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Easy upgrade from COBOL 6.1 to 6.3, get JSON, UTF-8 and 64-bit features

By Nicole Trudeau posted Wed August 04, 2021 05:58 PM

IBM Enterprise COBOL for z/OS 6.1, released in 2016, reaches end of service Sep 30, 2022. The replacement product is IBM Enterprise COBOL for z/OS 6.3.

Updating from COBOL 6.1 to later versions of Enterprise COBOL is very straight-forward compared to the migration from COBOL 4 or earlier to COBOL 5 or later. Simply install the latest compiler and recompile with the same compiler options used in 6.1. The compiler will automatically update any options that have been renamed and tell you in the listing if any replacements were made. The underlying compiler infrastructure remains the same between 6.1 and 6.3, so this update will be trivial.  If you are in the process of migrating from COBOL 4 or earlier, please see the migration portal for additional considerations.

It's important to stay current with your compiler for two main reasons:
  1. Modernize your COBOL applications
    The latest COBOL 6.3 compiler has features that allow you to modernize your applications, including JSON generation and parsing directly from COBOL, 64-bit COBOL application support, and the ability to define, move and compare UTF-8 data items.

  2. Improve performance and reduce operating cost
    Modern IBM Z machines deliver performance through the implementation of hardware features and compiler support. To get the most out of your z hardware, you need to use the latest Enterprise COBOL for z/OS compiler (or consider IBM Automatic Binary Optimizer for z/OS for any source files that are not under active development) and selectively optimize CPU-intensive parts of the applications. This will help you reduce CPU utilization and operating costs. If you have the latest z15 hardware, COBOL 6.1 does not support the ARCH(13) and TUNE(13) options that can achieve the best performance on that hardware. This option is only added in COBOL 6.3.

See a complete list of what's new at IBM Docs: