Mainframe COBOL to Java, C# & Cloud

COBOL to Java conversion success Story Study

Banking and Financial Organization

COBOL To Java - Project Review
Rating: 5 out of 5
We give Software Mining 10 out of 10 for the conversion and support we received
Bank's Technical Project lead
January 20th 2010

COBOL / DB2 to Java Conversion of a batch application for of one of the top 4 Canadian banks. The applications and the associated DB2 was one of the last applications still running on the IBM Mainframe. The original and the translated application needed frequent updates to reflect the banks changing business requirements. This put a great deal of importance on the legibility and maintainability of the translated code.

The bank had a large investment in creating and updating the COBOL back-office application, which continued to meet the bank's business requirements.

Legacy Code Issues

  • The applications and the associated DB2 was one of the last applications still running on the IBM Mainframe.
    There were cost benefits associated with moving away from the mainframe.
  • The application generates reports and data-files used by other COBOL applications in other departments, as well as other mainframes (UNISYS). Maintaining backward compatibility and maintaining a gradual modernization path is essential.
  • The bank standardized on Java as the development language. Re-hosting of COBOL applications are not considered to be a long term solution.
  • Whilst limited budget and resources ruled out manual rewrite a high level of priority was given to Maintainable java.
  • A major requirement was the COBOL conversion process should result in Java code legible to Java developers with little or no training


  • SoftwareMining provided COBOL to Java conversion service. This allowed the bank's resources to concentrate on test, maintenance and enhancement of the new application. During the translation process, the COBOL programs underwent frequent changes, all of which were rapidly re-translated to Java by SoftwareMining.
  • Bank's Java development staff were utilised for build, maintenance, deployment, and testing phases.
  • The project benefited from retraining of Bank's legacy COBOL staff in Java. Their involvement was essential in the testing phase.
  • Some 150-200 COBOL programs were converted to Java, tested and moved into production within a 4 month period.

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