Managing COBOL legacy systems
Part 1 – migrations
Have you ever worked on a COBOL mainframe migrations to a server platform, or about to consider one? While working as a technical manager providing COBOL solutions for my customer base, it was obvious that there was a need for me and the customer to gain a better understanding of their COBOL source repository. For our migration, we needed a complete inventory – data files mapped and JCL hierarchies, and also extract business rules and produce flowcharts, but when I looked around for tools on the market that could provide some of these needs, they usually fell in one or all of the following categories:
- Too Expensive to license
- Difficult to work with
- Did not exactly provide what was needed
Frustrated I couldn’t meet my needs from an existing product, working with my team of experienced COBOL and VB programmers we came up with a generic platform independent COBOL portfolio analysis tool that works on a laptop. This tool functions seamlessly in the work place, and provides just about everything we needed:
- Data Maps
- File usage
- JCL hierarchies
- Business rules
We even got the tool to include business rules in the flowcharts, and with client input the tool is constantly evolving. Now, when I work on COBOL migrations at a customer site, I load up my laptop with the customer inventory and use the tool to map out a portfolio analysis to help guide the process.
If anyone else has needed to manage their COBOL legacy systems and has looked for a similar tool to assist, let me know your thoughts, I’d be happy to discuss issues and resolutions with you.