities of data. This information is accessible through printed directories and through online web portals. The PagesJaunes’ software application provides extensive querying, and mapping functionalities, and is available from desktop and mobile devices.

Prior to the migration to open systems, and Open Source, with COBOL-IT, an old but still significant part of PagesJaunes’ legacy application consisted of a CICS based online transaction monitor component, and a batch component. Mainframe data sources included VSAM and DB2. PagesJaunes had a web portal connected to the legacy COBOL in a service-oriented architecture. A development team of 10 developers enhanced and maintained the application using IBM/MVS development tools.

Pressures to move to open systems

The operation of PagesJaunes’ legacy system in an MVS/DB2 environment was expensive, with price increases scheduled with the next contract renewal. Additionally, PagesJaunes was anticipating difficulties running the new web applications they required with their MVS/DB2 connectors. Budgetary constraints made changes mandatory, and contractual issues created a hard deadline. If the project was not completed prior to the contractual deadline, price increases would be unavoidable.

PagesJaunes undertook a project which included both a datacenter consolidation, and a migration from MVS/DB2/VSAM to Sun Solaris 10 using an Oracle 10g database.

The COBOL-IT solution is engineered to lower risk, reduce costs, and contribute to the success of industry leaders, such as PagesJaunes.

The decision to use COBOL-IT

Due to the hard contractual deadlines, minimizing risk was paramount. As a consequence, the option to rewrite the COBOL portion of the application in Java was not realistic. PagesJaunes concluded that they needed a COBOL compiler. The COBOL compiler needed to be available on the host Solaris platform, and highly compatible with their existing COBOL compiler. The COBOL compiler also needed to meet their interoperability, performance, and budgetary requirements.

COBOL-IT was judged to be the superior choice. The Open Source model promised immediate and future cost savings. COBOL-IT’s COBOL compiler proved to be compatible with the MVS compiler, and it performed very well in performance benchmarks. Interoperability with the component parts of the solution, which included the JBOSS Application Server, Syncsort, and Oracle Pro*COBOL was confirmed. COBOL-IT technical services were very responsive in the evaluation phase.

SODIFRANCE and COBOL-IT successfully achieve Pagesjaunes’ goals

SODIFRANCE is a leader in Automated System Integration, with an outstanding record in helping large corporate clients reduce costs through enterprise application modernization.

In one year, respecting the contractual deadlines, SODIFRANCE successfully migrated over 800 COBOL source files, and over 500 JCL scripts. In addition, SODFRANCE also migrated over 30 VSAM files, and 130 DB2 tables to Oracle. Rigorous “byte-by-byte” tests were applied by the migration team to demonstrate the successful completion of the project. All issues were analyzed carefully and addressed.

The Developer Studio®, COBOL-IT’s Eclipse-based development environment, provides remote compiling and debugging capabilities, and has to be very effective. PagesJaunes cited a noticeable improvement in programmer productivity.

On the transactional side of the application, performance improvements were recorded, with response times improving by a factor of 3 to 5 times in some cases

A few small functional differences between MVS COBOL and COBOL-IT were identified, and these were resolved very quickly and efficiently during the project with the assistance of COBOL-IT technical staff.

Pages Jaunes is seeing an 80% savings in IT production costs. ROI for the project is projected for 18 months, after which the solution will continue to operate at less than half of the former cost. The solution provides equivalent functionality and vastly superior capabilities for the planned development of internet portals and java-based interfaces to back-end services written in COBOL-IT. No business disruption was incurred, and the project was completed on time.

COBOL-IT, the highest value, lowest risk solution on the market

“COBOL-IT has a stellar record of success in migrations operating under time-sensitive timelines. The COBOL-IT suite of software products provides high value and high performance. Combined with our responsive technical service team, the COBOL-IT solution is engineered to lower risk, reduce costs, and contribute to the success of industry leaders, such as PagesJaunes.”

Stephane Croce, CEO of COBOL-IT. “

ChallengeSolutionCustomer Benefits
Operating costs projected to rise to unacceptably high levels.Migrate PagesJaunes software applications from IBM Mainframe running MVS, COBOL, VSAM and DB2 to Sparc M5000 Server running Solaris 10, COBOL-ITand Oracle 10g.Divide by over 5 time the cost of operations
New development being carried out in Java and COBOL.Transfer development to COBOL-IT’s Eclipse- based Developer Studio.Improvements in programmer productivity.
Meet a hard deadline imposed by existing contracts.Minimize risk by choo- sing the SODIFRANCE migration methodology and the ISO-standard COBOL-IT Compiler.Avoid the need to negotiate contract prolongations, with the successful completion of the project in less than 1 year.
Replicate all functionality, with equivalent or better performance.Automate the migration, with parallel development of every function, and validating every byte of data processed by the COBOL application.Limit migration risks.
Limit development freeze period.Replay the automated migration 3 times with each of 3 application software releases.Limit the development freeze period to 3 months.