Smart Move: Need-to-Know COBOL V5 Migration Strategies

By: Megan Oster

An increasing number of users are migrating to COBOL 5.1 (otherwise referred to as COBOL V5) due to several compelling benefits. Migrations can yield cost savings and enable software to catch up to hardware. The technology allows application developers to simultaneously handle business logic and performance issues in applications. With COBOL V5, they can better manage performance aspects and focus on the business logic, as the optimization framework and runtime library infrastructure was designed to increase the performance of business-critical COBOL applications. This is a significant benefit because increasing the performance of COBOL applications provides savings in CPU utilization and enhances the ability to meet service-level agreements.

However, not all mainframe shops are making the move just yet. Here, we share strategies to help those new to COBOL V5 migrations facilitate a successful outcome:

  • Anticipate and prepare for problems of a detailed nature to arise, especially in the beginning of the process; address every issue, regardless of how minor it may seem.
  • Prior to beginning the process, make sure to install the necessary hardware, software, and PTFs; Enterprise COBOL for z/OS 5.1 cannot run without them.
  • Make sure to complete the migration to Language Environment.
  • Migrate programs as they become due for changes, versus all at once.
  • Consider migrating entire applications.
  • Do not attempt to mix OS/VS COBOL programs with programs compiled with Enterprise COBOL V5; instead, migrate them to Enterprise COBOL.
  • Re-compile VS COBOL II NORES programs with Enterprise COBOL.
  • Identify high CPU consumers or direct effect on R4HA, and decide the best way to address these changes.
  • Once the migration is complete, make sure IT is confident enough in the conversion effort to retire the old COBOL.

While migrations to COBOL V5 require attention to detail and time, users will find the investment is worthwhile. The optimization framework yields significant performance improvements, new modernization features, and problem determination capabilities. 

Want to learn more about COBOL V5? Attend SHARE in Orlando, scheduled for August 9-14 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, and join sessions such as COBOL v5 User Experience, COBOL v5 Migration Strategies and more.

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