FairCom Announces c-treeACE® for COBOL

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FairCom Corporation announced a new solution for COBOL environments, c-treeACE for COBOL. This new technology exposes previously inaccessible silos of COBOL data to open access methods. It includes a robust SQL interface over a native COBOL file system with no SQL table remapping requirements.

FairCom Corporation announced a new solution for COBOL environments, c-treeACE for COBOL, at The Business and Technology of Low-Latency Trading conference in New York this week. This new technology exposes previously inaccessible silos of COBOL data to open access methods.

COBOL was one of the earliest high-level programming languages and is sometimes referred to as the language that automated business. It is still responsible for many of the mission-critical transactions supported by financial institutions worldwide. Recent studies show there are roughly 1.5 to 2 million active COBOL developers writing about 5 billion new lines of COBOL code every year. These estimates show COBOL applications processing 200 times more transactions per day than Google searches.

The nature of COBOL data and record definitions do not fit well in the traditional relational (SQL-based) database paradigm of strict table and record definitions. Consequently COBOL developers in recent years working on intra- and internet-based solutions have been forced to rewrite applications and to sacrifice performance and functionality, often at significant financial costs.

According to Francesco Cortinovis, Managing Director of FairCom Europe, “FairCom’s c-treeACE for COBOL provides a unique and robust SQL access paradigm that marries COBOL standard I/O routines and SQL. FairCom’s unique approach provides simultaneous, efficient access to data and record definitions without imposing limitations on the existing COBOL application.”

Cortinovis explains, “By design, a COBOL runtime will interface with any file system that stores and retrieves record buffers, using any indexes that may exist over these record buffers. That's exactly what FairCom’s c-treeACE ISAM interface does. So it was natural to implement the required COBOL-specific interfaces and give COBOL access to c-tree. FairCom has several significant COBOL-based customers in Europe and we worked closely with their engineers to implement and test this technology.”

FairCom interfaces with ACUCOBOL-GT and ExtFH using an ISAM technique that fits the standard COBOL approach to indexed files without the complications of a SQL table remapping. “From the pure COBOL point of view, c-treeACE for COBOL is just a straight, more advanced ‘native COBOL’ file system, with no limitations imposed on the COBOL programmer,” according to Evaldo Oliveira, FairCom’s General Manager.

Olivera continues, “FairCom’s unique technology enables COBOL applications to access their native ISAM data. Other applications that are more relational-oriented, such as business intelligence, data warehouse or enterprise data stores, may get the same data using a SQL-oriented approach, with a resulting performance hit. Taking advantage of c-tree’s native ISAM access opens a ‘data gateway’ for COBOL applications that cannot be found elsewhere today.”

“Over the past few years FairCom has experienced greatly increased use in the financial sector, and we have already received significant interest in this new technology both in the U.S. and in Brazil,” Oliveira noted.

The advantage FairCom’s design has is that, for the COBOL application, the data access architecture remains essentially unchanged. While the c-treeACE SQL engine must perform conversions on data access, FairCom’s optimizer keeps the number of conversions quite low. The data itself is rarely converted, while most of the translations happen between the SQL commands into the ISAM formats. Further, the simple data conversion FairCom applies is far more straightforward and efficient than the alternate approach of remapping COBOL tables into SQL tables, as it preserves the native ISAM data – one of the strongest performance features of I/O in COBOL applications.

Existing applications will work with c-treeACE for COBOL without the need to recompile and developers can choose which file system to use on a file-by-file basis. Additionally c-treeACE for COBOL transparently allows access to data used by the COBOL application with direct SQL access or other FairCom interfaces like ODBC, JDBC, and ADO.NET drivers.

This new technology allows all COBOL applications to run with FairCom’s proven client/server technology across multiple platforms from Windows to Linux, Mac and others. “This driver has been used in Europe since 1998 and tested in sophisticated deployments on virtual machines,” Cortinovis said. “Using the FairCom c-tree Server as a default database offers unparalleled strength and stability to the application by providing a clean, multithreaded, cross platform engine with full transaction processing,” Cortinovis elaborated.

About c-treeACE for COBOL
c-treeACE for COBOL will be available for both end users and ISVs that develop in COBOL. FairCom’s new product provides a breakthrough in data access for the next generation of COBOL applications. FairCom has offered the ACUCOBOL-GT driver for over ten years. This technology provides an alternative database solution for COBOL developers to use without making code changes. c-treeACE for COBOL provides the power and flexibility to quickly and reliably deal with all aspects of storing, retrieving, and updating mission critical data.

About FairCom
FairCom Corporation has provided fast, portable and reliable database development tools for commercial environments since 1979. For further information regarding FairCom, other products or c-treeACE for COBOL, contact FairCom U.S. at 573.445.6833, FairCom Europe at +39.035.721.321, FairCom Japan at +81.3.4520.5417 or FairCom Brazil at +55.11.3872-.9802, or visit http://www.faircom.com.

All product and company names mentioned here are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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Grant Robbennolt
FairCom Corporation
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Francesco Cortinovis
FairCom Europe
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