Micro Focus Delivers COBOL Capabilities to Eclipse Environment; Completes Acquisition of Relativity

Micro Focus, a provider of enterprise application modernization solutions, has announced the availability of Micro Focus COBOL for Eclipse, encompassing versions of Micro Focus' Net Express and Server Express solutions designed specifically for the Eclipse open source ecosystem.

Micro Focus COBOL for Eclipse is intended to provide a rich, integrated development environment across multiple platforms, enabling organizations to save on development costs while increasing agility and productivity. Organizations are able to create the same development environment across Windows, Linux and Unix, making it easier for programmers to move between languages and platforms while using the tools they are familiar with.

"We are seeing more and more people creating applications with more than one language and in particular Java is ubiquitous across all platforms, just as much as COBOL is," Mark Warren, product marketing director at Micro Focus, with responsibility for the applications development solutions line, tells 5 Minute Briefing. However, he notes, where people are using a mix of both COBOL and Java to create their applications, they typically end up having to use different toolsets for COBOL and for Java, meaning that developers and their QA and build teams and managers end up having different work practices depending on the platform and the language being used.

"A few years ago Micro Focus introduced COBOL for Visual Studio which fully exploits Visual Studio and the .NET framework so it provides a great COBOL developer experience on Windows," Warren explains. "But there has not really been an opportunity to do the same thing for either that kind of mixed COBOL/Java world or in particular for Unix or Linux developers. Now, over the last 3 years or so we have certainly seen Eclipse become that viable alternative to Visual Studio for non-Windows platforms-Windows as well-but primarily on Unix and Linux." Eclipse, he observes, is "probably the number-one Java development environment out there at the moment," and it is "very rich functionally for developers."

Using Micro Focus COBOL for Eclipse, developers have access to rich tools to support the edit, compile and debug process. It also provides tools that help developers expose COBOL program interfaces as Web services, enabling organizations to reuse existing capabilities in SaaS, SOA or cloud computing environments leading to cost savings and increased efficiency.

Given the wide availability of Eclipse, making Micro Focus COBOL available within Eclipse "is just a perfect match," says Warren. "Now, we can provide a very rich graphical development environment for COBOL on Windows, and Unix and Linux, and start to really exploit those benefits of the graphical integrated development environment for COBOL as well as for Java."

Separately, Micro Focus announced that it has completed the acquisition of Relativity Technologies, a provider of technologies for assessing and managing core enterprise applications. In December of 2008, Micro Focus had announced an agreement to purchase Relativity for approximately $9.7 million. For more information about Micro Focus, go here.