Inprise Australia (formerly Borland), has formed a strategic new partnership with local companies Mentis Technologies and AusSoft Solutions in order to deliver a technology solution for integrating legacy COBOL systems into the client/server environment.
This initiative is hoped to stop a recent avalanche of scepticism about COBOL's relevance to present-day trends in business application development.
Created by systems integrator AusSoft Solutions, the solution combines Inprise's open and scalable middleware platform Entera with ACUCobol development tools - distributed by Mentis Technologies. Officials claim the solution enables the migration of COBOL legacy systems from the mainframe to mid-range machines at a fraction of the cost of replacing them.
"According to Gartner Group, an estimated 80 per cent of business application code is written in COBOL, which represents an enormous technology investment," said Graham Porter, Inprise Australia's marketing director.
Worked with partners
"While other vendors are telling companies to rewrite their COBOL, we've worked with our partners to create a solution that allows these systems to be re-engineered, dramatically cutting the cost and time involved while reducing the risks."
Instigated from AusSoft's own investment in COBOL, the solution was initially used to migrate AusSoft's CommuNiTy (local government targeted) software to NT platform.
AusSoft's technical director Scott Watson believes the sort of re-engineering expertise AusSoft acquired by porting government systems over the past five years will help AusSoft further expand its technical skills and services.
And, according to Robyn Cowie, Mentis' marketing communication manager, this is where Mentis' expectations lie.
As a COBOL distributor with some 150 resellers in Australia and New Zealand, Mentis is praising Inprise's decision to form the partnership based on the expectation that COBOL will continue to play an important role in the development of business applications.
The Inprise/Mentis/AusSoft solution has already been adopted by several city councils and water boards throughout the country.