Differences between Mainframe Express and Enterprise Developer

A number of Mainframe Express features and technologies are not supported in Enterprise Developer or are superseded by features provided by the new IDEs. The following list shows some of these differences:

Feature in Mainframe Express Feature in Enterprise Developer
Analysis Option Now available as a separate product, Micro Focus Enterprise Analyzer, which is part of the Micro Focus Enterprise product set.
AppMaster Builder (AMB) Available as an AddPack for the Eclipse-based Enterprise Developer. Within the product, AppMaster Builder projects are available from the AppMaster Builder Perspective.
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 the CICS resource definition files in Enterprise Developer after performing caspcupg. 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 Mqainframe Express IDE.

Not yet available. Micro Focus is investigating how to provide this functionality in Enterprise Developer.
Editor Autofix Not available.
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 You need to update it to the version of MFA server that is supplied 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 Eclipse 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.

Regions Enterprise Developer provides support for full multi-tasking enterprise servers.
Structured COBOL (S-COBOL) source code To upgrade applications that were created with AppMaster Builder you need to install the AppMaster Builder AddPack alongside Enterprise Developer for Eclipse. See Upgrading from AppMaster Builder in Mainframe Express for more details.
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 come with standard IDEs that provide access to any SCC tooling with the appropriate plug-in. For example, in Enterprise Developer for Visual Studio you can use the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS) plug-in or install VisualSVN to be able to access your sources from SVN.

You can install various plugins with Enterprise Developer for Eclipse that provide integration of 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 The way to create template projects is different depending on what IDE you use Enterprise Developer with.

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.

Third party preprocessors

Syntax checking is supported for ECMs and for COBSQL.

In Enterprise Developer for Eclipse, to use third party preprocessors or ones you have created yourself, open the project's properties dialog box and select Micro Focus > Project Settings > COBOL > Additional Preprocessors. If you have a preprocessor currently installed you can select it from the drop-down list, otherwise check Use additional preprocessor and directives and specify a preprocessor to use by entering the PREPROCESS compiler directive and associated values.
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 does not support the TSO interactive. TSO batch (IKJEFTxx) is supported.


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

You can now use the Micro Focus Borland testing suite.
Workgrouping Workgrouping behavior is supported in a different way through the use of dependency folder configuration and configuring the loadlib paths for an enterprise server.
XDB tooling

The XDB tools in Enterprise Developer are available from the Start menu group for Enterprise Developer. In your project, you need to set XDB as your precompiler in order to view a list of the available XDB directives.