Backward Compatibility with Earlier Micro Focus Products

COBOL applications developed and built using previous Micro Focus products can be developed and built with Enterprise Developer. However, there are some differences in behavior and in terminology.

Executables requiring recompilation

If you are on the AIX platform, due to an internal change in version 2.0 of your product, you must recompile and/or relink your programs compiled prior to this version, to make them compatible with this run-time system.

Terminfo files

The following terminfo files have been removed:

  • AT&T
    • att605
    • tty5420
  • IBM
    • ibm3151
  • Qume
    • qvt102
  • Wyse
    • wy120
    • wy120-25
    • wy50
    • wy60
    • wy60-w
    • wy75
    • wy85

Diagnostic tools

The FaultFinder tool has been removed from the current version of Enterprise Developer. This includes the removal of the following tunables:

  • faultfind_level
  • faultfind_outfile
  • faultfind_recsize
  • faultfind_config
  • faultfind_cache_enable

You should either remove these tunables from your application or set the tunable cobconfig_error_report=false in your configuration file.

You should also remove any calls to the library routine CBL_FFND_REPORT, as this now produces a COBRT107 Operation not implemented in this run-time system (fatal) error.

Backward Compatibility with Studio Enterprise Edition

File Control Description (FCD)
The FCD format for file handling operations in 32-bit applications defaults to FCD3 in Enterprise Developer; in Studio Enterprise Edition, it defaulted to FCD2.
Copybook name changes
A number of COBOL copybook files that were part of Studio Enterprise Edition had names in uppercase, whereas, in Enterprise Developer, most copybooks are provided with lowercase names.


If your code refers to any of these files in uppercase, and you are compiling with Enterprise Developer on UNIX, this may result in the code failing to compile, because it cannot locate the copybooks.

You can work around this issue in on of the following ways:

  1. Change the names of the copybooks referred to from your code to lowercase.
  2. Create copies of the copybooks, and save them with uppercase names.
  3. Set up symbolic links to point the uppercase names to their lowercase equivalents as follows:
    1. Create a script file,, which creates symbolic links for the above copybooks.
    2. Paste the following contents into the file:
      ln -s dfhafcd.cpy   DFHAFCD.CPY
      ln -s idaddsa.cpy   IDADDSA.CPY
      ln -s idadtca.cpy   IDADTCA.CPY
      ln -s idas99rb.cpy  IDAS99RB.CPY
      ln -s idas99tu.cpy  IDAS99TU.CPY
      ln -s ieesmca.cpy   IEESMCA.CPY
      ln -s iefjfcbn.cpy  IEFJFCBN.CPY
      ln -s iefjssib.cpy  IEFJSSIB.CPY
      ln -s ieftiot1.cpy  IEFTIOT1.CPY
      ln -s iezjscb.cpy   IEZJSCB.CPY
      ln -s ihaacee.cpy   IHAACEE.CPY
      ln -s ihaascb.cpy   IHAASCB.CPY
      ln -s ihaasvt.cpy   IHAASVT.CPY
      ln -s ihaasxb.cpy   IHAASXB.CPY
      ln -s ihacde.cpy    IHACDE.CPY
      ln -s ihapsa.cpy    IHAPSA.CPY
      ln -s ikjtcb.cpy    IKJTCB.CPY
      ln -s mfjctlbc.cpy  MFJCTLBC.CPY
      ln -s mfjdcusr.cpy  MFJDCUSR.CPY
      ln -s mfjdsxit.cpy  MFJDSXIT.CPY
      ln -s mfjdxit.cpy   MFJDXIT.CPY
      ln -s mvsfindm.cpy  MVSFINDM.CPY
      ln -s mvsgetct.cpy  MVSGETCT.CPY
      ln -s spoolhk.cpy   SPOOLHK.CPY
    3. As superuser, execute the script in the folder which contains the copybooks ($COBDIR/cpylib).

Backward Compatibility with Earlier Versions of Enterprise Developer

File Locking
In versions prior to Enterprise Developer 2.3, the semantics of the sharing phrase specified in an OPEN statement or used within a call to CBL_OPEN_FILE were not correctly applied in some cases on UNIX and Linux platforms. From version 2.3 onwards, the sharing phrase is correctly honored when the tunable strict_file_locking=true is set, which is the default setting.
Example of potential changes in behavior:
  • Process-A opens a file with read-only access and a sharing mode that denies other processes write access (SHARING WITH READ ONLY).
  • Process-B then attempts to open the file with read-only access and a sharing mode that denies other processes read access (SHARING WITH NO OTHER).
With strict_file_locking=true, Process-B is unable to open the file, because Process-A has successfully opened the file allowing only read access.

With strict_file_locking=false, Process-B successfully opens the file.

If your application encounters unexpected OPEN conditions or fails to open files, it might be as a result of the new file locking behavior. In such circumstances, we recommend that you review the file locking and sharing requirements of your application and refactor your source code to work with the default setting. The original file locking and sharing behavior can be restored by setting strict_file_locking=false.
Updated run-time system

Enterprise Server now provides an execution environment capable of running applications that were each built using different development products. A consequence of this is that If your application has a main COBOL executable (.exe) that was built with a version of Enterprise Developer prior to version 2.3, you should ensure that the executable is rebuilt and packaged with the new run-time system. This does not affect mainframe subsystem projects deployed to Enterprise Server. You can rebuild from the IDE or the command line.

Other COBOL subprograms built with previous versions of Enterprise Developer are not required to be rebuilt.

Enterprise Developer for Eclipse now ships with Eclipse 4.4 (Luna). A consequence of this is that if your application contains JVM COBOL code that was built with a version of Enterprise Developer prior to version 2.3, those parts of your application must be rebuilt; otherwise you will experience errors at either compilation or run time.
Casspool recovery
Following the detection of an unrecoverable file status error on the casspool file, a message is displayed on the console and an ACCEPT statement is issued. This stops processing, allowing you to fix the underlying file problem, before continuing the job.
Casspool performance enhancement
As part of an enhancement to improve performance when browsing the spool queue of an Enterprise Server, you must update the casspool file for any Enterprise Server created before Enterprise Developer 2.2 Update 1 before you can submit jobs to it.
To update the casspool for each Enterprise Server, from a command prompt, run fixcasspool.bat (Windows) or (UNIX), located in %COBDIR%\bin and %COBDIR%\bin64 (Windows) or $COBDIR\bin (UNIX), using the following syntax:
fixcasspool.bat casspool.dat backup.dat

or casspool.dat backup.dat
The spool file, located in the same directory as the Enterprise Server's system catalog, that will be updated.
A file that will be created with a backup of the old casspool.dat file. If backup.dat already exists, the update is not run.

If you do not update casspool and attempt to start Enterprise Server, the following messages are displayed in the console:

JES000011E Batch Spool File Error; Status [39]

JES000130E Note JES000011 Error - New casspool indexes may need generating. See error description in product docs

ACUCOBOL-GT and RM/COBOL file handling under Enterprise Server
Two file handling configuration options have been introduced that enable or disable all types of file handling for ACUCOBOL-GT and RM/COBOL data files.
ACUFH has overall control, but is enabled by default, which means that there should be no change in behavior when handling files when not running under enterprise server. However, ESACUFH enables and disables file handling of these types under enterprise server, and is disabled by default. To continue handling ACUCOBOL-GT and RM/COBOL data files, ensure both options are enabled in your file handling configuration file.
Using parentheses in member reference
In managed COBOL syntax, you may only use parentheses when referencing methods. You can no longer specify parentheses when referencing fields or properties, as this will produce a syntax error.

For example:

set intLength to testString::Length()

must change to:

set intLength to testString::Length
Calling program search order
In previous versions of Enterprise Developer (and earlier Micro Focus products) you could use a run-time tunable to define a specific order in which the run-time system searches for called sub-programs. Due to changes in the run-time system, there is only one viable specific search order, and therefore the tunable is no longer available; remove the tunable from any configuration you have set. The default (and only) order used is:
  • If the sub-program is already loaded, or is statically linked, it is located and the search ends.
  • On UNIX platforms, if you are calling shared objects (.so), without a specific path, the LD_LIBRARY_PATH or LIBPATH environment variable is searched.
  • If COBPATH is set, the list of paths in the variable are searched, in order; if COBPATH is not set, the current directory is searched.
  • On Windows platforms, if you are calling shared objects (.so), without a specific path, the LD_LIBRARY_PATH or LIBPATH environment variable is searched.
  • The path of the calling program is searched.

If the sub-program cannot be located using one of the above methods, a run-time error is produced.

Calling RM/COBOL compatible library routines
Previously, to call an RM/COBOL compatible library routine, you had to set the DIALECT"RM" Compiler directive, which ensured the correct call-convention was used. To set this functionality now, you must explicitly use the correct call-convention in the CALL statement.
If your code specifies the ACUFH parameter, it may now produce adverse effects when used. You should replace it with the methods described in Configuring Access to Vision Data Files or Configuring Access to RM/COBOL Data Files. Both of these methods offer a fuller-functioning solution to handling these types of data files.
DIALECT"RM" now sets PERFORM-TYPE"RM". If you recompile an application that uses DIALECT"RM", the behavior may change for nested PERFORM statements. If that is the case, explicitly set PERFORM-TYPE"MF" after DIALECT"RM" to continue with the previous behavior.
This Compiler directive is no longer available in Enterprise Developer. Remove it from your code, otherwise you receive a COBCH0053 Directive invalid or not allowed here error.
Previously, you could specify .jar files and other formats as a parameter when using this Compiler directive. Now, you can only specify .class files.
If you set this Compiler directive using the $set command, the imported namespace is only applicable to programs, classes and referenced copybooks in that file. If you set the directive through the IDE or from the command line, the imported namespace is applicable to all programs and classes in the project or specified on the command line.
Note: This is applicable to JVM COBOL only.
This Compiler directive now controls how the following items are exposed in Java:
  • Data items of type DECIMAL
  • Non-integral data items exposed as the result of ILSMARTLINKAGE
  • Non-integral data items exposed as the result of a PROPERTY keyword
Previously, these items would each be exposed as a ScaledInteger, which is still possible using JVMDECIMAL, but the directive's default is to expose each item as a BigDecimal.
Compatible ACUCOBOL-GT file handling environment variables
The following environment variables, introduced for ACUCOBOL-GT compatibility, have been replaced with other environment variables or configuration options that you add to your File Handler configuration file. No other ACUCOBOL-GT file handling environment variables are supported.
Redundant variable Replaced with
FILE_CASE FILECASE configuration option
FILE_PREFIX COBDATA environment variable
FILE_SUFFIX FILESUFFIX configuration option

Setting these environment variables will have no effect.

Open PL/I Compiler
Important: If you are installing this release as an upgrade to Enterprise Developer 2.2 Update 1, after the upgrade you must rebuild any applications that are compiled using the –zp1 option.

The behavior of the –zp1 option has been reverted to that of versions of Enterprise Developer earlier than 2.2 Update 1, with an additional correction relating to Char Varying data items.

The behavior has been restored to that in Enterprise Developer versions earlier than 2.2 where, when compiling with –zp1, all parameters are treated as unaligned. (In Enterprise Developer 2.2 Update 1, the behavior when compiling with –zp1 was to not treat parameters as if unaligned).

When using the –zp1 compiler option, all Character Varying data items are now treated as if unaligned. In previous versions of Open PL/I, for Character Varying data items, the –zp1 unaligned requirement was applied only to structure members and parameters.

To illustrate the change, consider the following example:

zptest: proc options(main); 
   dcl 1 st1, 
     2 c char, 
     2 x(4) char(7) var init ('a', 'xx', 'yyy', 'zzzz'); 
   dcl y(4) char(7) var init ('a', 'xx', 'yyy', 'zzzz'); 
   dcl sub entry ((4) char(7) var); 
   call sub (x); 
   call sub (y); 
sub: proc (z); 
   dcl z(4) char(7) var; 
   dcl i fixed bin(31); 
  do i = 1 to hbound(z); 
      z(i)  = 'x'; 


  • For x and z, each char (7) var item is 7 plus 2 bytes which equals 9 and then multiplied by 4 equals 36.
  • If y were aligned on half-word by default, each array element is half-word aligned and each equals 10 bytes (9 + 1 pad byte), and the total size equals 40 bytes.
  • At call sub (x), the calling argument and parameter are matched.
  • At the call sub (y), the y element size (10 bytes) is mismatched against the parameter z element size (9 bytes) due to –zp1. This is incorrect and causes unexpected program behavior.

Due to this correction of treating all Char Varying data items as if unaligned when using –zp1, the size of CHAR VARYING arrays now differs from previous versions of Open-PL/I. For example:

   dcl X(4) char(7) var; 
   Put skip list (size(X))  /* size is 36 bytes vs. 40 bytes in previous versions of Open-PL1 */ 

Backward Compatibility with the Net Express and Mainframe Express IDE

The main differences between the Net Express, Mainframe Express and Eclipse IDEs are:

  • Perspectives. The Team Developer perspective shows the views and menus relevant to COBOL and PL/I development, such as the Team Developer Tree view, Program Outline, Outline and Console views. There are other perspectives for Debugging, the Interface Mapper and CTF.
  • Project > Build automatically. Whenever changes to a resource are saved, an incremental build starts, which rebuilds all the resources modified since the last build. You can force a rebuild by using Project > Clean.
  • Build settings. These are available in three places:
    • Project > Properties > Micro Focus > Project Settings. You can specify any additional directives to be passed to the compiler at build time. These settings do not depend on the active build configuration and are always passed to the compiler.
    • Project > Properties > Micro Focus > Build Configurations. You can have multiple build configurations for different build scenarios and swap between them. You choose the configuration you want to use, by setting it as the current active configuration. This then overrides the project language settings.
    • Properties on the context menu for a single file. To set this, right-click the COBOL file in the Team Developer Tree view. The settings are specifically for this file and they override the currently active build configuration and the Project Language Settings.
  • Debug and run configurations. You need one of these before you can debug or run a program. They are available from:
    • Project > Properties > Micro Focus > Run-time Configuration. These are the run-time settings for this project, such as run-time arguments, run-time tunables, COBOL switches and so on.
    • Run > Debug Configurations. Like build configurations, you can have multiple debug configurations and swap between them. These override the project run-time configuration.
    • Run > Run Configurations. These behave in the same way as debug configurations, but provide slightly different options.
  • Cheat sheets. These are like tutorials and give step-by-step instructions on how to do a task, together with brief explanations. See Help > Cheat Sheets > COBOL Development. There are cheat sheets to:
    • Create a project to say "Hello COBOL World".
    • Import existing COBOL files into Eclipse
    • Debug a program

Changes in some options and files delivered with the product include:

In earlier Micro Focus products, the default location for the ADISCTRL file was $COBDIR. The default location of the file in Enterprise Developer is $COBDIR/etc.
Default working mode
In Server Express and in versions of Visual COBOL R4 and earlier, the default working mode set by the COBMODE environment variable was 32-bit. With the current release of Visual COBOL and Enterprise Developer, it is 64-bit.
Format of the index files
In Net Express and Server Express, the default setting of the IDXFORMAT option was 4. With the current release of Enterprise Developer, it is 8.
FILEMAXSIZE File Handler configuration option

In Net Express and Server Express, the default setting for FILEMAXSIZE was 4. With the current release of Enterprise Developer, it is 8.

Coexisting with Earlier Micro Focus Products

Run-time system error due to COBCONFIG
A run-time system error occurs if either the COBCONFIG or COBCONFIG_ environment variable is set when you run Enterprise Developer applications or when you use Enterprise Developer to edit or create projects and the configuration file it refers to contains entries that are not valid for Enterprise Developer.

For example, this might happen if you have Net Express or Studio Enterprise Edition installed and either COBCONFIG or COBCONFIG_ is set for it.

To work around this issue, ensure that Enterprise Developer is not running and then modify the configuration file by doing one of the following:

  • If the invalid tunable is not needed by another application, remove it from the run-time configuration file.
  • Add the following as the first line in the configuration file:
    set cobconfig_error_report=false
  • Unset COBCONFIG (or COBCONFIG_) or set it to another configuration file that does not contain the invalid tunable for the particular session you are running in.
Licensing error due to environment settings (applies to Windows environments only)
The message "Micro Focus License Manager service is not running" can occur when you invoke a Net Express, Mainframe Express or Studio Enterprise Edition utility from Enterprise Developer. This happens when the tool is invoked with Enterprise Developer environment settings while it requires the Net Express or Studio Enterprise Edition ones.

This happens when you edit files such as .dat that have a file association with Net Express or Studio Enterprise Edition.