Functionality That Works Differently in Enterprise Developer

Some features of Mainframe Express work differently in Enterprise Developer or are superseded by features provided by the new IDE. The following list shows some of these differences:

Feature in Mainframe Express Feature in Enterprise Developer
Analysis Option Enterprise Developer offers integrated code analysis functionality.
AppMaster Builder (AMB) and Structured COBOL (S-COBOL) source code AppMaster Builder is integrated into Enterprise Developer for Eclipse. The functionality is available when you install the Micro Focus AppMaster Builder AddPack.

See AppMaster Builder in Eclipse IDE vs. AppMaster Builder in Mainframe Express IDE.

Automatic Catalog Import Available through the MFA Drag and Drop interface as well as the option to catalog from the command line. Data connect functionality is being checked.
CICS resource definitions You can reuse any existing CICS resource definitions in Enterprise Developer after performing a caspcupg operation.

The cut-down resource definition (PCT, FCT, PPT) are not supported.

Command line utility (MFECL) The equivalent to MFECL is not available in Enterprise Developer although command line options for much of the tooling is available. In addition you can use the standard facilities of the IDE. For example, in Visual Studio, you can use the MSBUILD utility to compile your sources, and PowerShell to manage solutions and projects. In Eclipse you can use Ant scripts to compile the code.

Mainframe Express provided integrated support for Easytrieve through an add-on option which allowed Easytrieve applications to be edited, compiled and tested within the Mainframe Express IDE.

Easytrieve is now available. Contact your Micro Focus SupportLine representative for more details.
Editor Autofix The editor in Enterprise Developer includes an AutoCorrect feature. Other editor features that can help increase your productivity in writing code are Content Assist proposals and code templates.
Interactive AMS Not available.

Enterprise Developer does not support the following IMS TM and communication features:

  • The IMS Message exit
  • The IMS MFS Display exit
  • The Mainframe Express IMS to CICS LU6.2 Bridge.
  • IMS86ALT

a collection of utilities to automatically compile downloaded source and provide reports on the outcome. These are part of Mainframe Express and Studio 6.0 (Net Express) and were developed for Windows.

Not available.

MFA Server A newer version of MFA Server is available with Enterprise Developer.
MFENTMAP, the Entry Point Mapping facility

Run-time system support for MFENTMAP is available and any existing configuration files will work.

Outline View

Enterprise Developer for Visual Studio displays the copybook dependencies of projects within Solution Explorer.

Enterprise Developer for Eclipse includes an Outline view that shows the program structure. Copybook dependencies are shown in the COBOL Explorer as well as in the Copybook Dependency view.


PL/I application development is a fully supported within Enterprise Developer and PL/I applications are supported using CICS, IMS or JCL.

The PL/I language (Micro Focus Open PL/I) is fully integrated into Eclipse and Visual Studio.

Regions Enterprise Developer provides support for full multi-tasking enterprise servers.
Source code control systems

Mainframe Express used the Microsoft Common Source Code Control (SCC) Interface to enable you to use the functions of a SCC-compliant source control manager with your IDE.

Enterprise Developer comes with an industry-standard integrated development environment (either Eclipse or Visual Studio) that provides access to any SCC tooling with the appropriate plug-in. For example:
  • Enterprise Developer provides integration with Micro Focus Enterprise Sync, a change management system for mainframe development.
  • Enterprise Developer provides integration with Endevor, a full function change control system for the mainframe with signout controls and extensive user customization.
  • In Visual Studio you can use the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS) plug-in or install VisualSVN in order to access sources from SVN.
  • A number of plugins are available for Eclipse that integrate the IDE with the version control system you are using - for example, subclipse for connecting to SVN, or eGIT for connecting to git.
Template projects In Enterprise Developer you can create templates from both projects and regions and distribute them to your developers.

With Enterprise Developer for Visual Studio, you can use the Visual Studio functionality to create custom project templates for COBOL applications. For more information, see the Visual Studio help.

To distribute projects created with Enterprise Developer for Eclipse, you need to copy the project folder in the workspace with all of the contents. The users that are going to use that project need to import it in their workspace.

Export and import commands for regions are available from Server Explorer inside the IDE.

Third party preprocessors You can embed Third Party preprocessors in Enterprise Developer. The process involves creating registry entries similarly to how this was done in Mainframe Express.

You can then enable the third party preprocessors in your projects's properties (on the Preprocessors tab in the properties of Visual Studio projects and in Micro Focus > Project Settings > COBOL > Additional Preprocessors for Eclipse projects). If a preprocessor is installed, select it from the drop-down list. Otherwise, check Use additional preprocessor and directives and use the PREPROCESS Compiler directive to refer to the preprocessor.

Syntax checking is supported for ECMs and for COBSQL.

Time-Sharing Option (TSO)

Mainframe Express supported the use of TSO commands, CLISTs and REXX execs, which could be run in TSO interactive (or foreground) sessions or in TSO batch (or background) sessions, using the IDAEFT01 (IKJEFF01) utility.

Enterprise Developer supports TSO batch (IKJEFTxx).

You can emulate TSO interactive in Enterprise Developer for Eclipse. To do this, you need to use AWM to model an action calling a tool from the ISPF function package. This action would accept a REXX procedure or some CLIST plus parameters and execute them as a TSO batch job or online in the server.


A screencapture utility that was supplied with some versions of Mainframe Express.

You can now use the products from the Micro Focus Silk portfolio.
Workgrouping Workgrouping behavior can be emulated in Enterprise Developer for Eclipse through the use of dependency folders configuration and configuring the loadlib paths for Enterprise Server. See Emulating workgroups in Eclipse.
XDB tooling The XDB tools are available from the Start menu group for Enterprise Developer or from the start screen (on some Windows versions).

In Visual Studio, access the XDB tools from Tools > Options > SQL Option for DB2.

In Eclipse, to access the XDB tools, click Run > Tools > SQL Option for DB2.

To use XDB in your projects, set XDB as the precompiler in the projects' properties in order to view a list of the available XDB directives.