It's still Summer here and the livin' is easy... :-)
It's really difficult to get back to work, even if I am working from an
easy chair at home.
Remote working has its own problems and I have been working for the last
2 weeks to get a 10 minute change made on a server that is not ours...
It finally happened yesterday so I was then able to publish the new
Calculator that identifies what you need to do if you want your COBOL
legacy moved to a modern database on a networked solution, and how much
it will cost if you let us do it. (I promised this here a while back
when someone asked for a ballpark price on our migration stuff.)
I designed and built the calculator for several reasons:
1. It needs some tricky remote RDB access and I wanted to see if the new
approaches with Entity code-first are better/easier than just writing
plain LINQ with ORM into ASP.NET
code-behinds. The results were mixed,
but it won't be of much interest to most of you so I won't go into
detail. I also wanted to see exactly how JSON could make life easier and
I found that it certainly does. In the "stateless" world of web pages it
is very useful to be able to pass quite large amounts of data (like
calculation results) between web pages, letting JSON serialize and
2. There is a general preconception that Migrating MUST be expensive.
(Some aspects of it can be, but generally it isn't... You can use the
calculator to try alternative approaches and see where savings can be made.)
3. Now that the tools have been completed I wanted to upgrade my web
skills. This looked like a fairly simple case for building a web
application. It turned out to be considerably more complex than I had
envisioned, but some of that is probably down to me trying to learn new
stuff while doing it.
Never mind, it is done now and I am happy with it.
Please go and have a look and, if you have any comments (positive or
negative) I'll be happy to respond here.
Go to the PRIMA Hub, click the "New!" tile and you will find the calculator.
Here's the link: https://primacomputing.co.nz/default.aspx
Migration is a "niche market" and it is getting narrower all the time as
more and more COBOL users are either replacing their existing systems
entirely, with new languages and databases, or moving to package solutions.
Nevertheless, it is my intention to run these PRIMA services until the
end of this year and then we'll review the situation and possibly close
the company down, or move into a completely new area.
There are still many SMBs with their own COBOL systems who simply need a
boost into the 21st century. In particular, PowerCOBOL users have not
been offered a migration path and are simply stuck with a development
system that has a giant question mark over it.
Large enterprise installations can also use our products and services.
We can offer Mainframe sites a very affordable conversion of VSAM/KSDS
into Relational Database and you can let us do the whole process or just
some of it. Optionally, you can have your existing codebase refactored
to use a Data Access Layer (DAL) with no duplication of SQL or LINQ code
across your entire site. It is all fully automated and saves many hours
of tedious work for programmers.
ALL Source and object code is yours, no ongoing licence fees, or
proprietary middleware modules; it is just as if you wrote it yourself.
Please play with the Calculator and contact me if you are interested.
I used to write *COBOL*; now I can do *anything*...