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Cadet 1st Class
Cadet 1st Class

What is best way to convert text/text file to json?

We are using visual cobol 2.3, framework 4.5. I need to send out a json file. We don't currently work with json so I am not sure what I am doing. I seen there is a json generate statement in cobol upgrades, but upgrading is not an option for us right now. I guess I envision this to have a text file that we would run a program over to convert to json.  How would the text file need set up? What statements/libraries would be needed? Thanks!

2 Replies
Micro Focus Expert
Micro Focus Expert


As you mentioned Framework 4.5 am I correct in thinking that you are working with a .NET application ? If you are, an option would be to try using Json.NET.

Micro Focus Frequent Contributor
Micro Focus Frequent Contributor



Have you considered using jq?


To transform a text file into a json file.




This has a download for windows.


This is an example jq script.

<>> texttojson.jq

# run this command with input from hostnamectl
# hostnamectl | jq -n -R -f texttojson.jq
# or add jq json query
# hostnamectl | jq -n -R -f texttojson.jq | jq .thiscomputer.hostnamectl["\"CPE OS Name\""]
# "cpe:/o:redhat:enterprise_linux:8.2:GA"
# or using textfile input
# hostnamectl >hostnamectl.txt
# jq -n -R -f texttojson.jq hostnamectl.txt >texttojson.json
# jq .thiscomputer.hostnamectl["\"CPE OS Name\""] texttojson.json
# "cpe:/o:redhat:enterprise_linux:8.2:GA"
    {"hostnamectl": [ inputs
                    | gsub("^\\s+|\\s+$";"")
                    | split(": ")
                    | {(.[0]): .[1]}
      | add


Turns this text output, from the unix hostnamectl command


$ hostnamectl
   Static hostname: tonyt-rhel8-01.microfocus.aws.lab
         Icon name: computer-vm
           Chassis: vm
        Machine ID: 34de6610bf0046b399122b1892d203b1
           Boot ID: 8e606f7c2298409db868254128bdf606
    Virtualization: xen
  Operating System: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 (Ootpa)
       CPE OS Name: cpe:/o:redhat:enterprise_linux:8.2:GA
            Kernel: Linux 4.18.0-193.el8.x86_64
      Architecture: x86-64


Into this, using this command

$ hostnamectl | jq -n -R -f texttojson.jq
  "thiscomputer": {
    "hostnamectl": {
      "Static hostname": "tonyt-rhel8-01.microfocus.aws.lab",
      "Icon name": "computer-vm",
      "Chassis": "vm",
      "Machine ID": "34de6610bf0046b399122b1892d203b1",
      "Boot ID": "8e606f7c2298409db868254128bdf606",
      "Virtualization": "xen",
      "Operating System": "Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 (Ootpa)",
      "CPE OS Name": "cpe:/o:redhat:enterprise_linux:8.2:GA",
      "Kernel": "Linux 4.18.0-193.el8.x86_64",
      "Architecture": "x86-64"


The thing that does the main work is the split(“: “)


You could comment delimit the file output by cobol and use split(“, “)


Once you have many json files you can use jq to mangle/merge them together it is very powerful.


Further reading




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