Platform for COBOL and Java Integration Gets Upgrade, Adds Eclipse Support

Developers program in COBOL, isCOBOL APS generates pure Java code

COBOL-Java integrator Veryant has just released a new version of its is COBOL Application Platform Suite (APS). This version, isCOBOL 2010, adds support for Eclipse Galileo, which comprises 33 Eclipse projects.

COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language) was one of the oldest high-level programming languages, and many enterprises have a big investment in COBOL code. About 60 percent of the world's business applications were written in COBOL, and an estimated 200 billion-plus lines of the code currently exist. Solutions like isCOBOL are designed to help companies "preserve their investment" in this ancient language by modernizing it -- essentially, by compiling COBOL code into Java.

With isCOBOL, developers continue programming in COBOL, but the isCOBOL APS generates pure Java output, and the code gets deployed across multiple platforms in an open Java framework. The APS allows COBOL user-words to reference Java classes and automatically converts Java data types to the COBOL type that will work in a particular statement. Programs written in COBOL can be called directly from Java as though they had been written in Java.

The new release continues to support using Eclipse as an integrated development environment (IDE). The IDE allows developers to edit and debug their COBOL and Java code together. The new support for Eclipse Galileo allows developers to take advantage of updates in the latest version of Eclipse and develop isCOBOL programs in the same framework.

This release also adds improvements to for better rich Internet application (RIA) development, with a new focus on enhancing the appearance of COBOL apps running on mobile devices (iPhone, Android). According to the Phoenix, Ariz.-based company, COBOL coders can now use Cascading Style Sheets for GUI controls to customize screens for targeted mobile devices and browsers.

Also new in this release is a "quick preview" capability, which allows developers building RIA GUIs with isCOBOL Web Direct 2.0 to view their apps inside the isCOBOL IDE with a mouse click. This feature aims to enhance developer productivity, the company said, and to eliminate the need to install a separate Java Server, such as Apache Tomcat, to preview end-user environments.

With this release, the isCOBOL Server can now run as a Windows Service on Windows servers, which means that it can be installed as a service that starts automatically and runs in the background. The idea here is to make it easier to use a Windows server when deploying thin client GUIs with isCOBOL.

The isCOBOL APS 2010 release is available now.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at

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