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COBOL, or COmmon Business-Oriented Language, while one of IT’s oldest programming languages continues to evolve, so it natively supports more recent arrivals such as XML. Government, financial organisations and defence agencies endorse COBOL for its contribution to enterprise-wide applications. The next major COBOL standard release is scheduled for 2010.

It is a truism that to be successful in providing contracted software development services an organisation must identify the next big technological thing and have the appropriate skills on hand to service fast growing market demand.

However, in the relentless evolution of information technology, it is easy to lose sight of technologies such as COBOL that have secured a long term place in IT.

COBOL continues to enjoy widespread support for the strength and resilience it brings to strategic and enterprise-oriented applications of major organisations.

Mitrais has some of the youngest COBOL developers in the world

Mitrais has some of the youngest COBOL developers in the world

As such, Mitrais teaches COBOL skills in our graduate program with the result that about 20 percent or more than 40 of our developers are proficient in COBOL, as well as other disciplines.

Outside one or two major financial organisations, we are one of the largest COBOL development organisations in the Oceanic region. We can build a COBOL team at very short notice. Most other developers rely on a shrinking community of COBOL expertise.

Cobol programming and support services-anyway you want them

Mitrais meets the demand from its customers to provide COBOL programming and support services across a diverse range of applications. We provide these services around the globe through all methods of engagement – fixed price, time and materials and captive teams – as the following synopses indicate.

Ongoing global support for ERP system

Since 2006 Mitrais has provided support and modification services for the COBOL code at the heart of the ERP system of a prominent international vendor. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection directly into the client’s offices allows Mitrais software engineers to work directly on source code. This is a prime example of a high trust relationship in which the Mitrais team is integrated with that of the client.

Top billing for Government system

Some months into a project in which Mitrais was commissioned to code a new billing system for a government agency, our client significantly extended its brief with us to engage our design expertise. This time and materials project lasted 10 months.

Mitrais arms government agency with accurate stocktaking

A fixed price project called for a Mitrais team to enhance an ERP system for a major government agency to ensure that financial statements accurately reflected stocks held at the agency’s warehouses. Accounting for sensitive goods, as well as the ability react quickly to ensure logistical sustainability were key requirements of the enhancements.

Collaborative development across the globe

In a textbook example of collaborative software development, Mitrais played a major role in
coding and unit testing for the development of a payroll application for users of a major ERP system in South Africa. The project leader was in South Africa, software architect and designers in Australia and the development team is in Bali.

A week to go international

Mitrais staff worked against the clock to review and remove several hundred embedded literals within COBOL code and replace them with a macro in a project aimed at internationalising an ERP system. One week on and the job was complete, with a proper internal code review for quality assurance.

Changing to learn more effectively

When Australian utilities wanted enhancements to the learning management functionality of their ERP systems and conversion to web-based applications, Mitrais heeded the call. With COBOL at the backend and J2EE in the front, Mitrais developers expended 1000 man-days of effort.

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