A complete COBOL development environment targeted to Microsoft's .NET Framework. This includes a COBOL compiler with .NET extensions that generates Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) and does not generate native x86 instructions. Main features:
Windows Forms and Web Forms Designers
Create COBOL XML Web services using Microsoft's ASP.NET engine
Write code to run within the SQL CLR (common language runtime) in SQL Server (stored procedures, user-defined functions and triggers)
Use COBOL to script in ASP.NET pages (language = "COBOL")
Simplified mixed language development: call and be called from languages like VB .NET or C#
Support for calling native NetCOBOL for Windows applications from .NET. The called native COBOL programs can be native .DLL’s or COM objects. If you want to create mixed NetCOBOL for Windows and .NET applications, you will need to use the multi-threaded runtime for most applications (Windows Forms, Web Forms, ASP.NET and Web Services).
Includes Visual Studio 2010 Shell which contains the IDE, ready to work with NetCOBOL.
Editor understands COBOL with IntelliSense and outlining support.
No. Visual Studio 2010 Shell is included with NetCOBOL for .NET. Only if you want features, or other development languages, that are not in the shell edition would you need to purchase Visual Studio from Microsoft. See the Visual Studio Product Line Overview.
The requirements are essentially those required by Visual Studio, with an additional 70MB of disk space for the NetCOBOL for .NET product. See the information on System Requirements on the Microsoft Visual Studio Standard page.
Applications can be executed on Microsoft Windows 7, Vista, XP and Server 2003/2008. When you create the package to deploy your application, you will need to consider if the end-user's machine will already have the .NET Framework installed. If not, you may need to include the appropriate parts in your package. The hardware and software requirements for executing applications is therefore primarily dependent on those of the .NET Framework.See System Requirements for Installing .NET Framework 3.5 for details of .NET Framework requirements.
Many common installer development environments have support that makes it easy to deploy .NET applications. NetCOBOL for .NET also includes a set of redistributable components that constitute the COBOL language runtime necessary for your applications to run on a client machine.
NetCOBOL for .NET comes in two editions: Enterprise and Universal. Enterprise focuses on creating applications for .NET. Universal combines NetCOBOL for .NET Enterprise with NetCOBOL for Windows Enterprise – so you are able to create applications for both .NET and native Windows.
Not necessarily. NetCOBOL for .NET allows you to compile non-OO COBOL programs and execute these in the Common Language Runtime (CLR). If you want to communicate with .NET programs written in other languages, or take advantage of the support provided in .NET Framework classes, it will be necessary to understand a number of OO concepts and how they are supported in NetCOBOL for .NET. When compiling non-OO COBOL programs, for example when using NetCOBOL for .NET as part of a COBOL migration solution, the NetCOBOL system packages your standard COBOL program in this OO environment as a static method, called "Procedure," of a class with your program's PROGRAM-ID name. This means that you can call a traditional COBOL program in an OO manner, using the PROGRAM-ID as the class name and "Procedure" as the method name.
Yes you can. There are a few limitations in NetCOBOL for .NET that may prevent certain modules from compiling successfully. These limitations are listed in the NetCOBOL for .NET User Guide. Where the limitations are in areas that must be retained in your application, you can compile those modules with the NetCOBOL for Windows product and invoke them from the .NET code.
The .NET environment is a graphically oriented environment with good design and execution support from Windows Forms and Web Forms. Programmers of applications that contain a user interface will want to take advantage of the .NET Framework user interface support, rather than the character-oriented SCREEN SECTION.
Use Windows Forms within the .NET environment. Windows Forms is a model for developing rich client GUI applications that are built around classes in the .NET Framework class library's System.Windows.Forms namespace. They have a programming model all their own that is cleaner, more robust, and more consistent than models based on the Win32 API or MFC, and they run in the managed environment of the .NET Common Language Runtime (CLR). NetCOBOL for .NET provides designer support making it easy to design your graphical interfaces and write the supporting COBOL code.
Yes they are - in a slightly different manner from traditional Windows applications. Traditional Windows-based applications process WM_COMMAND and WM_NOTIFY messages using special Windows Forms process events. In C# and in other languages (COBOL included) that support the .NET Common Language Runtime (CLR), events are first-class type members on par with methods, fields, and properties.
By default – no. That is, if you are using the default character set modes of working with both NetCOBOL for .NET and NetCOBOL for Windows, and you are using the same file systems (e.g. NetCOBOL file system in both or Btrieve file system in both), then the files are compatible. Differences will only occur if programs are compiled to use different character sets or different file systems. For example, a program compiled with RCS(UTF8-UCS2) with NetCOBOL for .NET will store alphanumeric data using UTF-8 which would typically not be compatible with data in a file written using a program compiled with RCS(ACP) which uses ASCII data. If you decide to use different character sets in different programs, functions are provided so that you can convert the data between the character sets.
Currently we have only tested V6 thru V10, since these are the versions that have been available and supported during NetCOBOL for .NET's life. Earlier versions should also work, but there is no guarantee. To ensure proper usage of the modules we recommend using the DLLs of the latest release of NetCOBOL for Windows.
Yes - particularly if you are wanting to migrate existing ASCII (or ANSI Code Page, ACP) data or share data with ASCII/ACP applications. The User's Guide provided with NetCOBOL for .NET fully describes the issues involved and required actions.
Yes you can. Any language that is enabled for the .NET environment can call other .NET enabled languages in a more seamless manner than ever before. One big benefit of the common environment is the ability to inherit from one language to another. .NET includes several frameworks, or libraries of classes, that any .NET language can use, including COBOL. The result is that .NET offers an environment in which you develop in the language that makes the most sense for the task.
The Common Language Runtime (CLR) defines a set of built-in data types that can be passed between languages. These data types are: boolean, byte, char, date, decimal, double, enum, single, int16, int32, int64, object, and string. Programmers can also create user-defined classes that can be passed between languages.
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