Personal Edition Visual Cobol 2017

Is there a personal edition of Visual COBOL 2017 ???

  • Verified Answer

    There currently is not a Visual COBOL for Visual Studio 2017 PE product available but our intention is to make one available once the VC 3.0 product has gone GA. The current product version for Visual Studio 2017 is a Technical Preview product which is a prerelease of the 3.0 product that can be evaluated for 60 days.
  • Chris, I assume the PE means Personal Edition. I don't know what GA means. Regardless, from what you have stated that seems to explain why I can't get Visual COBOL to show up as an option in MS Visual Studio. Is that correct?
  • In this thread your question was specific to the existence of the PE version of Visual COBOL for VS2017. PE does stand for Personal Edition. Visual COBOL PE is the free educational version of Visual COBOL that can be used for academic purposes but not actual development for production level systems. The latest PE product version is Visual COBOL 2.3 PE for Visual Studio 2015. This can be downloaded from the web site and is a different product than the Visual COBOL for Visual Studio 2017 Developer Preview product that you are currently trying to install.

    GA means General Availability. The VC 3.0 for VS2017 product will not be GA until later in the summer. The product you have downloaded is a prerelease of that product.

    I believe that the first thing we need to find out is which product do you actually require? If you are looking for an academic product with which you can learn COBOL then I would recommend that you download the current Visual COBOL PE for Visual Studio 2015 product and use that. For that version you will have to download and install one of the professional versions of Visual Studio 2015 or the Community Edition from Microsoft and then install Visual COBOL PE into that.

    If you wish to take a look at the latest offering of Visual Studio 2017 then we can continue to loom at why this install is failing on your system.

    In my testing I have found that it is best to install Visual Studio 2017 Community version using the default settings first and then go back and select any additional components like C , C#, ASP.NET afterwards.

    Visual COBOL will work fine for native and managed COBOL projects using just the defaults.
    You could also follow the instructions in the Release Notes for installing the Visual COBOL package using the MFVSIXINSTALL utility:

    Installing Visual COBOL into Several Editions of Visual Studio 2017

    The different editions of Visual Studio 2017, Professional, Enterprise or Community Edition, can all co-exist
    on the same machine. When installing Visual COBOL, the setup file installs it into any edition of Visual
    Studio 2017 installed on the machine.
    If, after Visual COBOL is installed, you install a different edition of Visual Studio 2017, you can use the
    MFVSIXINSTALL utility to plug Visual COBOL into that edition.

    To install Visual COBOL in all editions of Visual Studio 2017:
    1. Locate MFVSIXInstall.exe in %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Micro Focus\Visual COBOL\vsix.
    2. Run MFVSIXInstall.exe.
    This starts the VSIX Installer utility that will install all the required components into the existing editions
    of Visual Studio 2017.
    3. Click Modify in the VSIX Installer dialog box to start the installation.
    4. Click Close when the installation is completed.
    You can execute MFVSIXInstall.exe from the command line with different parameters. For example, to
    uninstall Visual COBOL from all editions of Visual Studio, execute MFVSIXInstall -u.
  • I really only need something to practice and de-rust my COBOL skills and having a nice IDE on the PC would be great as I no longer have access to a mainframe. So from what you have written Chris, I suspect that VS 2015 and Visual COBOL PE for VS 2015 is all I need. I hope that I can then upgrade when the 2017 version comes out. But I wonder if that will cost me twice. I have no idea what the price is for VISUAL COBOL PE.
  • Visual COBOL Personal Edition is free as it is a learning tool. You can download a copy from and the license will be good for a year at which point you can download the latest version.

    The PE product has a limitation of 2200 source lines per program and you cannot deploy your built applications into production. If you require a fully licensed copy of Visual COBOL then you should contact your local Micro Focus Account Manager.
  • I finally got Visual COBOL Personal Edition downloaded after a painful process and and need the MS Visual Studio 2015. Which I am attempting to get now. But when I get to the web side to down load it there are Visual Studio 2015 Update 3, Visual Studio Enterprise 2015 with Update 3, and lastly Visual Studio Professional 2015 with Update 3. Not knowing if
    Visual Studio 2015 Update 3' is just an update or what I need I will choose it and see what happens.
  • Well that did not help. I got another page of 26 possible downloads, non of which look like just Visual Studio 2015.
  • Microsoft does not make it easy to download older versions of a product once they have delivered a newer version unless you have a MSDN subscription.

    You can download the VS2015 Community Edition from the following link:

    After you install this you can apply the VS2015 Update 3 to it to bring it up-to-date.
  • Chris, your help so valuable. From that link I did get Visual Studio 2015 and it did install though there is two notifications. 'Microsoft SQL Server Datat Toots Update' is available and 'Microsoft Azure SDK 2.9.6' is available. I don't know if I care or not. As to the 'VS2015 Update 3' I was able to go to
    and from there clicked on Visual Studio Update 3
    That took me to a page with 26 things I could download. One of them was 'Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 (x86 and x64) - Web Installer (Multiple Languages)
    But off to the right it has a message 'There is no subscription associated with your Microsoft Account. Add a subscription to this account'
    To make a long story short that leads off to a place that "if I were an MSDN download subscriber ' I could down load it. But I never really get to a place where I can be a MSDN subscriber, just a place to download and pay for the pro version of MS Visual Studio for over $2000. So I think I am stuck getting that update.
  • Well that was chasing a rabbit down a whole. I has a suspicion that MS would not have non updated versions to down load. So I brought it up and whet to Help and then About. Sure enough, it is version 14.025431.01 Update 3.

    So I think I am all good to go and I do notice that now when I go to open a new project that COBOL is now an option.

    Again thanks to all and a big thanks to Chris.