Yorkshire Building Society Group migrates their Enterprise Mortgage and Savings application on HP-UX to COBOL-IT








Financial Services



Online and Batch Programs



COBOL-IT® Compiler Suite Enterprise Edition

COBOL-IT Developer Studio



HP Integrity BL 860c i4

HP Integrity BL 870c

HP vPar on Integrity BL 870c i4

HP-UX 11.31

Oracle Forms

Oracle Tuxedo 12cR1 for HP-UX Itanium (32-bit)

Oracle 11g 64-bit PL/SQL Release



HP Integrity BL 860c i4

HP Integrity BL 870c

HP vPar on Integrity BL 870c i4

HP-UX 11.31

Oracle Forms

Oracle Tuxedo 12cR1 for HP-UX Itanium (32-bit)

Oracle 11g 64-bit PL/SQL Release

COBOL-IT Compiler Suite Enterprise Edition



Please contact COBOL-IT for more information






Yorkshire Building Society Group moved its mortgage and savings application to COBOL-IT, serving over 3 million online customers and 4500 end-users.

“We required a high-performance COBOL alternative that we could plug and play with Oracle Forms, Oracle Tuxedo, and Oracle Database 11g on HP-UX servers.  COBOL-IT exceeded our expectations in terms of compatibility, performance, and price.”

Greg O’Mahony, Project Manager, Yorkshire Building Society Group


About Yorkshire Building Society Group

The vision of the Yorkshire Building Society Group (YBS) is to be the most trusted provider of financial services in the UK.

Its headquarters are located in West Yorkshire in the United Kingdom, with four main office locations in Bradford, Leeds, Peterborough and Cheltenham. It has 208 branches, 99 agencies and assets of £39.6 billion as at the end of 2016. It employs 4,500 people and has 3.2 million customers.

The Group includes Yorkshire Building Society and its brands Chelsea Building Society and Norwich & Peterborough Building Society, and its subsidiary companies including Accord Mortgages.


The YBS Software Application

The integrated branch and head office computer system was originally built for use within Yorkshire Building Society in 1999. Since then it has been continually enhanced to reflect legislative and new business requirements.

The Application portfolio is divided into a number of areas:

  • Application Tier
  • Middle Tier services
  • Data Tier
  • Batch Processing
  • External System Interfaces (e.g. Experian credit check service)

The Middle Tier services provide the platform for the applications tier operation, the external system interfaces and the batch processing capability upon the underlying data tier.

The data tier is based on Oracle RDBMS and provides the data services required to support the Application portfolio. The data tier is also accessed by systems and applications beyond the scope of the Application portfolio.

Maintenance and new development are managed by a team of 20 Developers, previously using the Program File Editor (PFE), Animator for compiling/testing/debugging line by line, and Vi (UNIX line editor), and now using the COBOL-IT Developer Studio.

The batch processing provides asynchronous scheduling, scripting and processing required between the Application portfolio and external systems. The batch processing produces reports as part of the standard batch service.

‘Batch’ and Tuxedo COBOL form the Core processing layer.

There are approximately 10 million lines of COBOL code with 2006 COBOL programs and 125 Tuxedo programs in Perforce.


The Decision to use COBOL-IT

As it continually reviews markets and competition, YBS evaluated COBOL-IT to be a suitable alternative on commitment, price, technology and with a vendor who added value.

YBS required that the COBOL vendor provide full compatibility with the existing supplier source code, comparable debugging capabilities for the development team, equal or better performance, and interoperability with Oracle solutions, as well as Certification from Oracle.  YBS wished to reduce costs with the alternative COBOL compiler and to minimize the costs of transitioning by handling the migration work in-house.

HPE asked COBOL-IT to collaborate with them on the YBS project, and assumed the primary project management responsibilities for this migration.  COBOL-IT worked very closely with HPE throughout the execution of the project.

YBS’ requirements included source code compatibility and interoperability with Oracle solutions.  All of these questions were answered in the technical assessment performed at the beginning of the project.  As a result, the in-house technical team was able to project the costs of the migration with confidence.

COBOL-IT solutions met or exceeded all requirements, and COBOL-IT technicians were available on-call during all of the critical transitions in the migration.


The Challenges

YBS did not require any changes to hardware, operating system or middleware, and did not require any data migration for the applications migration.

The sole change in their migration was the change in COBOL compilers.  Challenges migrating scripts and adaptations to the COBOL-IT Configuration File were identified in the technical assessment and addressed.  Makefiles had to be rewritten.  COBOL-IT provided equivalence to the COBOPT environment variable that was being used, as well as all runtime environment variables being used.

YBS used wrappers written in “C” to call Pro*COBOL programs that performed the business logic.  COBOL-IT technicians coached the YBS technical team through the process of using COBOL-IT API with Tuxedo, and the application ran with no problems.

The degree of compatibility between COBOL-IT and the previous supplier’s COBOL proved to be very high.  The COBOL-IT technical team had a high level of expertise and was very responsive.


“Yorkshire Building Society Group provided a superior technical team, who were able to take charge of this migration very early on in the process.  Once we worked through the script changes and demonstrated the interoperability with the elements of their solution stack, we were all confident the ease of the migration would exceed their expectations.”

Stephane Croce (CEO COBOL-IT)


ChallengeSolutionCustomer Benefits
CostsAvoid new license costs with COBOL-IT.Lower costs leaves money for personnel and application modernization.
Interoperability with “C” wrappers, TuxedoSolutions demonstrated in technical assessment.100% preservation of functionality. Change is transparent to users.
Modifications to Makefiles and scriptsSolutions demonstrated in technical assessment.100% preservation of functionality. Change is transparent to users.
Perform the migration in-houseIdentify potential problems in technical assessment/training period and resolve before turning the migration over to the in-house team.Minimizes costs of migration, and maximizes development of knowledgebase for new solution.


Contact :

Alan Redmonds, Application Support Manager