In all the excitement, I almost missed the anniversary of the launch of Visual COBOL 1 year ago yesterday.
Soma sums up all the changes in Visual Studio in his great blog post. Visual COBOL has had an amazing year as well - more releases in a year that Micro Focus had ever made before. A few quick highlights:
12 Apr 2010: Product available on launch day, Micro Focus were the only language vendor to participate in both main launch events in Bangalore and Las Vegas. Although the event was memorable in itself, sadly the Icelandic ash cloud and delayed returns from the events took the edge off the celebrations.
31 Jul 2010: Visual COBOL R2 launched. Building on the "Deliver early, deliver often" approach this was a relatively small update but included important new functionality including the start of XML support and, most importantly, inclusion of the OpenESQL relational database tools. It also became the base for the ground-breaking "CICS for .NET" support in Studio Enterprise Edition v6.0 SP1.
20 Jan 2011: Although the release was completed before the holiday break, January saw the official launch of Visual COBOL R3 - by far the biggest update since the initial launch. This release introduced support for the Eclipse IDE, UNIX & Linux platforms, Azure deployments, SQL Server stored procedures, compatibility with ACUCOBOL extend and, most importantly, the first COBOL that compiles existing code directly to Java style .class files. Worldwide launch events saw hundreds of customers visiting Micro Focus offices to get their hands on the product and meet its developers. Industry analyst and press reception was overwhelming positive as has been the reaction from its users.
What's next? 2011 is going to be another big year for Visual COBOL. May will see the next update with further language innovation, support for RM COBOL applications, further ACUCOBOL support and much more. Further releases for later in the year and into 2012 are being planned.
If you haven't tried Visual COBOL yet, now's the time to get going and we look forward to celebrating the second birthday and I'm sure there's going to be plenty to talk about at the party!