Saturday, December 15, 2007

IBM Enterprise COBOL for z/OS V4.1

This week IBM announced version 4 of COBOL for z/OS under the title : IBM Enterprise COBOL for z/OS V4.1 helps improve application developer productivity.
It should help "you to integrate COBOL and Web-based business processes in Web services, XML, Java, and COBOL applications". In other words, COBOL is here to stay, you can keep on running what you've got, but, it's also ready for the future.

A couple of highlights :
  • XML enhancements : the XML GENERATE is extended and the XML PARSE support is enhanced
  • Performance enhancements : the performance of COBOL UNICODE support has been improved
  • DB2 coprocessor enhancements : there's support for new DB2 9 functionality and SQLCA and SQLDA control blocks are expanded in the compiler listing for all DB2 releases
There's one other significant change as opposed to previous versions. There's no more 'alternate function' and 'full function' version. This COBOL comes only in a 'compiler only' version, the equivalent of the alternate function version. If you had the full function version (with debugging capability) you'll need an alternative for the debugging functions. IBM offers 'Debug Tool Utilities and Advanced Functions V8.1 for z/OS' which was announced late september. It's IPLA software including much more than the debugging capabilities of the previous COBOL versions and I'm not sure everyone will be happy with this move.

The new version of COBOL requires z/OS 1.7 and planned availability date is December 14, 2007

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