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CobolTransformer . ToolKit .
Toolkit & Library Index

CobolTransformer Toolkit includes:

  • High quality Cobol Parser that parses 16 most popular Cobol dialects. This parser can parse everything in the Federal Compiler Test Suite CCVS.
  • Cobol Program Tree and library of routines used to browse and transform the Program Tree. Definition-Use links attached to the Program Tree effectively make it a general case Program Graph.
  • PrettyPrint and SourcePrint code generators that transform Program Tree into human-readable Cobol source.
  • Transformations object-oriented framework that encourages reuse of individual transformations and provides for easy execution of transformations both in command-line and visual environments.

CobolTransformer is a complete toolkit with well-designed API that allows you to focus on particulars of your Cobol reengineering projects and not worry about handling complexity of quality Cobol lexing, parsing, and code generation.

If you are working on Cobol conversion that needs automation and that has to be delivered fast -- then it is time to get a CobolTransformer license and witness your productivity increase ten-fold!


Executive Summary
This is a good place to start.

Technical White Paper
Under the hood of CobolTransformer: sneak preview.

News and Updates
Latest CobolTransformer news and updates.

CobolTransformer Toolkit Evaluation Package
Following Try It Before You Buy It principle, we offer CobolTransformer Toolkit Evaluation Package that lets you experience the power of CobolTransformer first hand.

Licensing & Pricing
How To Order CobolTransformer Toolkit.

Success Stories
Our satisfied customers talk about their experiences with CobolTransformer.


Detailed CobolTransformer Toolkit manual is available in Adobe PDF format. It is included with Trial Package of CobolTransformer Toolkit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. In what kind of applications CobolTransformer may be used?
A. Any application that needs to parse, transform and/or generate Cobol. Examples:
* Database conversion tool that migrates Cobol program from one database to another. The tool uses CobolTransformer to parse the program, then it performs a number of Cobol Program Tree transformations (tool-specific part), and finally it PrettyPrints or SourcePrints the resulting tree.
* Statistics and analysis tools. Example: a tool that finds all EXEC SQL statements and all data items used by these statements and prints them out.
* User Interface converters. For instance, a converter from IBM Cobol with IMS DC to MicroFocus Cobol with screen IO.

Q. How do I justify licensing of the CobolTransformer to the accounting?
A. Unlike other more modern languages, Cobol is a huge and complicated language. Therefore parsing and lexing Cobol is much more complicated than any other modern language. Compare: C grammar is about 500 lines, Cobol grammar is about 6,000 lines.
By our estimates, developing Cobol parser on your own will take anywhere from $200,000 to $600,000 depending on organization. Licensing CobolTransformer is much cheaper.

Q. What is the difference between Executable License and Library License?
* Call convention: in Executable License your program links in a small client and this client makes calls to CobolTransformer executable when parsing and pretty/source-printing. In Library License your program links in CobolTransformer library itself.
* Speed: Library License is somewhat faster, because it does not have to marshall/unmarshall Cobol Program Tree. Executable License has to perform marshalling and unmarshalling when parsing and pretty/source-printing.
* Licensing Enforcement: in Executable License CobolTransformer executable is "attached" to your computer using CrypKey floating license. That is, you can run one license only on one computer, not more. In Library License there is no technical enforcement of number of seats (but there is legal enforcement of License Agreement you sign with us).
* Source: you cannot get CobolTransformer source with Executable License. You can get it with Library License for an additional fee.

Q. Does the CobolTransformer run on my OS?
A. Most likely, yes. CobolTransformer was tested on a fairly wide range of operating systems and compilers. It does not use fancy new unsupported C++ features. This creates a reasonable expectation that CobolTransformer will compile and run on your system, or that we will spend less than a day to make it compile on your system. OSes tested:
Win 95, Win 98, Win NT4, Win 2000, Win XP.
Linux (Slakware and RedHat), SunOS, Solaris. C++ compilers tested:
Microsoft Visual C++ 4, 5, and 6.
GCC 2.7.2, EGCS.

Q. Do you provide technical support?
A. Yes, we provide free support for 6 months. Bug reports will be accepted after 6 months. It is possible to buy an extended technical support plan.

Q. Tell me more about the CobolTransformer Cobol parser.
A. It is written in BackTracking Yacc and C++. Lex is *not* used, lexer is written in C++. BackTracking Yacc is freely available from It is a regular Berkeley Yacc with modifications by Chris Dodd and by Vadim Maslov of Siber Systems. The most important improvement for us is that BtYacc may backtrack and thus parse languages that require lookahead of more than 1. Cobol is one of these languages.

Q. Do you fully implement COPY, REPLACE and -INC statements?
A. Yes. Unlike some other Cobol parsers out there, CobolTransformer fully implements COPY, REPLACE and -INC statements exactly at they are described in the standards. Specifically: - You can have multiple levels of COPY, REPLACE and -INC statements. - Word-part matching as well as whole word matching works to the spec.

Q. What if some of the copylibs/copybooks required by my Cobol program are missing? Will you still parse my program?
A. Yes. From the formal point of view, not having copylib file breaks the parsing process and most parsers just refuse to do anything useful if this happens. The CobolTransformer parser can recover from the missing copybook situation. Moreover, COPY statements are masqueraded into real statements and thus they can be carried thru the transformation and code generation process.

Q. How CobolTransformer is tested and validated?
A. CobolTransformer correctly parses all programs in CCVS -- Federal Cobol Compiler test suite by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Note: CobolTransformer was not formally submitted to NIST for testing, because it is not a full compiler. But we made sure that all the Cobol sources in CCVS are parsed and beautified correctly. Also CobolTransformer is regression-tested on millions of lines of Cobol code.

Q. Is it possible to add support for a Cobol dialect not currently supported by CobolTransformer? You support 15 Cobol dialects, but there are more dialects than that out there.
A. Most likely, yes. But it will not be free.

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