COBOL.NET Describe in detail

A few years ago Micro Focus brought out a COBOL .NET compiler that allows you to run COBOL applications on a CLR back-end. You can compile any of the supported dialects and it will run all of the legacy emulation functions. This allows you to put a GUI or web front-end (or a web services layer) on an existing COBOL application, preserving your investment in the existing code base. The front-end can be written with pretty much any development tool that supports the CLR. You want to use C#/Windows Forms, MS Workflow Foundation, SSIS, IronPython, ASP.NET or SQL Server CLR integration with your COBOL back end - knock yourself out.

As such, it's often a very attractive alternative to a complete re-write and migration of a legacy application.

This type of work accounts for quite a bit of their business, but there are still niches where COBOL actually does quite a good job in its own right. For many large batch jobs opening a record-oriented file and processing it procedurally is a good paradigm to get an application that is simple, understandable and fast. I once read a posting (on Slashdot IIRC) where someone was talking about a COBOL application that read in a 35GB file of credit card refunds and processed it every hour. That was posted quite a long time ago, sometime in the 1990s - at a time when 35GB was considerably larger than the disk capacity of most PCs