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Micro Focus accelerates cloud and modernisation strategies

By Shannon Williams
Thu 14 Jul 2022

Micro Focus has announced the general availability of Visual COBOL 8.0 and Enterprise Suite 8.0, building on four decades of providing flexible application, process, and infrastructure modernisation solutions for core business and mission-critical applications. 

These enhanced solutions enable information technology teams to modernise COBOL and mainframe applications for deployment to the cloud at a time when organisations are seeking new and cost-effective ways to deliver on IT strategies through continuous modernisation and digital transformation initiatives.  

Micro Focus Visual COBOL 8.0 and Enterprise Suite 8.0 deliver a proven avenue for expanding the value of existing applications and increasing competitive differentiation by leveraging the capabilities of cloud, mainframe or distributed platforms. 

“Over the past four decades, Micro Focus has been a leader in modernising COBOL and mainframe systems with its patented, innovative technology, efficiency, and expertise, and Visual COBOL 8.0 and Enterprise Suite 8.0 continue that pedigree," says Neil Fowler, general manager and VP of the application modernisation and connectivity business, Micro Focus. 

"These new releases of Micro Focus’ proven solutions provide many options for organisations to modernise their long-standing core business systems for the cloud and ensure continued value for many years to come.”

For organisations working with COBOL applications deployed on distributed platforms, Visual COBOL 8.0 delivers: industry leading COBOL and mainframe application development tools integrated into Microsoft Visual Studio 2022, Visual Studio Code, and Eclipse, including new support for Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) based development, modernisation of COBOL applications using .NET 6.0 and deployment to Windows and Linux environments new data modernisation tools enabling COBOL and mainframe applications to rapidly adopt modern relational database access and move to scalable cloud architectures with low effort and risk cloud trials available through the most popular cloud vendor marketplaces - Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud. 

For organisations working with Mainframe-based applications, Enterprise Suite 8.0 builds on functionality delivered with Visual COBOL 8.0 to also provide: a Linux based version of Enterprise Developer for Eclipse that enables development and deployment pipelines on all supported x86 Linux distributions new host compatibility options for PostgreSQL to support faster deployment of Db2 data onto PostgreSQL and AWS Aurora giving additional choices of target database platforms an embedded host access for the Cloud TN3270 emulator delivered with Enterprise Developer and Server products to provide a secured, browser-based, zero footprint client.

Whichever path is chosen, both product releases offer unique capabilities for COBOL and mainframe modernisation, including enhanced customer support for application deployment to containers and the cloud.  

Rob Anderson, VP of marketing and product for application modernisation, Advanced, adds, “Containerisation isn't a concept that a lot of mainframe developers have dealt with in the past, but it's an extremely powerful one and Micro Focus Enterprise Server is designed for containerising mainframe workloads for our clients on COBOL.”

These latest releases also deliver Micro Focus customers the ability to stay current with modern technology trends while protecting valued intellectual property within core business systems. CGI is a Micro Focus customer and independent software vendor (ISV) that is experiencing the benefits of COBOL modernisation.  

Carl Gerhardsson, development manager, CGI, said, “By upgrading to Visual COBOL, we feel we extended the horizon of our business applications by many years to come.”  

Today’s release of Visual COBOL 8.0 and Enterprise Suite 8.0 builds on the recent general availability announcement of the AWS Mainframe Modernisation service, confirming Micro Focus’ commitment to customers and their modernisation journey. The recent Micro Focus COBOL Survey research shows the market’s COBOL application footprint continues to grow, and the cloud remains the number one digital driver for those working with COBOL based systems. In addition, to support that strategy, with modernisation being the preferred path forward by 72% of respondents, and the majority of the survey’s respondents stated that they intend to modernise their applications and support cloud by the end of the year.

Successful core business system modernisation demands a flexible and adaptive strategy aimed at improving results and accelerating time to value. Through the  Micro Focus Modernisation Maturity Model, IT leaders can quickly map their current IT estate to their future business strategy, including cloud—all while finding the right balance between cost, risk and speed.

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