Fujitsu has been developing COBOL compilers for over 40 years and is the world’s leading vendor of Microsoft Windows-based COBOL compilers and development tools with over 10,000 mainframe, 300,000 midrange, and 80,000 PC sites.
Consider how well the NetCOBOL technology fits in the Windows environment: seamless integration with Visual Basic, Visual C++ and Web development technologies; creation of COM/DCOM objects; and, with NetCOBOL for .NET, fully integrated with the .NET architecture; – all these demonstrate committed design and long-term thinking.
NetCOBOL has a long and successful history of supporting industrial-quality applications. It has the backing of a solid company, Fujitsu, committed to growth in the global market. How many COBOL vendors can you name that have comparable credentials for taking COBOL into the 21st Century?
The majority of the world's business applications are still written in COBOL. No one has found a silver-bullet solution for replacing these applications over night, and it does not look likely that this will happen in the next few years. There is therefore a massive investment in both COBOL programs and COBOL programmers that needs to be supported.
COBOL continues to provide the solutions that businesses need. Many companies that have taken excursions into 4 GL's, C, VB, C++, Java, and other "latest trend" solutions, are realizing that although each of these new developments have their benefits they also have their downside in leaving a legacy that is tough to handle. COBOL is designed for easy maintainability and has been around long enough to be supported by many maintenance tools. It is still the best business-logic language for the long-term.
Fujitsu implemented support for OO extensions as part of its efforts of supporting the international COBOL standards. Studies show that information hiding and encapsulation are the best tactics for obtaining code reuse. These features are implicit in OO programming and Fujitsu recognizes the importance many of its customers place on being able to gain greater return on their investments by reusing their code. The early support for OO syntax made a big difference to the development of NetCOBOL for .NET which was able to take advantage of many of the OO COBOL constructs to give access to the exceptionally rich .NET framework collection of classes.
Versions of NetCOBOL and its predecessor, Fujitsu COBOL, have enabled applications to be created for these versions of Windows. However, as Microsoft has withdrawn support for most of them, and we no longer claim to support them, we would not recommend that you attempt to build applications for those operating systems using NetCOBOL for Windows.
The preferred mechanism for deploying NetCOBOL applications is to construct your own installer using any of the commonly available msi-based installation building tools, such as WiX (http://wix.sourceforge.net/), InstallShield (http://www.installshield.com), or Visual Studio itself and then to include appropriate Microsoft Merge Modules (sometimes known by their file extension of .msm) for NetCOBOL runtime components into your installer. The Microsoft Merge Modules are available from the Downloads area of this site.
Another alternative is to use NetCOBOL Application Distribution Kits that provide a “wrapper” to help you create an installation package. Note, however, that this technology has been deprecated because it is not supported under Microsoft Windows Vista operating systems. The Application Distribution Kits are also available from the resource area of this site along with a Run-time Installation Guide that provides greater detail about these options.
The space occupied by the NetCOBOL run-time, depends on which components you use in your application as follows:
Regular (or multi-threaded) NetCOBOL run-time Foundation Class Library run-time PowerCOBOL run-time PowerFORM run-time
6.7 Mb 1.9 Mb 6.0 Mb 5.9 Mb
It is also possible to set up the run-time support so that it resides on a LAN server and the Setup on the client's machine only updates the necessary registry settings. If this is of interest to you, contact us.
NetCOBOL for Windows Version 10 has been verified with: Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, Pervasive.SQL and Symfoware. See the Related Products section of the “NetCOBOL V10 Software Release Guide” in the Online Manuals set for full details.
Earlier versions (with essentially identical behavior) were also tested with: Sybase SQL Anywhere and Informix.
The built in support for EXEC SQL statements is designed to work with ODBC interfaces. Provided your database supports ODBC you should be able to access it directly from your NetCOBOL program. Using SQL and ODBC is described in “Getting Started” and the “User’s Guide”.
As with any inter-vendor or inter-machine conversion the key question is how closely have you followed standard COBOL? The more vendor-specific syntax and routines you have used, the more issues you are likely to have to deal with. Our staff would be happy to discuss your likely conversion needs with you and, if you are likely to need specialist assistance, put you in touch with companies experienced in helping people make the move from Micro Focus to NetCOBOL. Send an email email@example.com to initiate the discussion.
Yes, The NetCOBOL Project Manager has a simple facility to automate compiles. Please refer to the NetCOBOL User’s Guide - Chapter 6, Project Manager, for more information. Most of the sample programs are built with project files that utilize this facility, so you can also familiarize yourself with it by building and executing the sample programs.
Crystal Reports is a tool designed for creating reports from existing data. Its primary goal is to help cope with the situation in which users want reports created in a short time frame. PowerFORM is designed to help create reports from within COBOL applications. Because you write PowerFORM reports in a very similar manner to other COBOL reports, PowerFORM can be a great tool for enhancing the appearance of existing reports, or replacing pre-printed forms with PowerFORM designs.
There are two ways to print reports using NetCOBOL: COBOL syntax and PowerFORM.
With COBOL syntax, fixed pitch and proportional fonts are all printed with a fixed pitch. This may not always look the best when proportional fonts are used.
PowerFORM prints reports in a WYSIWYG format.
Also, you should note that MSLineDraw is the equivalent to a "native DOS" print. Another alternative is to write to a file, and print that. These alternatives should be considered if it appears that Windows print drivers (which COBOL uses) are getting in the way of a simple print that "used to work under DOS".
All the books and manuals are provided in Adobe Acrobat softcopy form on the CD, or in HTML form for some manuals. After you install the softcopy documentation, you can view and search all of the softcopy documentation by selecting Online Documentation in the Fujitsu NetCOBOL V10 group/sub-menu.
No. The availability of printed manuals was discontinued after NetCOBOL for Windows Version 6. The Version 10 manuals are formatted for 8.5" x 11" pages (with margins set so the text will also fit comfortably on A4 pages) so printing off your own copy of manuals or sections of manuals is possible.
PowerCOBOL is a GUI Builder that allows COBOL programmers to create Windows applications. PowerCOBOL uses an event-driven programming model like Visual Basic but all the programming is done in COBOL.
"NetCOBOL" is sometimes used to describe the compiler used to create batch and character mode (DISPLAY/ACCEPT and Screen Section) applications. It is possible to create mixed PowerCOBOL and NetCOBOL applications.
With PowerCOBOL, you can create and use ActiveX controls.
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