Van Mullem has developed its own application to manage their business. For this, it used the RM/Cobol tool, a product that is nearing the end of its life span. Five other companies also used this application. Van Mullem had either to replace it with another tool or purchase a complete solution on the market.
It is noteworthy that the bus company has no mainframe and works on a Windows Server environment exclusively. Van Mullem has decided to replace its current application and to migrate to another environment, with as a requirement that it should offer the same features as they had before.
Van Mullem contacted Contrast Consulting for advice on solving this problem. Contrast Consulting had no readymade solution for this. Moreover, as the tool is so complex it would have been very expensive to manually migrate it to a new environment. Using the tools from, Anubex, a Contrast Consulting partner, we are capable of automatically translating 90% of the code. Contrast Consulting will then manually translate the rest of the existing code. In this way, the costs are significantly reduced and this became a very budget friendly solution for Van Mullem.
In this solution, Van Mullem could choose between two possibilities :
- Visual Cobol, a Micro Focus product,
- or NetCobol by Fujitsu.
Van Mullem finally chose NetCobol for several reasons :
- This alternative would permit them to stay in a .Net environment.
- Fujitsu is cheaper
- Anubex was specialized in this environment.
After having replaced the indexed files by a database (which subsequently enables to use, among others, Query Tools SQL language), the migration happened in two stages. The first phase entails the exact translation of the RM/Cobol application to NetCobol. The second step is the adaptation and modification of the application, including new features in this new environment.
To conclude, Contrast Consulting has delivered a budget friendly solution allowing for control and modification of the application, which was important for Van Mullem. The five other firms have also decided to use this migration path.