Wed May 21 19:12:58 UTC 2008
William L. Maltby <CentOS4Bill at triad.rr.com>

On Wed, 2008-05-21 at 13:47 -0500, Michael wrote:
> Just curious, maybe some old timers could help me out. I am working with 
> a company that is migrating 20 years of Mainframe Software Development 
> to Unix, HPUX. How much harder would it be to go to Linux, Centos Linux?

It really depends on two things: compatability of the COBOL flavors,
legacy and Fujitsu, and competency of the folks doing the work in both
legacy and new platforms.

I can't answer the specifics of your query though. Last time I did these
things was the 1984 - 1994 timeframes. But I can say it was duck soup.
Naturally, it wasn't Fujitsu cobol.

A few more words later on.

> Also, anyone have any experience with Fujitsu Cobol on Centos? The 
> Fujitsu people only support Red Hat, and said I'd be on my own with 
> Centos. In other words if it works, then I don't care about Fujitsu 
> support.
> I know some of you are thinking, did someone say "COBOL"? Nobody uses 
> COBOL anymore! If so, let me say "You are wrong". Many large 
> corporations are taking their old business logic that was written in 
> COBOL decades ago, and moving it to new modern platforms, like Linux. 
> Programatically giving these applications a GUI face-lift, while 
> maintaining their original business logic. I know because many companies 
> pay me to do just that. I have a client that wants to use Centos Linux 
> with Fujistu Cobol, and Fujitsu says it's gotta be Red Hat, any help 
> will much appreciated.

I don't know if it's still around, but my efforts were using MicroFocus
Cobol, which (IIRC) was eventually bought by SCO. I was porting
mainframe application development to a three-tiered development
architecture. Target apps would run on IBM mainframes, be developed,
tested, debugged on DOS PCs (later on real UNIX System V).

If MF COBOL is still available, might be worth a look. It was very good
then. Should be very good now if still around. It was *very* compatible
with the IBM flavor(s).

The only significant changes were in the Configuration Section and
adding screen-specific code. Of course, no i'net then, so I imagine
there will be more stuff added to support net stuff.

The most trouble, as I recall, was that most programmers were just so-so
even at COBOL and had no concept of hardware issues or underlying OS
issues at all. I can't tell you how many times I had to help various
programmes out just because of mixing modes of read statements - "read"
vs "read into". Of course, I had a strong assembly background too, so I
saw the implications (read locate mixed with read move mode as implied
by the two forms of the COBOL read) that they may not have had the
background to recognize.

If the folks doing the work a competent on both platforms, or the team
"community knowledge" includes that expertise and it's freely shared,
should be just a lot of mechanical effort after the first couple of
programs are converted.

> Thanks,