ICL Plc’s 20 year-old Cross-industry Products & Services division has introduced a package that, with the help of an MS-DOS personal computer, revamps old Cobol programs running on ICL VME mainframes. The software, called the Intersolv Design Recovery Tool, is licensed from software engineering tools developer Intersolv Inc, Rockville, Maryland, and enables users to strip […]
ICL Plc’s 20 year-old Cross-industry Products & Services division has introduced a package that, with the help of an MS-DOS personal computer, revamps old Cobol programs running on ICL VME mainframes. The software, called the Intersolv Design Recovery Tool, is licensed from software engineering tools developer Intersolv Inc, Rockville, Maryland, and enables users to strip their creaking Cobol programs of redundant and duplicated data and restructure them into compact manageable systems. The software scans existing Cobol code and places the the program design and business rules used to develop it into a data dictionary. The design can be viewed and tinkered with using Windows on a personal computer, which graphically represents any data overlap and duplication on screen. The programmer can adjust or delete excess code and Cobol application designs and code segments stored in the data dictionary can be re-used. ICL Cross Industry marketing manager Helen Hook says old Cobol programs running on VME-based mainframes are for the most part overwritten and inefficient. The design tool brings the code back to a defined strict architecture. This may sound tediously workaday but, according to the London-based market research company Input Ltd, the application provision and maintenance market in the UK is now said to take up between 50% to 60% of computing budgets – worth UKP7,000m in 1991-92. The facilities management market, Input says, is growing 30% per annum – and will be valued at UKP312.5m this year. By offering Intersolv’s software, the ICL unit expects to boost business by 25% next year, adding 50 new accounts to its books compared with the 12 is has now. The Cross-Industry Products and Services unit, staffed by 200 teleworkers, is part of ICL’s Associated Services Division – its systems house and integration operation – and contributes a meagre UKP7.5m a year to ICL’s UKP1,876m turnover. But it hopes to garner a greater share of this facilities management market than the modest stake it has now by offering a design capture service to its VME customers with this tool packaged as an add-on to its application support and maintenance services. These services include provision of help desks, user support, system enhancements, documentation and handling new software releases and customers include organisations such as government departments and the police. Cross-Industry Products is attempting to add value to the Intersolv Design Recovery Tool by offering additional maintenance, consultancy, training and rewriting services. Intersolv also markets the product direct in the UK.