COBOL AT 60: THE LEGEND CONTINUES

8

Portability

Choice denes the IT industry. There are
multiple answers to any question, different
resolutions to every challenge. This is
especially true for platforms. Most large
organizations are characterized by disparate,
heterogeneous hybrid IT environments:
mainframes, server farms, mobile devices and
every point in between.

So software vendors must make their
applications available on more platforms.
Clients choose a vendor’s application primarily
for its functionality, but will also consider
many other factors, from the practical to
the corporate and strategic. They include
the breadth of platforms supported, relative
ownership costs, user requirements, skills
proles and supply-chain policy. There’s a lot to
consider, from planning to consumption.

Developers working with contemporary COBOL
technology can analyze, develop, debug,
test and deploy their applications across
every platform their clients use. Integrated
development environments provide instant
edit/debug cycles and feature-rich tooling.
Crucially, all this good stuff is running the
same portable code as new industry-leading
frameworks such as .NET and Eclipse,
containers and cloud. Of course, as a business-
focused language, COBOL can deploy across
the leading enterprise platforms. Java,
supposedly the language of portability, falls
short of COBOL’s breadth.

Programming languages aren’t valuable in
of themselves. They depend on the ability of
the coders to align application with business
need. To contribute to the business, the
language must combine a state-of-the-art
environment for building robust apps, including
contemporary features (Intellisense, rapid
code/debug, UI builder) and be built on the
latest frameworks (Visual Studio and Eclipse).

As a business-focused
language, COBOL can
deploy across the
leading enterprise
platforms. Java,
supposedly the language
of portability, falls short
of COBOL’s breadth.