[vcf-midatlantic] COBOL: vintage vs. legacy code

Dave G4UGM dave.g4ugm at gmail.com
Fri Sep 15 15:01:55 EDT 2017

> On 09/15/2017 08:09 AM, Joseph Oprysko via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
> > My question to that is:  Is it a problem if everything is working
> > without any issues?  I'm a firm believer of not fixing what isn't broken.
> >

First let us assume that all code has bugs. "Working" means that given the current environment everything works, not that there are no circumstances under which it will fail
What one needs to do is asses the risk that something will occur that breaks it.  You may  need to understand the code to do this.
This can be a simple thing such as a field overflowing, or something more complex such as subtle change in the way the hardware works because the hardware broke and needed to be upgraded.

Once you have assessed the risks, you need to decide if you have the capability to fix any bugs. Ig you don't have the capability to fix the hardware or software then what is the business impact of it breaking?

If its negligible why are you using the software in the first place. The chances are it will have a major impact. 

Of course just because you change the hardware/software platform doesn't mean the risks go away. They are just different.

Whilst it isn't at all common you do see posts on CCTALK and on the VCF Forums where someone has had an old system based on say an Apple II and the machine has failed with no backups...

So whilst you shouldn't tamper for tamperings sake, its also shortsighted not to plan for the odd disruption.


> > On Sat, Jun 24, 2017 at 9:37 PM Douglas Crawford via vcf-midatlantic <
> > vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:
> >
> >> This popped up on a screen on SourceForge just now:
> >>
> >>
> >>         Give Legacy Code New Life With Modern COBOL AppDev: Using
> >>         as a JVM language
> >>
> >> With billions of lines of COBOL in use, this business language powers
> >> a large percentage of every ATM, government, and many other business
> >> transactions. Many businesses are looking for new ways to utilize
> >> decades of solid business logic without having to replace a mission
> >> critical application.
> >>
> >> Attend this TechBytes series sponsored by Micro Focus and presented
> >> by SourceForge to learn how organizations around the world are
> >> utilizing existing .NET and Java development teams to integrate and
> >> modernize COBOL applications. Attendees will learn:
> >>
> >>   * What tools can be used to ‘free’ business logic from legacy code
> >>   * Exposing COBOL processes as REST base services
> >>   * Using COBOL as a .NET or JVM language
> >>
> >> Don’t wait – register now for these TechBytes to get started.
> >>
> >> About the Presenter:
> >> Michael Bleistein, Principal Architect, at Micro Focus, is a 25-year
> >> veteran when it comes to COBOL. Currently he specializes in
> >> modernization through .NET, Java, and SOA using Visual COBOL, helping
> >> customers understand Micro Focus solutions and how they can be used
> >> to combat their business problems.
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> > Normal Person: Hey, it seems that you know a lot.
> > Geek: To be honest, it's due to all the surfing I do.
> > Normal Person: So you go surfing?
> > Normal Person: But I don't think that has anything to do with knowing
> > a lot...
> > Geek: I think that's wrong on a fundamental level.
> > Normal Person: Huh? Huh? What?
> >
> --
> Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
> New Kensington, PA

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