isCOBOL Evolve

COBOL development + Java deployment = simplified software distribution and accelerated innovation

Many exciting features in the new release of isCOBOL Evolve.

isCOBOL Evolve 2018 Release 1 now available

Veryant is pleased to announce the latest release of isCOBOL™ Evolve, isCOBOL Evolve 2018 R1.

The newest isCOBOL Evolve introduces the new Web Client EIS feature, the JOE scripting language and refines the IDE, GUI controls and framework.

Download the isCOBOL Evolve 2018 Release 1 Overview

Release highlights

  • WebClient EIS feature
  • JOE Scripting Language
  • Upgraded IDE based on Eclipse Oxygen
  • GUI components improvements
  • Multi-monitor support
  • Framework improvements

WebClient EIS feature

The new WebClient EIS feature is an exciting new addition to the isCOBOL Evolve EIS family. It allows existing isCOBOL Client/Server applications, both graphical and character based, to run unmodified in a web browser.
WebClient and Web Direct 2.0 can both create web applications, but they differ in how this is accomplished. Web Direct 2.0 allows the use of external CSS stylesheets and javascript files to spicy up the application, while WebClient is an easy way to render isCOBOL user interfaces in a web browser, retaining the look and feel of a desktop application. A WebClient server can host several isCOBOL applications, and users can be granted access to them individually. The isCOBOL program user interface is rendered on the browser, and user interaction, such as mouse moves, clicks and keyboard events, are sent back to the server for processing by the isCOBOL program. Communication between WebClient and the browser is handled using web sockets, and communication between the WebClient application and the isCOBOL program is handled by the isCOBOL Application Server through isCOBOL Thin Client.

WebClient offers powerful capabilities such as:

  • User interaction with the application is the same as it was a regular desktop application.
  • Session resuming allows user to reconnect to the same session after a lost connection or a switch to another device, allowing to switch, for example, from a desktop PC to a tablet without requiring a new session.
  • Administrators can monitor running applications in real time, viewing important information such as memory usage, CPU usage and response times.
  • Administrators can provide assistance to end users by using the built-in session mirroring, that allows them to view exactly what the end user is seeing, and allows them to take control of the session and help the user accomplish a task or troubleshoot a problem.

WebClient architecture

JOE scripting language

Many legacy applications are developed intermixing COBOL programs and interpreted scripts of some kind (i.e. Bourne shell). Porting these applications to an isCOBOL Application Server architecture used to require the rewrite of the scripts into COBOL programs and their compilation.
This process can be lengthy and the results could be less appealing than the starting point, since interpreted procedures are now compiled procedures, and must be rewritten using a Business Oriented Language instead of a operating system management shell language.
JOE changes all this by providing a scripting and interpreted language that can access any COBOL or Java resources it may need, is Operating System independent, and easy to change on the fly, matching any scripting language in term of capabilities and readability.

Upgraded IDE based on Eclipse Oxygen

The isCOBOL 2018 R1 IDE is now based on the new Eclipse Oxygen release, which includes many improvements in functionality and performance. Eclipse Oxygen is based on Java 8, supports high DPI monitors, such as Apple Retina screens and 4K displays, and supports GTK3 on Linux platforms.
The new autosave feature can automatically save all open files in the isCOBOL editors, and the new Launch Group configuration type allows launching of multiple configurations sequentially, with configurable actions after launching each group member.

GUI components improvements

isCOBOL programs can now display Notification Windows, to advise the end user of events with an elegant and convenient pop up window. A notification window uses a customizable corner of the desktop to display notifications or status information.
Notification windows can be used to show information that does not require user interaction, or can display a screen section, whose exception values will be passed to the current accept statement.
Notification windows can automatically close after a timeout, specified in the BEFORE TIME property.

Gradients can now be used as window backgrounds, by specifying the GRADIENT-COLOR-1, GRADIENT-COLOR-2 and GRADIENT-ORIENTATION properties.
The TRANSPARENT style, previously available only on label controls, is now supported on check-box, radio-button and frame to better support gradient backgrounds.

Multimonitor support

Multiple monitors are now supported using the new SCREEN-INDEX property of the DISPLAY WINDOW statement, and the new C$MONITOR library routine can be used to query the system about the number of attached monitors, get the screen resolution of each, their relative positioning, and to find which one is the primary display.
The C$CENTER_WINDOW library routine has been enhanced to allow specification of a monitor with an additional parameter.

Framework improvements

New configuration properties have been implemented to customize editing in GUI controls:

  • iscobol.gui.kbd_case=lower/upper used to force characters casing in GUI controls
  • iscobol.gui.entryfield.implied_decimal=true to have implied decimal values on entry-fields, based on the number of decimal digits defined in the picture in the associated variable of the entry field.

New configuration settings and library routines have been implemented to further simplify migration from other COBOL dialects.

The isCOBOL log has been enhanced by adding the ability to include date and time information in both the log file path and the file name. This is useful when logging on isCOBOL Application Server or a J2EE server, where running applications usually generate several log files. Log files, for example, can be grouped in folders based on the date and time in which log entries are created.
Moreover, the Logger object is now accessible to isCOBOL programs, allowing them to write additional information with customizable log levels.

Additional details on these and additional features and advances in isCOBOL 2018 R1 can be found in the isCOBOL Evolve 2018 Release 1 Overview

Learn more
View the isCOBOL Evolve Datasheet
Learn more about the newest isCOBOL Evolve Release
Contact Veryant to arrange a complimentary code analysis or learn more about isCOBOL