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Fujitsu adds Linux support to NetCobol series

Fujitsu has added Linux support to its Cobol (Common Business Oriented Language) products.

The company's software unit has a set of three Cobol development tools in its NetCobol, family: one that supports Microsoft's .net software framework, and two for Unix.

NetCobol for Linux is Fujitsu's response to customer demand.

Cobol, one of the first high-level programming languages, has been used as a language in large, back-end mainframe transaction-processing and accounting applications for users in firms such as medium-sized to large insurance companies and banks.


Fujitsu's NetCobol is used, for example, by insurance companies that are using both old applications written in Cobol and newer applications in other languages, instead of completely rewriting the older applications, which is harder to do, Fujitsu spokesman Andrew Mackenzie said.

Linux has recently been seen as a reliable and cost-cutting operating system for business use, and is attracting especially those users who are looking to move from Hewlett-Packard's discontinued e3000 systems, Fujitsu said.

The HP e3000 midrange server line, originally the HP-3000, runs on the proprietary MPE/IX operating system.

Fujitsu's NetCobol for Linux will also target existing Cobol users, Mackenzie said. "Nowadays, these companies have at least one machine that runs Linux."

NetCobol for Linux will be available for beta testing next month and for production development at the end of the beta testing.

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