If your organization relies on the mainframe, you’re no doubt aware of IBM’s impending end of support (EOS) dates. On February 5th, 2019, Big Blue announced that Enterprise COBOL 4.2, Enterprise COBOL 5.1, and Enterprise COBOL 5.2 would be pulled from the company’s list of supported programming languages. The date to upgrade from 4.2 – September 30, 2021 – is still more than a year off, but the deadline for COBOL 5 support is already in the rear-view mirror.

Code compiled with the above versions of COBOL will continue to run, but the enterprises that choose to rely on them will no longer be able to file Problem Management Reports (PMRs) or Authorized Program Analysis Reports (APARs), leaving them effectively in the dark when things don’t go as planned. For the risk-averse organizations that chose the mainframe for its reliability, upgrading to COBOL 6 might as well be mandatory.

Of course, upgrading means re-compiling your organization’s entire roster of hundreds or even thousands of programs on COBOL 6, and you still need to determine what programs are live and in need of recompiling. Depending on your needs, you certainly have your COBOL on z/OS work cut out for you.

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The Clock Is Ticking

In a recent whitepaper, we detailed findings on the different resource utilizations levels of COBOL 4.2, 5.1, and 6.x. When compiling small programs of around 5,000 lines of code, the differences in compile time were significant but manageable. However, on the other end of the spectrum – programs of 50,000 lines – COBOL 6 could have you facing an increase in CPU utilization time of almost 400 to 1. That incredible rise won’t just make the migration to the latest version of Enterprise COBOL time-consuming—it will have a corresponding impact on your bills.

Whitepaper Download: COBOL V6 Problems with CPU Consumption and Runaway Budget

A move to Cloud Compiling’s Compiling-as-a-Service (CaaS) approach can remove the burden of compiling altogether. By utilizing CaaS, you can meet all your compiling needs while giving IT personnel the flexibility to work on innovative projects that directly impact the business value of your organization.

In addition, our service:

• Reduces monthly license charges (MLCs) – often the large mainframe expense – by circumventing the process-based licensing method
• Offers an immediate ROI
• Takes just a few hours to deploy per programming language
• Features state-of-the-art security
• Allows unparalleled scalability, offering unlimited compiling capacity at minimal notice

IBM’s EOS announcements have effectively made the upgrade to COBOL 6 mandatory for the risk averse. There are many benefits to the latest version of Enterprise COBOL, but you’ll need to overcome the considerable compiling obstacles first. For more information on how Cloud Compiling can help your organization along the way, reach out to our sales team or download our whitepaper featuring COBOL 6 compiling research today.