Micro Focus Unveils Net Express with .NET

Value of enterprise IT systems unlocked by migrating to Microsoft Windows and the .NET Framework

NEW YORK and CANNES, France, November 4, 2003 -- Micro Focus International Ltd. (Micro Focus) today announced support for organizations seeking to reduce cost, risk and increase agility by migrating from COBOL applications onto the Microsoft Windows platform and the Microsoft .NET Framework. To complement the new strategy, Micro Focus unveiled Micro Focus Net Express® with .NET, a scalable development environment which integrates with Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 for enterprises to migrate, develop and deploy COBOL applications to Microsoft Windows and the Microsoft .NET Framework. The solution is designed to enable businesses to re-host applications from expensive, or ‘burning,’ end-of- life platforms to the .NET Framework, which can reduce hardware and software expenditure by up to 70%.

There are some 200 billion lines of COBOL still in use, and the number is increasing by 5 billion lines a year, so companies around the world are looking to exploit and renovate their existing COBOL applications.

“This relationship with Microsoft and Microsoft technology marks a landmark in the continuing life of COBOL,” said Tony Hill, chairman and chief executive officer at Micro Focus. “Over the last half a century COBOL has proven its value as a stable, renewable resource that is able to embrace, and integrate fully with technologies like Visual Studio .NET 2003 and the .NET Framework. Net Express with .NET is the tool that will forge common ground between two computing generations and allow for seamless migrations to lower TCO options that Microsoft is offering to the enterprise.”

“Net Express with .NET enables customers to get real value from their existing COBOL investments,” said Eric Rudder, senior vice president of Server and Tools at Microsoft Corp. “Micro Focus’s membership in the Visual Studio Industry Partner (VSIP) program and its proven technology and expertise will enable our mutual enterprise customers to quickly and easily harness the power of the Microsoft .NET Framework.”

IT professionals will now be able to maximize return on existing COBOL assets, future-proof COBOL applications to keep pace with emerging technologies and help business professionals deliver more value to clients.

Net Express with .NET enables Micro Focus customers, such as leading Enterprise Resource Planning provider SYSPRO to take full advantage of existing business-critical logic and legacy assets by deploying them on the Microsoft Windows and .NET Framework. SYSPRO produces business-to-business Web applications by reusing existing business logic that had been developed over 25 years. By taking advantage of Net Express and .NET interoperability, SYSPRO was able to extract value from its prior investments by web enabling and automating COBOL applications with minimal time and cost.

“Micro Focus has helped us to find the balance between systems running mission-critical applications and the need to extend, develop and deploy these applications with contemporary technologies like .Net,” said Jeremy Hart, technical director at McGuffie Brunton, who resell and integrate SYSPRO technology in addition to developing their own HR and warehousing solutions. “By taking our COBOL business logic and migrating it to the .NET Framework quickly and seamlessly, we are able to fully exploit the advantages of .NET within our enterprise applications on Microsoft platforms.”

By using the .NET Framework, companies are able to expose their existing business assets directly to the web, creating an agile, flexible, architecture where business functions are available as Web services. Hill added, “Micro Focus' underlying principle is to unlock the value of legacy assets - the old is no longer being superseded by the new, but rather old and new are harmonized in a services oriented architecture to create real and lasting business value from IT.”

For details about Net Express with .NET, please contact Micro Focus at +1 (877) 772-4450 in the United States or +44 (0) 800 328 4967 in the UK.

About Micro Focus

Micro Focus is the fastest, most effective way to migrate, extend, develop and deploy enterprise applications. As the industry standard for COBOL, Micro Focus bridges business-critical legacy assets with Web Services, J2EE, XML and .NET, enabling organizations to reduce costs, increase agility and minimize risk for accelerated business success. The company's software products for COBOL are among the most widely used in the industry with an estimated 130,000 COBOL developers producing applications used by more that 3,000,000 people around the world. Founded in 1976, Micro Focus is a global company with principal offices in the United Kingdom, United States and Japan. For more information, visit http://www.microfocus.com.

Micro Focus and Net Express are registered trademarks of Micro Focus International Ltd. Other products named in this release may be trademarks of their respective companies.