What’s new in Visual COBOL for Visual Studio 2.2?

Micro Focus Frequent Contributor
Micro Focus Frequent Contributor
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On 15th November 2013 Micro Focus released the 2.2 version of Visual COBOL and Enterprise Developer. We’ve added lots of great new features that we hope you’ll like. Let's take a look at just a few…

Expanded Copybook View

This much requested feature allows you to show copybooks inline in a COBOL source file in the Visual Studio editor.

Here is a COBOL source file before expanding any copybooks

Now after selecting the editor option to “Show all Copybooks”, the copybooks are shown inline…

The editor options for showing and hiding copybooks are available on the right-click context menu. (There are also keyboard shortcuts available.)

You’ll notice that the copy…replacing copybook is shown with a yellow background, which indicates that it is read-only, because it is displayed with replaced values. The others (with the white background) are read-write.

This will be familiar to you if you’re coming from Net Express.

This feature has been released as a “technical preview” in 2.2 because it is currently only supported in the editor. Debug support is currently under development and will be available in an Update.

(NB This feature is not available in VS2010.)

COBOL Smart Edit

Again, if you’re coming from Net Express, this will be familiar. The COBOL Visual Studio editor honours COBOL source formats. For example, if you type on the line after the main section in the example below, the right-hand margin text will remain untouched. Another example - if you press the <return> key when in the right-hand margin, you will be moved to column 73 of the next line.

Copybook Dependency View

In 2.2 you can see dependent copybooks in a tree view in Solution Explorer.

(NB This feature is not available in VS2010.)

Error icons in Solution Explorer

I’ve added a typo to ws.cpy in the example above… you can see that we now show an error icon on ws.cpy in Solution Explorer and this error icon has rolled up to its parent program, which makes error navigation much easier.

Error Output

Related to error icons - if you have a build error in a copybook, the parent COBOL program name will now be shown in the error window. If you double-click the error, you will be positioned at the error location in the editor, if in a copybook, it will be opened inline.

Virtual View

There are built-in filters in Solution Explorer which group files into virtual groups for COBOL Source and Copybooks. You can also add your own filters.

With filtering off, our example in Solution Explorer shows a project containing files :

With filtering on, the COBOL Source and Copybooks are grouped together:


Many more features and enhancements have been added in this new release such as improved background parse performance, Quick Browse support, Is Used By copybook support, Multi-Output Managed projects, SOA support, Visual COBOL for Visual Studio 2013 tech preview, DS painter support in the Compatibility Addpack.

Please let me know if you would like any more information on any of these areas and we will happily blog on requested areas.

Product information : There are 2 Visual COBOL & Enterprise Developer products available for Visual Studio - Visual COBOL for Visual Studio 2010 & Visual COBOL for Visual Studio 2012; Enterprise Developer for Visual Studio 2010 & Enterprise Developer for Visual Studio 2012. There is also a technical preview product : Visual COBOL for Visual Studio 2013 (it will be a full release product in a 2.2 Update).

All new features are available in all products except where we have taken advantage of new framework features that are not available in Visual Studio 2010. These features are Expanded Copybook View and Copybook Dependency View.



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