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IBM Cloud Virtualization

IBM Takes System/z To the Cloud With COBOL Update 256

Posted by timothy
from the spirits-of-the-ancient-ones dept.
hypnosec writes "IBM is taking its COBOL server platform to the next level by updating the mainframe platform in a bid to extend and enable its mainframes to host cloud based applications and services. The latest update is looking to add XMLS Server as well as Java 7 capabilities to the System/z COBOL platform and this update would extend the overall lifespan of COBOL by taking it up a notch and gearing it towards the cloud computing arena."
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IBM Takes System/z To the Cloud With COBOL Update

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  • by plopez (54068) on Sunday May 19, 2013 @04:06PM (#43769283) Journal

    from much of the code I have seen written in Java, C#, Python, or Perl. Heck, VB was based Basic which drew on COBOL and Fortran, since it was a teaching language and so it had much of the syntax and idioms of those languages. Anytime you use VB your are using a form of COBOL.

    BTW if you want to check out something cool, check out Fortran 2008. It supports the OO paradigm, has built in parallel processing support, and is backward compatible to Fortran 77. It's not dying anytime soon either.

  • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ebno-10db (1459097) on Sunday May 19, 2013 @05:09PM (#43769575)

    The damned thing's immortal.

    And C is so much different? COBOL may be 54 years old, but C is not exactly a kid at 44. Sure we've had updated versions and C++, but so has COBOL (COBOL 2002 is OO). BTW, I've loved C since I first started using it, and I'm not sure I'd even recognize COBOL if it fell on me (not just a figure of speech if you're using big card decks), but just saying.

    Old programming languages never die (at least once entrenched), but this zombie effect wasn't appreciated when COBOL was first spec'd, because HLL's hadn't been around long enough. The fact that in 1959 COBOL was supposed to be just the first of three successive language definitions is instructive. From Wikipedia:

    it was decided to set up three committees: short, intermediate and long range (the last one was never actually formed). It was the Short Range Committee, chaired by Joseph Wegstein of the US National Bureau of Standards, that during the following months created a description of the first version of COBOL. The committee was formed to recommend a short range approach to a common business language. The committee was made up of members representing six computer manufacturers and three government agencies. ... The intermediate-range committee was formed but never became operational. In the end a sub-committee of the Short Range Committee developed the specifications of the COBOL language.

  • Re:Anyone? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JPLemme (106723) on Sunday May 19, 2013 @06:06PM (#43769805)
    Yes, although there are dozens of lines of code omitted (ENVIRONMENT DIVISION), and in my experience COBOL's direct printing and console commands were never used. You either wrote to a file and used a third-party reporting tool to print or you interacted with the screen using CICS. But I imagine if the commands were really never used they'd have been deprecated by now, so YMMV.
  • Very Disingenious (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gauss72 (2927137) on Sunday May 19, 2013 @06:59PM (#43769997)
    I am now at the middle of my life expectation and growing a bit smarter. And, I talk to a Cobol programmer then and now in the bus home. He works for an insurance company and will probably retire as a Cobol programmer for that company. He is a mathematician and I am a CS guy; I know much more than he about algorithms, C++, templates, macros, databases and whatnot.
    But just recently I realized that Map-Reduce and "record-oriented processing" are actually very similar in that they do NOT consume voracious amounts of main memory. Both perform full-table-scans, in database parlance, which has unique advantages over index-based access for many scenarios.
    That's all important if your data set is 100 times larger than your main memory. So the mainframers have that capability since 1955 and the C++ guys just discover this in the year 2005 or so ??
    Cobol is here to stay for very systematic reasons very few people understand, including those with a CS degree and those developing in Cobol for a very long time. The latter do Cobol simply because it always paid nicely and there is absolutely no end in sight.
  • Re:Ugh (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 19, 2013 @09:33PM (#43770659)

    They (and you) missed some of it: Grace Hopper and a few others were tasked to design it. They didn't expect it would be around after 6 months. After noting that it was still around after more than 2 years, Grace reflected "If we had realised it would be around after more than 6 months we would have done a much better job of it. We could have and should have."

  • Re:Anyone? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Aighearach (97333) on Sunday May 19, 2013 @11:29PM (#43771129) Homepage

    I hate to admit knowing this, but modern COBOL lets you omit most of that. Depending on the exact compiler used, you might be able to omit all the boilerplate. But even stricter ones let you keep it to 3 or 5 lines, something in that ballpark. Not really less boilerplate than most compiled languages.

    That said though, it was a snippet not a program so nothing was forgotten or omitted.

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