Stories by William M. Ulrich

Remember Cobol? If you don't, get reacquainted

When I mention the word Cobol to IT people, they look at me as if I just awoke from a 20-year coma. Many IT professionals consider Cobol, like Latin, to be a dead language. But rumors of Cobol's death have been greatly exaggerated. Companies can't ignore their Cobol software assets and need to incorporate them into their IT strategies.

Don't Forget Business Rules in Web Migrations

The request seemed simple enough. Marketing wanted customers to be able to order products through the Internet. This meant the company needed a Web-based application to check item availability, issue order requests, calculate prices and replicate a host of other functions that were being performed by legacy applications. In response to the request, the project team planned to use a tool to capture legacy business rules (blocks of conditional and imperative logic that change the state of business data) and import them into a Java-based front end. While this may seem like an easy answer to a simple request, this project could torpedo Internet deployment efforts if it ignores strategic implications.