COBOL software house maintaining and developing new and legacy systems
One of the services we provide is maintenance of LEGACY SYSTEMS that could be 20, 30 or even over 40 years old!
If it sounds strange that any computer system could be so old then consider the following. Most of the large bank and insurance 'number crunching' systems are written in COBOL and many have been running for decades, just remember what Y2K, the Millenium Bug, was all about - old Legacy Systems written when memory, or core as it was known, was scarce and expensive. When you consider that and investigation points to there being more COBOL code in existance, and in everyday use, than all other program code produced for business applications developed in all other computer languages put together, the facts become clearer.
For one reason or another popular opinion has knocked COBOL in the past. Truthful facts are needed to base business decisions on not popular opinion, which is often built on rumours, myth or fiction spread by those who should know better. Whereas COBOL may not yet be as capable at producing GUI front ends as some lanuages, COBOL can still at least match the rest on most points. However, for raw running performance COBOL has still to be beaten.
The facts about COBOL may sound strange yet truth is often stranger than fiction.
And it is fiction that COBOL is dead and that it is just companies the size of huge multi nationals that developed their systems in COBOL, and it is fact that many continue to do so and also create new systems.
These Legacy Systems most probably have been modified extensively over the years, initial systems specifications having been expanded and added to even to the point of bearing any resemblence to what they started as. And yet they still work and are still in operation!
Maintaining COBOL systems, new and old, is a task we enjoy, so please contact us if you have COBOL Legacy Systems that need modification or enhancement - maybe even a Windows-like GUI front end to make your applications look pretty!
JCL also creates new software systems and can do so often re-using existing code in a very economic manner -
By implementing Re-usable Code we can create new applications from existing software that suits current requirements although it may differ from that which it was initially created for.
There is a surprising amount of 'overlap' from one application to another, where parts of one system are very similar to that used for another, although perhaps not apparently or cosmetically so but this helps to cut development time without cutting quality.
We initially began using COBOL in the 1970's and we continue to do so. COBOL has evolved and will do many things more than it did back in the early years, much more than many give it credit for. That said, one language is often more viable than another for specific applications, and we have added Visual Basic and others in recent years. However, techniques used in program design are very similar and important when considering inbuilt flexibility for future enhancements and updates that allow a system long life.
As said above, it would be difficult to find a programming language to rival the structure COBOL lends to an application, and good 'layout' is vitally important for systems with a long life expectancy and where program maintenance is an important issue. Yet where VB /VB.Net may be the good for creating user interfaces, modern versions of COBOL are getting better and better at this too. Currently, the best of both worlds in creating an application may be to have a VB user interface / 'front end' with a COBOL 'back end'. However, this may only be the best solution for the time being, for as already said, COBOL is getting good at the GUI side of things too and when it matches VB and its peers in this area, then COBOL will be the unrivalled choice for business applications as it has been for past decades.
In Summary - with probably more COBOL code in existence than all other business program code combined, it's easy to understand why COBOL has been around for such a long time and why it's very much here to stay!