Yo sysprog: Cobol lives on in Visual Studio 2015

Cobol keeps on keeping on, this time thanks to support from Micro Focus for use with the latest version of Microsoft's IDE

Cobol, that old-time but still useful business programming language, will get a tie-in to Microsoft's latest Visual Studio IDE.

Micro Focus is adding Visual Studio 2015 support to its Visual Cobol tool for maintaining and modernizing enterprise applications. Previously, Micro Focus has supported Cobol development in Visual Studio 2013, 2012, and 2010.

While Cobol does not have the buzz of newer languages like Java, JavaScript or Swift, it remains vital, Micro Focus said. "Cobol is the engine driving the world's most critical business applications," release notes said. "More than 2 million end users worldwide, including the major players in finance, manufacturing, logistics, and government services, rely on it for their business-critical systems."

Indeed, Cobol still turns up as the 22nd most popular language on this month's Tiobe index of language popularity, which ranks the top 100 languages (although Cobol has a share of less than 1 percent in the index). Recently, a developer forged a link between Cobol and Node.js, via a bridge.

Downloadable at the Micro Focus website, Visual Cobol for Visual Studio 2015 enables developers to combine Cobol alongside other languages, such as C# and Visual Basic.Net. Cobol application capabilities can be delivered to Windows 10, .Net, and the Azure cloud. Support is featured for both native and managed code development, enabling extension of Cobol applications, Micro Focus said.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.