PowerCOBOL - Getting out from under

PowerCOBOL Migration

The original intention of this tool was to provide a PLATFORM where people who were manually migrating their legacy PowerCOBOL projects could have PowerCOBOL sheets (forms) automatically generated into Windows Forms, and get ALL of the existing scriptlets (COBOL legacy) "brought across" into the Windows environment as a single OO Class for each Form. The action of wiring event methods to the new Form and replacing references to PowerCOBOL controls, with references to the new controls on the new Forms (Transformation), was expected to be done manually.

We've come a long way since then...  happyface

Today, Transformation is performed against any number of controls on a Form and it generates COBOL code in the code-behind that invokes methods of a provided "GUI Support" Class that can apply required actions on the new Windows Forms controls. This "architecture" means that we can support ANY control that is provided by PowerCOBOL (or even third party controls, provided they are COM compliant). For us, it is a matter of making the control known to Transformation and adding equivalent methods for it into the GUI Support Class. For users, if a control is used rarely and it is not supported by the tool,  it requires having the GUI Support Class updated to support the control and then manually adding COBOL invokes of the GUI Support Class into the COBOL code-behind. (Advanced users can write this support themselves; we will provide the C# source code for the GUI Support Class on request.) Or, you can outsource it to us or one of our agents.

PRIMA is a small company and we have limited resources to provide support for ALL the POSSIBLE PowerCOBOL controls, so we chose to support the most used ones. The table below shows what is supported "out-of-the-box", but remember that it is possible to ADD further support if you need it. (Only registered copies can be enhanced.)

PCOB2NET Version: 4.1+ - Implemented controls/objects/functions
control type/object
control type/object
level  (%)
Sheet Form 100% MAIN and SUB-Forms are supported. "Caption" becomes "Text" automatically.
Arrays Arrays of Controls 100% Arrays of GRID type controls are NOT currently supported
Check Box CheckBox 100%  
COBOL CALL passed through 100% Support is provided for both static and dynamic CALLs.
COBOL COPY pre-processed by the tool 100% #INCLUDE is passed through to NetCOBOL.
Combo Box ComboBox 100%  
Command Button Button 100%  
in PowerCOBOL!
New Windows

(We recommend replacing all grid type PowerCOBOL controls with this, and the tool can do it automatically for you.)
it's here NOW!

(with Release 4.1+)
This control will provide advanced list and cell manipulation.
(It can optionally replace List Box, List View, and Table controls.) DGV supports icons and checkboxes for all of the above. It also supports "Numeric(a)" columns and supports the PowerCOBOL "EnsureVisible" method.
DisplayMessage WinAPI 100%  
Embedded SQL (ESQL) passed through 100% The PowerCOBOL database and ADO controls are currently not implemented and would need CUSTOM* support.
EVENTS see "Wiring", below 100% The WinForm recognizes and responds to the SAME events as the PCOB sheet
EXTERNAL Shared objects 100% Fields are shared automatically across Forms
Form Cookie Cookie 100%  
Form manipulation Form handling 100% OPENFORM, CALLFORM, and CLOSEFORM are fully supported as in PowerCOBOL.
Flat file support passed through 100%  
Frame GroupBox 100%  
GLOBAL Object Storage 100%  
Group Box GroupBox 100%  
Image PictureBox 100%  
ISAM file support passed through 100% you can migrate these files to an optimized 3NF RDB with another part of the Migration toolset.
Label Label 100%  
List Box ListBox 70% icons are not supported (see DGV, above)
List View ListView/DataGrid
70% Standard reporting modes are supported. For manipulations with headings/sorting/edits etc., we recommend DataGridView (see above).Numeric(a) fields are handled as strings.* "EnsureVisibility" method is not implemented.
MCI CUSTOM* 5% Control is recognised but not supported.
Menus Menus 100%  
Procedures (NON-event) passed through 100% Non-Event procedures become methods in the new code-behind.
Progress Bar ProgressBar 100%  
Radio/Option button RadioButton 100%  
SQL Host Variables Embedded SQL 100% EXTERNAL HVs are shared across Forms if required.
Static Text Label 100%  
TAB TabControl 100% Needs manual help during Form Design.
Table TableLayoutPanel 50% May require further CUSTOM* GUI Support.
Normal tables can be easily replaced with DGV.
Text Box TextBox 100%  
Timer Timer 100%  
Tool Bar ToolStrip 70% May require further CUSTOM* GUI Support.
Tree View/Nodes TreeView 30% Control is recognised and Nodes are treated as Foreign Objects, but will require further CUSTOM* GUI Support.
Wiring for events Windows wiring 100% The tool detects all PowerCOBOL events and wires support for them into the generated WinForm.
* Things flagged as "CUSTOM" CAN be added fairly easily and we would work with you to achieve it. Anything NOT in the list above would take longer, but we don't know of anything that "cannot be done".

If you would like more information on this or any PRIMA products, please click here...