New COBOL-to-SAP NetWeaver Adapters On Tap from Software AG
May 15, 2006 Alex Woodie
COBOL remains one of the most popular languages for programming business applications, but that doesn’t mean COBOL apps have “plug-and-play” compatibility with today’s generation of e-business applications. To help these organizations make their COBOL play nice with SAP‘s middleware and ERP applications, Software AG last week unveiled a new group of certified adapters.
According to Gary Barnett, a research director at software consultancy Ovum, COBOL remains the most widely deployed programming language in large businesses, and accounts for 75 percent of all computer transactions and more than 200 billion lines of code. What’s more, this COBOL code base is growing at a rate of 3 to 5 percent per year, according to Barnett. Obviously, organizations that run applications written in COBOL and other older programming languages aren’t ditching their legacy code.
Software AG last week announced the expansion of its Legacy Integrator series of adapters, which helps organizations take some of the hands-on monkey work out of integrating their older apps with new systems. The German software developer’s SAP NetWeaver XI line of connectors previously only supported its own Natural and EntireX environments, and has now expanded that to include COBOL and PL/I, a still-popular mainframe development language.
Software AG says the adapters offer two-way, real-time data exchange between legacy applications running on mainframes, OS/400, and Unix systems, with SAP NetWeaver XI, a middleware platform that fronts SAP’s ERP suites. The adapters support business processes initiated on either the legacy application or the SAP application, and supports synchronous and asynchronous communications. The adapters have already been adapted by Volkswagen Financial Services and ZDF in Germany and ThyssenKrupp in Italy, the company says.