Michael MULLER - 2009-05-22

With the Cobos Project, Metrixware proposes an ergonomic work environment for Cobol developers, economical and reliable, complete with an integrated compiler and not forgetting: the quality analysis tools and additional services of Metrixware.

Metrixware, editor of software solutions dedicated to regaining knowledge, to managing and valorising application assets, unveils the Cobos Project, an Open Source initiative dedicated to Cobol Mainframe applications under Eclipse, a real alternative to existing Mainframe commercial solutions.

***** Ergonomics and productivity in Cobol development *****

Initiated by Metrixware, Cobos is an Open Source project backed by its customers, particularly those in the insurance sector, and is available for free download. The lack of a price tag is in no way a reflection of the intrinsic qualities both of its technical architecture (Ingres data model) and its development interface.

Integrated with Eclipse, and its sophisticated ergonomic graphical environment, and user-friendly to Cobol developers (especially the youngest, not always enthusiastic about the language despite its robustness and reliability and still growing use).

As in certain commercial Mainframe solutions found in the market, but often at a dissuasive price, Cobos enables developers to work locally: the required source files are downloaded on Eclipse then reloaded on the mainframe following the intervention of the developer, who can work totally autonomously on an economical workstation.

***** Mainframes, a sizable economical challenge for IT management *****

Today, according to the Gartner Group, 70% to 80% of in-house applications worldwide are written in Cobol. Representing, according to the estimation of eWeek, about 200 billion lines of Cobol, increased every year by about 5 billion lines produced by around two million active Cobol programmers.

A large and ongoing market that can count on only two solutions today: the mainframe terminal not user-friendly and very demanding on mainframe resources; and commercial mainframe solutions, more ergonomic thanks to their graphical interface and less demanding on mainframe resources but with a prohibitive cost in license fees.

Open source and integrated into the Eclipse development environment, Cobos combines economy and ease of use, whilst considerably reducing, by providing a local working environment, the cost of mainframe resources required to build applications.

***** A community project, with complementary tools and services *****

Built on a freeware model, the Cobos project makes its source code available to users, who can adapt it to meet their own requirements. Any adaptations, changes and enhancements they make can be proposed to Metrixware to be integrated, if judged pertinent by Metrixware for the majority of users, to the standard project.

In addition, Metrixware proposes to accompany Cobos with its own feature development and specific support services, as well as its plug-in: Cobol SC for Eclipse, designed to analyze the conformance and quality of developments, and be directly integrated into the developers workstation for a continual control from the earliest point and throughout the life-cycle of the tool.

***** Cobos Project's page : http://cobos.metrixware.org *****

***** About Metrixware *****

Specializing in the areas of Application Portfolio Management (APM) and IT Governance, Metrixware has, since 1995, been providing quality and maintenance solutions to CIOs and IT professionals through its System Code range of application management tools. The company provides global organizations with information, indicators and diagnostic to streamline decision making and implement best practice and compliance standards.