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What to do with OS/VS COBOL programs for CICS 3.1

Based on recent CICS TS 3.1 announcements, we discern that OS/VS COBOL will not run there. But we have about 500 such programs that are actually used in our current CICS environment (and another 500 in the load library). Where can I find info on the nature of the changes required so that we might get a project plan in order? And typically, how much time effort is required to perform such changes per program? Is an hour each typical or 3 hours or 30 minutes?

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What you need to do is compile these programs with the Enterprise COBOL compiler. Since OS/VS COBOL implemented the 1974 standard and Enterprise COBOL conforms to the 1985 standard and the standards are incompatible, you most likely will have to make program changes to compile and run with proper results. The entire process is described in the COBOL Migration Guide.

First you need the source code, and if you don't have it you can recreate it from modules by contacting Source Recovery Inc.

Second, you should use a tool -- do not convert by hand -- to convert your 1974 standard OS/VS COBOL programs to 1985 standard Enterprise COBOL. There are several vendors that sell such tools, my customers have been happy with IBM's CCCA product (PID # 5648-B05). CCCA also comes with IBM Debug Tool Utilities and Advanced Features.

Since CCCA takes only a minute or two to convert a program, you could do all 500 in one day. How long it takes to get them back into production is different in every shop.

Compile with Enterprise COBOL, install, test and you're done!

I recommend that you do all this well BEFORE you move to CICS TS 3.1; in fact, you should do it today! Seriously...

This was first published in March 2005

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