COBOL in PeopleSoft has long been one of my frustrations. I have had trouble with change assistant not getting the right version of the files in the correct directories. The compiler is an extra set of steps for installing and getting the system working. The license has to be installed in addition to the compiler, and most likely several run time environments. Typically, you would have to ship the COBOL programs between servers assuming you only have one server that is licensed to compile.
I can understand paying money for a program that you use, but COBOL doesn’t fit that description in my mind. Every client that I have worked at won’t touch a COBOL program: every customization must be outside the COBOL programs. So, why then should I have to pay thousands of dollars for a COBOL compiler?
So, I thought I would play with an open source compiler. I thought it would do two things:
- Maybe in some small way influence toward Open COBOL as an official certified alternative
- Help me better learn how the COBOL system works
So, here’s what I learned: