Vancouver Utility Mainframe Conversion Features

UV Software provides the Vancouver utilities to convert mainframe batch applications to Unix, Linux,or Windows. JCL is converted to shell scripts, mainframe COBOL is converted to Micro Focus COBOL or AIX COBOL, EBCDIC data is converted to ASCII data (preserving packed/decimal fields, which must remain the same for MF/AIX COBOL).

We believe the Vancouver Utilities are the most powerful and flexible set of tools available to convert mainframe applications to Unix,Linux,or Windows. If you are considering a mainframe conversion, here are the features that you should look for in a conversion tool package.

Profiles & Environment

UV Software provides much more than conversion tools; we provide the profiles that give you a very powerful & flexible environment for conversion, development,& production.

The profiles provided include 2 critical variables RUNLIBS & RUNDATA that define the super directories housing the libraries & data-files for the logged-in user (programmer, production operator, or production scheduler).

Production & Development would usually be on different machines, but the RUNLIBS/RUNDATA variables can allow production & development on the same machine. A more useful advantage of RUNDATA might be to allow you to process separate sets of data-files (for unrelated companies/divisions) on the same machine, using the same set of libraries (JCL/scripts & COBOL programs). The RUNDATA variable can also be used to provide different programmers different sets of test data.

JCL converted to shell scripts

Converting JCL to shell scripts is far superior to the JCL Emulation, because the shell scripts allow you to expand with the many open source & 3rd party software applications available. You can not add scripts to the emulation JCL, you would need to write a COBOL program to call the scripts.

Critical hard-coded info such as IP#s, userids,& passwords can be converted to $variables. This allows you to change them by editing the profiles that relates the variables to the desired values. This is a huge benefit because the values can be different for development vs production. The programmer profiles will assign the test values without ever having to remember to change the values for testing.

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Microsoft now a friend of Linux

In March of 2016, Microsoft announced 2 new features that increase the value of the Vancouver Utility conversions. Microsoft will now natively support "BASH" shell scripts on Windows. This makes the Vancouver Utility conversion of JCL to shell scripts much more viable on Windows. In the past the Bash (or Korn) shell scripts had to be run under SFU (Services For Unix). Native support for Bash removes this restriction.

The other new feature announcement is that Microsoft will provide "SQL Server" for Linux, which is less expensive than DB2 or Oracle.

Mainframe Utilities converted to Equivalents

Mainframe utilities in the JCL are automatically converted to equivalents. This applies to many more utilities than the basic IBM utilities (such as SORT,ICEMAN,FTP,IDCAMS,IEBGENER,IEBCOPY,ADRDSSU,DSNTIAUL,DSNUPROC). Several 3rd party utilities are also converted (such as QUIKJOB,EZTPA,SAS, FASTLOAD,MLOAD,DMBATCH,NDMWAIT,etc). We also convert home-grown utilities when we find them in the user's JCL. These can often be automatically converted to a LUW or Vancouver Utility equivalent, saving a lot of manual editing.

The 'SORT' is critical and 'uvsort' is comparable to DFSORT or SYNCSORT. uvsort allows for 1200 INCLUDEs/OMITs, 1200 INREC/OUTREC field reformatting instructions, 20 input files,& 60 output files. We can increase these if we ever find a site requiring more. Actually the number of files is unlimited because we have an option to input all files in a directory (or all files matching a pattern using '*' wildcard. There is also an option to output a new file on a control break in the sort key.

GDG (generation) file handling

Unix, Linux,& Windows have no native Generation file handling. UV Software has the best solution for LUW & better than the mainframe GDG file handling. Our GDG files are identified by a trailing underscore in the JCL/scripts. The physical files have a 6 digit number appended, which is more elegant than the mainframe 4 digit number plus 'V00' which is never used.

Our GDG solution does not commit new generations until the script terminates normally, which means you can often simply rerun the script. Or you can rerun the script from any step since the JCL converter has rerun from any step built in to the conversion (no script changes required).

Note that the AIX 'gdgmgr' commits immediately, making it difficult to rerun scripts that terminate abnormally; you need to research & back out the GDG files that were committed up to the point of failure.

Data file conversion EBCDIC to ASCII

We believe we have the most powerful & flexible data-file conversion available. Data conversion jobs are generated automatically from the COBOL copybook record descriptions. For most files the generated jobs require no manual changes, but files with multiple record types do require insertion of record type test code and branch to the appropriate bank of auto generated instructions for that record type. This minimal record type coding is required because the copybooks do not provide the codes & locations in a way that can be automatically coded. Our method has been proven to be much more powerful & flexible than competing 'black box' solutions.

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links to more information                 - UV Software Home Page - JCL Conversion to scripts - stub & common profiles - sample JCL & converted scripts - COBOL & JCL conversion Instrns - instructions for your conversion vs demos - DATA conversion preserving packed      - uvsort documentation    - prices & partner agreements  - customer list & reference letters     - download uvhd FREE utility           - all newsletters past & present

I invite your feedback. Let me know if these news letters are useful to you, and any suggestions you may have for improvements.

Thank You, Owen Townsend, UV Software Inc.

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