Visual Cobol runtime and MF Cobol Server


Althought I'm a programmer, I'm new to the whole cobol world. So please excuse me if my questions sound stupid. I'm having a hard time finding the documents that I need, because I'm unfamiliar with the terms that are used with Cobol programming.

My or rather my employers situation is like this: we essentially have a website that runs on Cobol programs compiled as .exes. These programs are made with .net express 5.1 and we are now trying to migrate to Vsual Cobol, for it's SQL database connector support.

So whats bothering me is:

  • Does the visual cobol runtime need MF server installed for it to work
  • Are .net express 5.1 compiled exes compatible with with visual cobol runtime
  • Are the global variables/settings, that affect for example file sharing and file handler, global system (windows/unix) variables or are they in the MF Server or runtime.


  • Verified Answer

    Answers to your questions:

    Visual COBOL is the development product which provides for the compiler product running in Visual Studio. COBOL Server is the production product which provides all neccessary run-time and licensing components so that you can run the applications that you have developed with Visual COBOL on a non-development computer. So yes, COBOL Server must be installed in order to run your applications on a computer on which Visual COBOL is not installed.

    This same requirement was with Net Express only the production run-time product is called Application Server or Server for COBOL depending on the version you are using.

    Net Express 5.1 executables are NOT compatible with the Visual COBOL run-time. You must recompile them using Visual COBOL.

    It sounds as if you are creating CGI executables in NX 5.1.

    This is also supported in Visual COBOL, see here, although the Form Designer itself (in NX) is not part of Visual COBOL.

    The file handler configuration options are set in a text file called extfh.cfg.
    This file is then pointed to by setting the environment variable EXTFH to point to the location of this file.
    The options in extfh.cfg will then be read at run-time and used by the file handler.

    This is covered here:


  • It seems the "Cobol Runtime 2010" we got as a trial is the wrong product all together. I've been trying to integrate it to your existing MF server 5.1, only to find out from Visual Cobol 2.1 release .pdf, that it's integrated into "Micro Focus COBOL Server".

    It has occurred to me, that even MF employees are so confused with the product family, that they are unable to provide my company the proper software from the get go. Why do I say this ? I've been trying to migrate out project to Visual Cobol, only to find that the product trials I've been given are obsolete. I've been through 3 visual studio packages (1st one I got was 2008), 2 eclipse packages and now these server products.