Micro Focus today announced the general availability of Visual COBOL 8.0 and Enterprise Suite 8.0, building on four decades of providing flexible application, process and infrastructure modernization solutions for core business and mission-critical applications. These enhanced solutions enable IT teams to modernize COBOL and mainframe applications for deployment to the cloud at a time when organizations are seeking new and cost-effective ways to deliver on IT strategies through continuous modernization and digital transformation initiatives.
Micro Focus Visual COBOL 8.0 and Enterprise Suite 8.0 deliver a proven avenue for expanding the value of your existing applications and increasing your competitive differentiation by leveraging the capabilities of cloud, mainframe or distributed platforms. “Over the past four decades, Micro Focus has been a leader in modernizing COBOL and mainframe systems with its patented, innovative technology, efficiency and expertise, and Visual COBOL 8.0 and Enterprise Suite 8.0 continue that pedigree,” said Neil Fowler, General Manager and VP of the Application Modernization and Connectivity business at Micro Focus. “These new releases of our proven solutions provide many options for organizations to modernize their long-standing core business systems for the cloud and ensure their continued value for many years to come.”
For organizations working with COBOL applications deployed on distributed platforms, Visual COBOL 8.0 delivers:
- Industry leading COBOL and mainframe application development tools integrated into Microsoft Visual Studio 2022, Visual Studio Code and Eclipse including new support for Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) based development.
- Modernization of COBOL applications using .NET 6.0 and deployment to Windows and Linux environments.
- New data modernization tools enabling COBOL and mainframe applications to rapidly adopt modern relational database access and move to scalable cloud architectures with low effort and risk.
- Cloud trials available through the most popular cloud vendor marketplaces — Azure, AWS and the Google Cloud.
For organizations working with Mainframe-based applications, Enterprise Suite 8.0 builds on functionality delivered with Visual COBOL 8.0 to also provide:
- A Linux based version of Enterprise Developer for Eclipse that enables development and deployment pipelines on all supported x86 Linux distributions.
- New Host Compatibility options for PostgreSQL to support faster deployment of Db2 data onto PostgreSQL and AWS Aurora giving additional choices of target database platforms.
- An embedded Host Access for the Cloud TN3270 emulator delivered with Enterprise Developer and Server products to provide a secured, browser-based, zero footprint client.
Whichever path is chosen, both product releases offer unique capabilities for COBOL and mainframe modernization, including enhanced customer support for application deployment to containers and the cloud. “Containerization isn’t a concept that a lot of mainframe developers have dealt with in the past, but it’s an extremely powerful one and Micro Focus Enterprise Server is designed for containerizing mainframe workloads for our clients on COBOL,” said Rob Anderson, VP of Marketing and Product for Application Modernization, Advanced.
These latest releases also deliver Micro Focus customers the ability to stay current with modern technology trends while protecting valued intellectual property within core business systems. CGI is a Micro Focus customer and Independent Software Vendor (ISV) that is experiencing the benefits of COBOL modernization. “By upgrading to Visual COBOL, we feel we extended the horizon of our business applications by many years to come,” said Carl Gerhardsson Development Manager at CGI.
Today’s release of Visual COBOL 8.0 and Enterprise Suite 8.0 builds on the recent general availability announcement of the AWS Mainframe Modernization service, confirming Micro Focus’ commitment to customers and their modernization journey. The recent Micro Focus COBOL Survey research shows the market’s COBOL application footprint continues to grow, and the Cloud remains the number one digital driver for those working with COBOL based systems. In addition, to support that strategy, with modernization being the preferred path forward by 72 percent of respondents, and the majority of the survey’s respondents stated that they intend to modernize their applications and support cloud by the end of the year.
As more companies embrace the cloud as their future application platform, Micro Focus continues to enhance its modernization toolset to support that customer journey. One Micro Focus customer, Jury System Incorporated, is already experiencing success in the cloud. “Choosing COBOL all those years ago has really paid dividends for us. In fact, without it we wouldn’t have a web or cloud-hosted version. I question whether we would even have a business,” said Mark Schienbein, Jury System President and CEO.
Successful core business system modernization demands a flexible and adaptive strategy aimed at improving results and accelerating time to value. Through the Micro Focus Modernization Maturity Model, IT leaders can quickly map their current IT estate to their future business strategy, including cloud—all while finding the right balance between cost, risk and speed.