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Conversion of COBOL programs to PL/1

Project duration: 3 months

Brief description

Converting the programs in an online system (3270 screens) for displaying and maintaining a wide variety of data stocks from the COBOL programming language to PL/1. The mainframe application can be used to process IMS databases, ISAM files, VSAM files, QSAM files and more. The programs are first converted automatically and then reworked manually.


The automatic conversion of the approximately 20-year-old COBOL programs with the help of a Perl script is based on an iterative procedure. In other words, a COBOL module is used to verify, validate and adjust (as necessary) the conversion rules implemented in the Perl script, by means of examples and multiple runs. The focus of the manual adjustments is on ensuring that the overall application can run properly, with special attention paid to the correct interaction between the SDF II screens (3270 screens) and PL/1 programs, the calling Assembler modules and CICS as the transaction monitor. Minor adjustments to the Assembler modules and their regeneration are also necessary.

Subject description

The online system for displaying and maintaining mainframe data stocks is primarily a technical instrument for ensuring the quality of the data. This is often only possible if there is an opportunity to access the data without an application's technically focused user interface. With the exception of DB2 data stocks, almost all the file formats on the mainframe can be edited according to the user's authorization (e.g. IMS databases, ISAM, VSAM and QSAM files). Converting the application from COBOL to PL/1 is aimed at standardizing the programming languages for mainframe applications to make PL/1 the leading language. In order to keep the effort of defining conversion rules to a minimum, manual revision of the generated programs is connected to an automatic conversion of the online programs, with the help of a Perl script. The conversion of the SDFII screens to PL/1 takes place by regeneration.


Project period05.04.2004 - 01.07.2004

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