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What works to convert to the Internet ?

What works to convert to the Internet ?

What works to convert to the Internet ?

(OP)
1st post here, I'm not sure that I am even in the correct forum.....

I have been put in charge of converting one of our COBOL systems to the internet. We want to save rewriting thousands of lines of debugged code, just replacing the screen handlers.
 
The only product I have found is WebBOL (http://www.acscweb.com/WebBOL). Has anybody used this product before ? Is there a different product folks have used ?
 
thanks
Jake

 

RE: What works to convert to the Internet ?

Some COBOL vendors already have that....


What is your operating system, your COBOL version and vendor, and what are you using as screen manager... e.g. CICS, Dialog Systems, Panels, straight displays/accepts etc.

By posting the above we may be able to point you to other options

Regards

Frederico Fonseca
SysSoft Integrated Ltd
www.syssoft-int.com

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RE: What works to convert to the Internet ?

(OP)
Hi, It is an old networked system using Realia COBOL and the NORCOM ScreenIO package for screen handling.

After many discussions involving tech support and end-users, it was decided they really need to convert this system to the internet. There are Iphones, Droids, and Ipads that need to be supported as well as the standard desktop browsers.

I'm hoping to save all the debugged COBOL code and just replace the screen handler. As delicately as possible of course.

RE: What works to convert to the Internet ?

http://www.flexus.com/main/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&;id=48&;Itemid=58 is one option.

They also have a web client that can be used - maybe it will work with the other devices..


Talk to them and see what they say.

Regards

Frederico Fonseca
SysSoft Integrated Ltd
www.syssoft-int.com

FAQ219-2884: How Do I Get Great Answers To my Tek-Tips Questions?
FAQ181-2886: How can I maximize my chances of getting an answer?

RE: What works to convert to the Internet ?

Jake and Frederico,

I don't think the Flexus web client will work on mobile devices, unless Flexus have a specific port for Android, Iphone, etc.  That is the downside of these types of web client solutions, including those with which I am associated.

What *does* work is to convert the code to web services.  This requires the willingness to abandon the existing User Interface (UI) which is tightly coupled to COBOL, in favor of a more loosely coupled approach.

I myself am 'UI neutral' but if you really want to get to the mobile devices, I would urge using the existing COBOL to create web services.  For the UI, there are several tools that know how to consume web services that would be appropriate.

Now the unfortunate news is that I strongly doubt that CA/Realia is offering a solution to get you to web services.   So, the 'delicately as possible' part of your wish list may not be easily achieved. I have a clear bias in these matters, so please check with your vendor...

Tom Morrison
Micro Focus

RE: What works to convert to the Internet ?

(OP)
Tom thanks for the reply.
You are right about the Flexus and Realia mobile devices are vary different animals.

I ran my Droid thru the WebBOL (previously mentioned) demo system address and it worked great. They support the HTML refresh, a timer, which I need to use on this system. I called them about your compilier, they said it would work fine with Micro Focus. That they handle the screen/HTML generation.

I'm going to download their eval system and play with it. They said the eval system includes alot of sample source code I should be able to just recompile with Micro Focus, designating a DLL output.

thanks again
Jake
 

RE: What works to convert to the Internet ?

I used the WebBOL product, you mentioned, about 6 months ago. It worked well.

I had sales reporting system they wanted access to in real time. They wanted the guys in the field to have access to it, I had suggested periodic emails but that was shot down for a number of reasons.

It was just 3 reports so the conversion went pretty fast. I designed the reports as query screens, loaded the data to the WebBOL copybook. That was about it. It runs faster than I expected.

The big problem I had was during the install. You need a thing called PERL to get it kick started. I installed the 64-bit version. The directions said NOT to install that, to use the 32-bit version. Took me and them 2 days to figure out why it was acting screwy.

If it is not against this forum's protocol I'd be willing to help you.

Billy P.

RE: What works to convert to the Internet ?

I had a quick look at WebBOL web site.

This is probably a good solution if your needs are not too complex.  It uses CGI, so my guess is that it will not scale to the enterprise level very well, and the CGI interface will have constraints that will make Web 2.0 features (such as AJAX) unobtainable.  So, the bottom line is, if it works for you, then that's the metric to use.

If you are looking at a more thorough overhaul, I would still recommend web services (SOAP or REST, eg).  Properly done, web services will fit seamlessly with all the other web technologies.  I notice that WebBOL touts the fact that all the logic is done in COBOL.  While this may be comfort the COBOL programmers among us (of which I remain one) keeping the user interface locked up in COBOL is probably not a really good idea.  

Jake, I don't know what the extent of your effort is targeting.  It may be that you only need to put a little bit of information on the web, which would indicate a narrowly focused solution.  If you are seeking to modernize your entire application to be web based, than I would suggest looking to remove the UI from your COBOL code, and use mainline tools for refactoring your user interface.

Tom Morrison
Micro Focus

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