Banks with extensive legacy systems written in the COBOL programming language have had a lot to worry about over the past few years, including fears the antiquated systems would fall victim to the Y2K bug or a host of other such internal flaws.
But instead of waiting for COBOL failure, some banks have decided to bring these systems into the 21st century, and are turning to software companies such as Israel-based Intercomp, to bridge the gap.
"We've talked to several banks which have tons of legacy systems, lots of money and a strong need to get on the web, and quick," said Eran Tirer, CEO of Intercomp.
Clients in the financial services industry include Deutsche Bank and Anglo-Irish Bank, which moved from an outdated method of storing data sequentially (ISAM) to an industrial-strength DB2 database with the help of Intercomp tools. Their next step is to make their legacy applications accessible through a web server.
Intercomp provides tools that analyze legacy code, extract business rules, and finally web-enable legacy applications written using yesteryear's tools of the trade: COBOL, CICS and SQL. These tools first help developers understand the program flow and business logic, allow them to easily create Java objects containing those business rules hidden within the legacy code, and provide Web access to the existing applications.
Information about legacy systems can also be brought into CASE (Computer-Aided Software Engineering) tools using the Unified Modeling Language, or UML, format. Rational Software, Cupertino, Calif., a CASE tool vendor, has a strategic cooperation agreement with Intercomp.