FairCom Opens COBOL Applications to SQL Databases

FairCom Corporation announced a new solution for COBOL environments, designed to expose previously inaccessible silos of COBOL data to open access methods. c-treeACE for COBOL is intended to "marry COBOL standard I/O routines and SQL," the vendor says. C-treeACE for COBOL is intended to be an alternative database solution for COBOL developers to use without making code changes.

"From the pure COBOL point of view, c-treeACE for COBOL is just a straight, more advanced native COBOL file system, with no limitations imposed on the COBOL programmer," according to Evaldo Oliveira, general manager of FairCom.

The nature of COBOL data and record definitions do not fit well in the traditional relational (SQL-based) database paradigm of strict table and record definitions. Consequently COBOL developers in recent years working on Internet-based solutions have been forced to rewrite applications and to sacrifice performance and functionality, often at significant financial costs.

FairCom interfaces with ACUCOBOL-GT and ExtFH using an ISAM technique that fits the standard COBOL approach to indexed files without the complications of a SQL table remapping. "FairCom's technology enables COBOL applications to access their native ISAM data," Olivera continues. "Other applications that are more relational-oriented, such as business intelligence, data warehouse or enterprise data stores, may get the same data using a SQL-oriented approach, with a resulting performance hit. Taking advantage of c-tree's native ISAM access opens a data gateway for COBOL applications."

Existing applications will work with c-treeACE for COBOL without the need to recompile and developers can choose which file system to use on a file-by-file basis. Additionally c-treeACE for COBOL transparently enables access to data used by the COBOL application with direct SQL access or other FairCom interfaces such as ODBC, JDBC, and ADO.NET drivers.

The new solution allows all COBOL applications to run with FairCom's existing client/server technology across multiple platforms from Windows to Linux, Mac and others, the vendor says.

FairCom cites recent studies that show there are roughly 1.5 to 2 million active COBOL developers writing about five billion new lines of COBOL code every year. These estimates show COBOL applications processing 200 times more transactions per day than Google searches.

More details are available at the FairCom website.