JAVA and mainframes.

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Shailndra Pandey
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JAVA and mainframes.

Post by Shailndra Pandey » Tue May 02, 2017 5:09 pm

Hi,

I am curious to know if Java on mainfame can ever replace COBOL on the mainframe? Most of my generation was guided to C++ direction so I, personally, never even took a COBOL course. Now with some experience in the filed I learn that there is so much code out there in prod in COBOL, then in the future, how will this legacy COBOL code be supported, if hardly anyone knows it or wants to code in it at all?

So as the title says can Java replace COBOL on the mainframe?



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Robert Sample
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Re: JAVA and mainframes.

Post by Robert Sample » Tue May 02, 2017 5:27 pm

So as the title says can Java replace COBOL on the mainframe?
Actually your title merely references "JAVA and mainframes" and makes no mention of COBOL at all. Since JAVA has been running on mainframes for quite a few years, the "JAVA and mainframes" title could mean anything -- or nothing.
how will this legacy COBOL code be supported, if hardly anyone knows it or wants to code in it at all?
IBM and lots of other companies are aware of this issue and have started initiatives to increase COBOL programming skills around the world. Merely replacing COBOL code with JAVA code is rarely a positive move for a company -- while they are rewriting code, other companies are adding new functions to their existing code base so the company winds up behind the marketplace. The most likely scenario will be for companies to gradually replace COBOL code as portions of their systems get upgraded. This approach could easily take 20 years or more (since there is a LOT of COBOL code in production around the world), so people will need to understand (if not code in) COBOL for at least that long. And if nobody wants to code in COBOL, companies will either train their own people in COBOL or raise the pay rate until sufficient COBOL coders are available. The functions handled in COBOL programs today tend to be very important functions (the last study I saw said that if you use an ATM anywhere in the world today, the odds are about 19 in 20 that your transaction will run through at least one COBOL program), so COBOL will be around for quite a while longer -- after all, it is approaching 60 years old!



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