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Modernizing COBOL From First Base: The GUI

Joining COBOL modernization competitors including Micro Focus, Ateras, and even Microsoft, Chicago-headquartered Veryant has recently introduced three new productivity-focused products in the shape of Veryant ODBC, isCOBOL File Server, and isCOBOL Graphical Terminal — all of which sit inside the Veryant isCOBOL Evolve platform.

What Veryant is doing here hinges around its efforts to provide modernization options in their most tangible form; i.e., the isCOBOL "Graphical Terminal" provides the ability to modernize to a graphical user interface (GUI) without sacrificing performance or changing the terminal login deployment model. This, according to Veryant, is a first in the industry.

"These new products put more control and power into the hands of developers," explained Dovid Lubin, vice president, Veryant. "They create important productivity gains and reduce costs by making it faster and easier to modernize COBOL applications. More than 50 years after it was first introduced, COBOL is still the primary business language, with more than 200 billion lines of COBOL code still in existence, running on mainframes and open systems."

Veryant ODBC and isCOBOL File Server are intended to enable modern client/server SQL access to COBOL data. isCOBOL Graphical Terminal updates access via terminal emulators, and increases performance. Veryant says that the ODBC interface saves IT staff time by enabling the use of "modern PC productivity tools", such as Microsoft Excel and Crystal Reports without having to migrate existing data files to a full relational database. The productivity boost is due to a new Windows driver for all supported filesystems, including Veryant JISAM (Veryant's native indexed filesystem) and the Micro Focus Vision filesystem (formally Acucorp's Vision filesystem).

The new isCOBOL File Server provides access to files on a remote server for all supported filesystems including Veryant JISAM and Micro Focus Vision, without requiring any changes to program code. This feature can be used with Veryant ODBC to access files on a Linux or UNIX machine, or a remote Microsoft Windows server.

Finally, isCOBOL Graphical Terminal, included with the isCOBOL Runtime Environment, enables users signing in with a terminal emulator such as PuTTY to launch graphical applications from the command line without an X Server or X desktop client software. This provides applications with access to a user's environment variables and home directory, and can use the terminal emulator for stdin, stout, and stderr.

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