Micro Focus Builds Closer IBM Ties
January 10, 2007 Alex Woodie
COBOL tool developer Micro Focus this year will release new versions of its development environments that function as plug-ins to the Eclipse development framework, the company announced recently.
Micro Focus said it would ship an Eclipse plug-in for its Net Express (for Windows-based COBOL apps) and Server Express (for Unix- and Linux-based COBOL apps) products during the second quarter. The plug-in for its Mainframe Express Enterprise Edition will follow, the company said.
Redeveloping its various COBOL products into Eclipse plug-ins will benefit users by providing a consistent development experience and leveraging “the efficiencies inherent in Eclipse” to boost productivity, the company said in its November announcement. It will also pave the way for COBOL developers to make the move from traditional COBOL workloads and begin writing hybrid COBOL-Java applications that execute in a Web services environment.
Micro Focus is already a member of the Eclipse Foundation as an Add-In Provider, and has also been very active in the Microsoft Visual Studio program, which enables users to access its COBOL tools from the popular Microsoft IDE. However, demand from its users for Eclipse plug-ins led the company to accelerate its integration with the Eclipse framework, the company said.
Micro Focus announced support for the iSeries (via the PASE runtime environment) in its Server Express version 2.2 product in October 2002. However, with version 4 of the product, Micro Focus no longer supports the i5/OS server, a company spokesperson said.
In other news, the Rockville, Maryland, company announced that it’s now an IBM Advanced Business Partner. Micro Focus cited its participation in the zSeries mainframe industry as a key reason for building closer ties to Big Blue.