The COBOL programming language is being combined with common processes used by C# and Java developers with Micro Focus’ new release of Visual COBOL R3. The product now allows COBOL to be used on a variety of platforms, including Microsoft Azure, and also deploys COBOL to the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

The new release will allow developers to debug COBOL applications in the JVM by using modern development environments. This means that college graduates or anyone trained for IT work in newer platforms will already understand some of the commands in order to quickly learn COBOL and debug within minutes.

“When we released the first version of Visual COBOL, developers were debugging COBOL code in several minutes,” said Peter Anderton, product solutions manager at Micro Focus. It was part of a competition, but that shows how easily it can be done. Writing new code takes a little longer to understand the COBOL language, but working within the JVM enables the commands to be similar or the same in some cases.”

Anderton explained that this release also protects the value of intellectual property by allowing the same code to be deployed on various platforms and devices. Additionally, the support for cloud technology, like Microsoft’s Azure, allows developers to get the added benefits of the cloud with the same language and skill sets.

“As today’s enterprises continue to expand into new markets, the need to introduce innovative products, reduce time to market and increase efficiency is more critical than ever,” Anderton said.