Micro Focus Brings 64-bit COBOL to AIX 5

Server Express adapts to 64-bit environments.

It's a 64-bit world, but some developers have been trapped in the 32-bit dark ages. Legacy development specialists Micro Focus International Ltd. hope to shine some light on COBOL developers.

Micro Focus released a 64-bit version of its Server Express COBOL development platform for IBM's AIX 5 operating system. The company has already issued 64-bit versions for the HP-UX, Compaq Tru64, and Solaris Unix flavors.

Irving Abraham, Unix product manager at Micro Focus, says the company waited for the release of AIX 5 to adapt Server Express to 64-bit environments. Like many Unix variants, AIX can run in both 32- and 64-bit modes.

"The mass appeal in a 64-bit COBOL is in data handling," Abraham explains. The larger address space allows more data to move through the application, possibly improving performance.

In addition, 64-bit COBOL applications interact more efficiently with 64-bit applications, simplifying integration tasks. Abraham says getting 32-bit applications to work with 64-bit databases is difficult. "There has to be some switching and massaging of data."