Mainframe COBOL to Java, C# & Cloud

IMS COBOL to Java / C# Migration

IBM dialect of COBOL sticks fairly closely to COBOL 74/85 Standards.
However, IMS COBOL applications often utilise IBM Libraries for data and screen access. For example, both IMS DC screen handling and IMS DB database handling statements use the same format of calls for sending and receiving information.

COBOL / IMS DB programs communicate with IMS database via DLI specific calls such as:

The translators attempts to distinguish between DB and Screen statements and mark them appropriately by associating their PCB with Screen or Database markers.

Migration of COBOL IMS DB to SQL / Object-Relational Java / C# designs

COBOL programs access IMS-Databases via CALL CLBTDLI statements. The way the IMS system is designed, most of the important information only visible at runtime (encoded in the runtime parameters - not visible at design time). This makes it difficult for any developer to determine functionality of the program through a simple visual inspections!

One of the main advantages of the SoftwareMining's architecture is the runtime system can report the SQL generated/used in each IMS Db call. The information allows developers see what activities are performed by each IMS Db call, and gradually (in a 2nd phase of the project) replace them with more efficient and optimized SQL statements. Such changes will improve both applications performance and maintainability.

This implies the project can be broken down into two phases:
  • Phase-1 : Quick Translation, data-migration, testing and moving into production of the application
  • Phase-2 : Changes to IMS-DC (CLBTDLI) type statements to improve legibility and enhance performance

Migration of COBOL IMS DC - Online Applications

IMS DC is used in Online applications for display of screens defined in MFS format on to a variety of terminals.
3270 terminals type is the most commonly used. SoftwareMining's approach will translate the MFS screen definitions to Jsp / ASP (HTML) formats which can then be accessed via web-browsers.
The new browser-based application initially will reproduce the same look and feel of the original character-based (3270) screens. However, the designs allow quick enhancement of the screens, such as incorporating checkboxes, radio buttons or drop-down boxes, to quickly increase the usability of the application.

IMS DC screens to HTML: how they look? Can they be easily edited?

Video will start on slide: HTML Screen-handling

IBM IMS / IDMS / DL1 COBOL to Java/C# Migration Project Phases

The Migration of COBOL applications to Java or C# involves:
  • Asset Management: Identify all the artefacts required for translation .
  • Translate to target language
  • Database and Data Migration
  • Migrate JCL
  • Create and Populate of Test Database
  • System acceptance testing
  • User Acceptance Testing
  • (Optional): Other Improvements: Screen Redesign, SOA Integration, Cloud Deployments, Coding Improvements and clean up

Comparing COBOL to translated code

Comparison of Converted code: COBOL to Java
Comparison of Converted code: COBOL to C#
COBOL to Java / C# Conversion Tool - Download Trial (Release 2023-01-09)

Related White Papers

IBM COBOL Migration, Modernization and Re-hosting References

Pseudo Conversational Transactions (Wiki)
Pseudo Conversational Transactions (IBM)

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