DePaul University Study Says Fujitsu Offers a Better Brew than JAVA For Web-Enabling Mission-Critical COBOL/CICS Legacy Applications

Application conversions using Fujitsu NetCOBOL for .NET, the NeoKicks CICS COBOL migration tool and Visual Studio .NET 2003 take less than 3 percent of time required for rewriting in JAVA

Microsoft TechEd 2005
June 7, 2005

A study just conducted by DePaul University researchers Dr. Howard A. Kanter and Dr. Thomas J. Muscarello of The Laboratory for Software Metrics concluded that when Fujitsu Software solutions combined with Visual Studio .NET 2003 are used, the time required to Web-enable mission-critical COBOL/CICS legacy applications is on average less than 3 percent of the time needed to rewrite the applications in JAVA. A common understanding has been that rewriting was one of the few choices available if applications were to take advantage of newer technologies like the Microsoft .NET Framework™. This study indicates there are other more viable routes. These applications still provide tremendous value but are on costly platforms with limited tools to extend them for today’s business needs. Companies have made a huge investment in mainframe applications and this migration allows them to maximize that investment by extending it to newer platforms.

“This study validates what our customers already know: Fujitsu Software delivers the most time and cost effective solutions available for Web-enabling legacy COBOL/CICS applications, to say nothing of the agility customers gain from having those applications run on the Microsoft .NET Framework,” said Ron Langer, VP of Global COBOL Sales, Fujitsu Software Corporation. “The advantages of moving off the mainframe are only going to increase with the release of Visual Studio 2005 and its team supporting functions.”

“With Fujitsu’s recent announcement of the PRIMEQUEST™ line of mission-critical Intel® Itanium® based servers, this study’s confirmation of the efficacy of Fujitsu’s CICS migration solution, and the added productivity of Visual Studio 2005, even the largest mainframe CICS applications are candidates for migration to the Microsoft .NET Framework,” said Richard Burte, product manager in the .NET Developer Product Management Group at Microsoft Corp.

The study also showed that with Fujitsu NetCOBOL for .NET and NeoKicks, the skill level of the programmer had little overall effect on conversion time when compared to the time needed to rewrite code in JAVA. At all skill levels, conversion times with Fujitsu application tools were less than 5 percent of JAVA rewrite times.

The purpose of this study, which was undertaken because of the pressing need for organizations around the world to modernize their legacy applications, was to gather and present empirical and anecdotal evidence related to the efficiency and effectiveness of two commonly considered legacy modernization approaches: revision (using NetCOBOL for .NET and the NeoKicks CICS migration solution) and total system rewrite (using the Java language.)

The study approach was based on the situation classically found in standard IT environments when new software tools are obtained and measuring their effect is required by management: programmers work with whatever tools management provides; management obtains new tools that it believes will increase productivity; programmers are trained in the new tools; the new tools are used; management wants to measure the increase in productivity that should justify the cost of obtaining and utilizing the product; productivity is comprised of both speed and accuracy; the tools must support the creation of useful, usable, satisfying interfaces; the legacy system to be converted is not to be changed, i.e. the processes, screen display information, data captured and files maintained are to be retained.

Experienced IT professionals, working as paired programmer teams, executed each phase of the study tasks. Expertise ranged from less than 5 years of experience to programmers with more than 12 years of experience. Each subject received a condensed version of the ordinary training course in each of the COBOL software tools used and had access to full documentation and escalated support. The tools involved in the study were: NetCOBOL for .NET; Fujitsu’s NeoKicks CICS migration solution; and a JAVA environment with all necessary features and tools. Where skills needed for task completion were multidisciplinary (e.g. COBOL/business logic expertise and Java programming skills) the teams were comprised of experts in each skill area.

To read the complete study, please visit

About Fujitsu Software Corporation

Fujitsu Software Corporation, based in Sunnyvale, California, is part of the Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) family. The wholly owned subsidiary delivers one of the world’s broadest lines of application infrastructure software products, including the Interstage® Suite and NetCOBOL®. Fujitsu Software Corporation leverages Fujitsu’s international scope and expertise in developing and providing information technology solutions, including more than 4,000 software developers worldwide. To learn more about Fujitsu Software Corporation, visit

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is a leading provider of customer-focused IT and communications solutions for the global marketplace. Pace-setting device technologies, highly reliable computing and communications platforms, and a worldwide corps of systems and services experts uniquely position Fujitsu to deliver comprehensive solutions that open up infinite possibilities for its customers’ success. Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.7 trillion yen (US$44.5 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2005. For more information, please see: