For many years, IBM mainframe customers have ignored the warning shots of service withdrawal for various language compilers and run-times, especially COBOL and PL/I. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” became their mantra. However, with the announcement of CICS TS V3.1 and DB2 V8, customers who aren’t already running their applications under the Language Environment (LE) run-time library will need to perform a run-time migration, and probably compiler migrations, too. Starting with CICS TS V3.1, transactions compiled with OS/VS COBOL or earlier won’t execute with any run-time. This is the first time IBM has actually said, “In this environment, it will not run.” That might sound harsh, but IBM gave users adequate notice to avoid a crisis.
The prerequisite languages for DB2 V8 are the “currently supported” COBOL and PL/I compilers. Since these are all LE-conforming compilers, the LE run-time also is required. Not there yet? Then two migrations are required!
DB2 V8 has been available since March 2004. The CICS TS V2.2 announcement in December 2002 included the warning that OS/VS COBOL support would be removed in a future release. But, more than four years later, some shops are just realizing the implication of installing CICS TS V3.1, which became available in March 2005.
This is probably a clear indication of things to come regarding LE and LEconforming compilers as prerequisites to new releases of other IBM software. There’s an old saying in regard to migrations, “If you wait until you must migrate, you’ve waited too long.”
One side benefit of migrating to new platforms is that it enhances your ability to implement Ser vice-Oriented Architecture (SOA). The main drivers for SOA adoption are that it links computational resources and promotes their reuse. Enterprise architects believe that SOA can help businesses respond more quickly and cost-effectively to changing market conditions.
DB2 and CICS provide a gold mine of application components that can contribute reusable resources in the development of SOA systems. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that both DB2 and CICS require LE-conforming compilers for full implementation. LE provides an efficient, effective environment for batch and online applications written in COBOL, PL/I, Assembler, and C/C++ without regard to SOA. Postponing or avoiding the migration to LE, the new compilers, DB2 V8/9 and CICS TS V3.1, hampers your ability to implement a robust SOA environment.
CICS LE Migration Requirements
Over the past several years, CICS has provided a well-planned migration path to an LE-conforming environment, culminating with CICS TS V3.1. The LE migration path began with CICS V2.2, where the CICS translator was changed to no longer support old compilers. The LE run-time was strongly recommended, but not required. To use an older compiler, the translator from an earlier release of CICS could be used to compile programs using old compilers. CICS V2.3 required CICS programs to use the LE run-time library, but OS/VS COBOL programs were allowed to run if they ran under LE. CICS TS V3.1 requires that you convert and re-compile your OS/VS COBOL (and earlier COBOL) programs to at least VS COBOL II, but the best alternative is to move directly to the Enterprise COBOL V3.4 compiler.
D B2 LE Migration Requirements