WPS 05-02: COBOL.NET Running Legacy COBOL Programs by Proxy

Posted: Wednesday, March 16th 2005 at 10:11 AM


COBOL.NET Running Legacy COBOL Programs by Proxy


John D. Haney
Clinical Professor of CIS
(928) 523-7352
Northern Arizona University
College of Business Administration
Box 15066
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5066


One response to the trend toward object orientation in programming languages has been the inclusion of object orientation to COBOL.  Additionally, graphical user interfaces have been added to existing batch and interactive COBOL programs.  This has been accomplished through COBOL compilers and the addition of GUIs created in other languages.  An expansion of both of these additions to legacy COBOL programs has been the incorporation of COBOL into Microsoft’s .NET Framework.  Through this process old legacy COBOL programs can appear as if they were written in a contemporary language such as C#.

This is accomplished within the .NET environment by creating a solution that consists of two projects.  The first contains the C# program with the graphical user interface.  The second contains the legacy program and a COBOL proxy program that provides the link between the C# program and the legacy program.  A COBOL data object class supplies the mechanism for the transference of data between the proxy program and the C# program.  By the use of this process only slight modifications to the legacy program are necessary to run a legacy COBOL program by proxy.

05-02 March 2005

PDF of working paper HERE.

Categories: working paper series working paper series 2006-2003 2006-2003 john d. haney cobol.net running legacy cobol programs by proxy