ABO and Enterprise COBOL


  1. How can ABO help me with COBOL migration?

    You can reduce the scope of COBOL migration by focusing on source code that are under active development. Use ABO to improve the performance of the modules that do not require recompilation.
    Watch the ABO overview video

  2. What performance improvements can I expect from ABO?

    You can enjoy the following benefits from ABO without any need for recompiling, code changes, or performance tuning. With ABO, you can make your project easier with a lower cost.
    • Reduced CPU consumption
    • Reduced processing time
    • Shortened batch window
  3. When should I consider using ABO?

    ABO can benefit you in the following cases:
    • Improving the performance of COBOL modules that are not regularly updated (usually about 80% of the total COBOL modules) and are not required to be migrated.
    • Improving the performance of COBOL modules whose source is not available.
    • Improving the performance of COBOL modules that are compiled from VS COBOL II 1.3 to the latest Enterprise COBOL. Migrating COBOL modules compiled with Enterprise COBOL 4 or earlier to Enterprise COBOL 6 usually requires tremendous migration effort and costs.
    • Utilizing the latest hardware features to improve application performance without having to migrate to Enterprise COBOL 6.
  4. Is it beneficial to use ABO if my COBOL modules are not compute intensive or if my COBOL modules are only a small portion of my overall modules?

    Yes. ABO can help reduce CPU usage for mixed applications; for example, COBOL/CICS. If there is processing that is handled by COBOL code, ABO can still make a difference, especially if the transaction is frequently executed. This is because although there might be only a small CPU reduction per transaction, it can accumulate to substantial savings over a longer period of time.

  5. Can ABO help me with modules compiled by Enterprise COBOL 5 or 6?

    Yes. ABO 2.2 extends eligibility to optimize Enterprise COBOL 5 and 6 modules. This means you don’t have to change your development process. You can continue to recompile code that is under active development and let ABO optimize code that you do not have plans to recompile.
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  6. How can ABO improve performance, given that the ABO optimization consumes a lot of CPU resources?

    Optimization is a CPU-intensive operation; however, ABO is used only once to optimize COBOL modules. The optimized modules can then be run repeatedly, reducing processing time and operating costs. Additionally, optimized modules can be deployed quickly with significantly less testing effort. Therefore, ABO optimization should be viewed as a one-time investment, and the return on investment (ROI) will become positive over a relatively short period.

  7. Can ABO reduce MLC costs?

    Yes, COBOL modules that are optimized by ABO consume fewer CPU resources. As a result, both MLC costs and processing time for business-critical applications can be reduced and the ROI from your IBM Z® hardware is improved.

  8. Can ABO help to avoid common Enterprise COBOL 6 migration pitfalls such as invalid data, uninitialized variables, and data item overpopulation?

    Yes. ABO directly optimizes COBOL modules and is not affected by any source-related issues. With ABO, you will not encounter issues such as invalid data, overpopulated data items, and parameter size mismatches. There is no need to fix the source before optimizing with ABO and deploying.

Relationship with Enterprise COBOL

  1. What is the difference between Enterprise COBOL and ABO?

    Enterprise COBOL is an optimizing compiler that takes in program source and produces COBOL modules. ABO is a binary optimizer. It takes in COBOL load modules and produces optimized modules, while maintaining the behaviors of the original modules.
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  2. Is ABO just the optimization phase of the Enterprise COBOL 6 compiler?

    No, although ABO and Enterprise COBOL 6 share the same optimization framework. ABO is a state-of-the-art optimization technology that directly optimizes compiled load modules. No compile step is required.
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  3. Should Enterprise COBOL and ABO be used together?

    Yes. Enterprise COBOL and ABO complement each other. Use Enterprise COBOL for new development, modernization, and maintenance. Use ABO to improve the performance of the modules that are not frequently updated or do not have a recompilation plan.
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