Enhancement Request

Posted on: April 5th, 2013 by admin

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License Key / Password Request Form

Posted on: April 5th, 2013 by admin

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License Key / Password Request Form

Posted on: March 27th, 2013 by admin

Please complete and submit this form to request a password or license key for your GT Software product(s).




Enhancement

Posted on: March 24th, 2013 by admin

We appreciate our customers and value their input. Your product enhancement request will be sent to our product evaluation team for review and consideration for a future release.




Frequently Asked Questions

Posted on: March 23rd, 2013 by admin

Below are a list of some frequently asked questions.  If you dont find the answer to your question here please contact us and we would love to answer your question.

NeoKicks

Does NeoKicks provide transaction support?

Answer: Yes. The transaction support integrates with Pervasive Btrieve to provide transaction support for VSAM files and with SQL Server to provide transaction support for SQL databases. The transaction support is provided using plug-in modules that you can replace if you want to tailor the behavior to your own particular requirements.

How am I able to take advantage of .NET Framework features from my procedural CICS COBOL programs?

Although the .NET Framework is an object oriented system many of its functions can be invoked from procedural code and behaviors that require inheritance of particular classes can often be coded separately to be invoked from the procedural code. Thus the NeoKicks migration of CICS COBOL code to execute in the .NET environment brings the .NET Framework class libraries within a usable range of the COBOL code.

What products are required to support NeoKicks?

NeoKicks is designed to work with NetCOBOL for .NET and Visual Studio 2008. A suitable version of Visual Studio 2008 for working with COBOL is provided with NetCOBOL for .NET. If you generate the ASP.NET pages (output from the NeoKicks Project Wizard) in C# or Visual Basic, you will need a version of Visual Studio that supports your selected language. Other products may be required depending on your applications’ needs. For example, you will need a relational database like SQL Server if your application uses SQL, and you will likely want to select NeoData to provide transactional support for your COBOL file I/O.

Are some CICS applications better candidates for legacy modernization than others?

We recommend that the first application(s) you modernize with NeoKicks should not be too large, should be self-contained and should use standard CICS file I/O or DB2 SQL commands. The choice of such applications allows you to become acquainted with the NeoKicks environment and the best legacy modernization techniques to use, without the distractions of the complexities of migrating large, interrelated systems or dealing with nonstandard database structures. Once you have modernized a smaller, self-contained application, you can then take on bigger and more complex application modernizations.

What changes do I need to make to my CICS application code?

One of the functions of the NeoKicks Project Wizard, the tool that takes your CICS COBOL and BMS macro code and populates a Visual Studio project, is to convert the EXEC CICS code into calls to NeoKicks services – in much the same way that the CICS preprocessor converts the EXEC CICS code. Consequently there are very few changes you need to make to your CICS code. Changes that may be required are in the areas of CICS statements that are not currently supported, a few IBM COBOL statements that are not supported by NetCOBOL, and changes to logic that assumes EBCDIC collating sequences or character values. Fujitsu Computer Systems and our consulting partners are well versed in these areas and can quickly identify and plan for the needed changes. The end result is a set of applications prepared for a long life in the .NET environment.

Are there issues in migrating EBCDIC code to the Unicode .NET environment?

Yes, though NeoKicks provides support to make the transition easy. Unicode is a multi-byte encoding system and as such can require changes in field and record lengths – a possibly challenging exercise. NeoKicks therefore supports the data in ACP (ANSI Code Page, that we generally think of as “ASCII”) format, which is the best match for EBCDIC’s single-byte encoding. The NeoKicks system handles the conversions between ACP and Unicode required for interfacing with the .NET Framework.
Data is therefore converted from EBCDIC to the appropriate ACP. Tools are provided with NetCOBOL to assist with this data conversion.

Code also needs to be reviewed for points where its behavior may depend on EBCDIC values such as:
- EBCDIC values hard coded as hexadecimal constants
- Comparisons that assume the EBCDIC collating sequence order
- File I/O that assumes the EBCDIC collating sequence order
Fujitsu has considerable experience in this area and can help you in this CICS migration process.

How closely does NeoKicks emulate mainframe CICS behavior?

The goal for all supported CICS statements is to provide support that gives the same behavior as you would receive using mainframe CICS. Where a mainframe behavior doesn’t have a .NET equivalent NeoKicks will warn you at the preprocessing stage and we can usually recommend actions to preserve the integrity of your application logic.

How long does it take a mainframe COBOL developer to be fully productive in the NeoKicks environment?

Provided the developer has some experience with Windows (so that mechanisms such as using a mouse and standard Windows interfaces are familiar) then the learning curve is reasonably short, primarily involving familiarization with the functions of Visual Studio and NeoKicks’ integration into that environment. For those unfamiliar with Windows allow more time for training in and familiarization with the environment and tools.

What happens with the batch jobs that work closely with my online CICS systems?

You migrate them to Windows/.NET using the NeoBatch/NeoSort/NetCOBOL for .NET combination. Because your CICS and batch COBOL programs are operating in the same environment you have the same level of integration you had on the mainframe. You also have the option of configuring things slightly differently so, for example, your data is stored on a database server while your online and batch processes work on separate servers – you determine the configuration that gives you the service characteristics you desire.

When we make changes to our applications, do we code using the EXEC CICS statements, or in NeoKicks service calls?

Updates to your application will generally be made using NeoKicks service calls, unless you choose to maintain a version of your source code that you put through the NeoKicks preprocessor every time you update the code.

When we make changes to our applications, do we code using the EXEC CICS statements, or in NeoKicks service calls?

By default the NeoKicks answer to this question is “minimal”. The appearance and keystroke handling of the Web or Windows forms generated by NeoKicks from the BMS macros is almost identical to those of mainframe CICS. The main difference is that instead of the screen being displayed in a 3270 emulator window (or on a 3270 terminal) the “screen” (actually a Web page or Windows form) is displayed within an Internet browser window or Windows dialog. The new NeoKicks interfaces are constructed using GUI controls but their style is set up to look like the character screen.

Switching the application platform with negligible impact on your users allows you to focus on the migration and not expending time and energy retraining users. Later you can make the switch in interface style at a time that is convenient for both you and your users, possibly introducing some highly useful interface enhancements at the same time.

What will be the impact on our application users when we migrate to NeoKicks?

By default the NeoKicks answer to this question is “minimal”. The appearance and keystroke handling of the Web or Windows forms generated by NeoKicks from the BMS macros is almost identical to those of mainframe CICS. The main difference is that instead of the screen being displayed in a 3270 emulator window (or on a 3270 terminal) the “screen” (actually a Web page or Windows form) is displayed within an Internet browser window or Windows dialog. The new NeoKicks interfaces are constructed using GUI controls but their style is set up to look like the character screen.

Switching the application platform with negligible impact on your users allows you to focus on the migration and not expending time and energy retraining users. Later you can make the switch in interface style at a time that is convenient for both you and your users, possibly introducing some highly useful interface enhancements at the same time.

How can I configure the styles of my converted screens?

NeoKicks converts the CICS screens to ASP.NET pages that use master pages and cascading style sheets to define the standard style for each page. By default NeoKicks generates pages that look and feel very similar to the CICS screens so that application users have an easy transition to the new system. Configuring the pages to have your own style, or common elements such as company logos, is straightforward using the master page and style sheets.

How do we migrate our end-users from character screen emulations to rich graphical interfaces?

The answer to this question really depends on your experience with and understanding of your end-users. It’s unlikely that your end-users will respond well to a unilateral announcement that tomorrow their interfaces are changing from character to graphical style and that you think this is going to make them very happy indeed! A better approach may be to inform your user base, or end-user advisory panel (or whatever body/method you use to determine what new features are required), that because you have migrated to NeoKicks/.NET new interface abilities are now possible, presenting a list of examples of the types of enhancements that are relatively easy to make (such as drop down lists, calendar controls, or other business-specific controls that you have identified). Then, when they recognize the value of particular features and request that they be implemented, you’ll know that your users are ready to make the change and can plan a suitable timetable with them.

NeoBatch

Are there changes required to COBOL code to make the applications consistent with NeoBatch?

NeoBatch executes many types of files as job steps. For example, a step could be a COBOL application, a .BAT file, or even something like the “dir” command. For your existing COBOL applications, if they are compiled and built with NetCOBOL for .NET or NetCOBOL for Windows, no code changes should be required. netus varius.

Do I need to make changes to my JCL to make it work with NeoBatch?

One of the main design goals of NeoBatch was to minimize the amount of manual effort needed to migrate your JCL applications. If you have existing MVS JCL, you should find that the majority of your JCL requires absolutely no changes. With support for advanced JCL commands like PROCs, you can expect very little manual recoding. For a list of unsupported commands and parameters, please consult the NeoBatch documentation.

What products are required to support NeoBatch?

SQL Server 2000 or later is required to support the NeoBatch catalog.

What performance should I expect from my batch jobs running under NeoBatch?

Job performance varies tremendously depending on what the job is doing. Certain types of job steps, such as sorting, perform much faster off the mainframe. Given the myriad different mainframe configurations, we would be remiss to try to say precisely how fast your jobs would run on Windows. But suffice to say, all of our customers experience performance increases when migrating to appropriately sized hardware.

Which databases can I use with NeoBatch?

The NeoBatch catalog requires SQL Server 2000 or later.
Applications can use any database that works with NetCOBOL for .NET. This can be any ODBC compliant database

Which job schedulers does NeoBatch support?

NeoBatch provides a suite of command line tools for submitting jobs, cancelling jobs, purging sysout data, etc… Most job schedulers are capable of launching command-line programs and reacting to the result of the return codes provided. For advanced scheduling integration, we also provide an API with even more flexibility.

Can I write new programs that use SQL to access the data I’ve migrated to SQL Server using NeoData SQL?

Certainly. Once the data is in SQL Server you can access and update it like any other SQL Server data, such as might be done with ADO.NET. If you know this is something you want to do in the future, you should use a mapping type that schematizes all your data so that it is readily accessed from other programs.

NeoData

What is involved in bringing a VSAM file from the mainframe to work with NeoData SQL under Windows?

The basic steps of migrating a VSAM file are:

  • Unload the VSAM file to a sequential file
  • Transfer the sequential file from the mainframe to Windows
  • Use NeoData with its ability to understand the layout of the records in the file to convert the file and import it into SQL Ser

Do you recommend we move all our data to NeoData/SQL Server?

That is a decision you need to make based on the nature and use of your data and benefits your organization may wish to obtain by having a single data repository. We certainly believe that NeoData provides an excellent route for making data more accessible to your end users without requiring extensive application rewrites. However, data that you do not wish users to access can reasonably stay in VSAM (or NetCOBOL indexed file) form.

Is there a long-term requirement to recode programs in SQL?

No. NeoData SQL gives you the ability to store your data in SQL Server while maintaining the design and structure of your COBOL applications. If you want new reports, you can create those using whatever technology best fits your needs, but you will only update your COBOL programs as business needs dictate.

How do we verify NeoData SQL’s accuracy?

One of the big attractions of NeoData SQL is that application functions are not changed, so you can use already established tests to verify that your applications continue to work as expected.

A big challenge of using other routes to SQL Server, such as designing a database from scratch and rewriting the code to support the new database, is that applications can change in fairly fundamental ways (e.g. items use different data types, data is fetched in a different order or in different collections, actual processes are changed). Existing tests won’t work and it becomes extremely difficult to verify that the new system is giving the expected results.

What types of VSAM files does NeoData SQL emulate?

NeoData SQL is designed to emulate indexed KSDS file types – i.e. standard COBOL indexed files in non-mainframe parlance.

Will I have to change much COBOL code?

No. NeoData SQL is designed such that code changes are not required. If a filename is embedded in code, it will need to be updated to point to a NeoData SQL map, but otherwise there are no code changes required within a COBOL application.

Can NeoData SQL support any COBOL record definition?

In binary mode, NeoData SQL can support nearly any indexed COBOL record that can fit in a SQL row. Fully-schematized NeoData SQL maps will support many COBOL records, including records with a single record-type discriminator, but it is easy to come up with cases that would be too complex to be useful in a fully-schematized map. SQL Server also has some limitations on rows over 8060 bytes.

What SQL platforms does NeoData SQL support?

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2005 (with limited support for SQL Server 2000).

What are the performance implications of moving my data to SQL Server?

How moving from VSAM to using NeoData and SQL Server affects performance depends on the nature of the application and the mapping type used. Online applications which access the data randomly may well see performance improvements; batch applications that process all data sequentially will likely see a reduction in performance. Simple mapping types have a smaller performance overhead than complex mapping types.

It is also worth bearing in mind that there may be performance savings that can be realized indirectly. For example, some customers are finding it effective to remove Sort steps from their batch jobs because SQL Server enables them to access the data in whatever order they specify, so they do not need to use up their machine cycles forever sorting data into one order or another.

Does NeoData SQL work for non-mainframe indexed files, such as those created by NetCOBOL or Micro Focus COBOL?

Yes. Any indexed file application can benefit from NeoData SQL provided the record definition is supportable and the files and programs are migrated to work with NetCOBOL for .NET.

How long does it take to become proficient in using NeoData SQL?

Anyone familiar with COBOL record structures and SQL databases will feel comfortable operating NeoData SQL within minutes and reach full proficiency within days.

If you are using NeoData SQL as a means to introduce yourself as well as your data to SQL Server, then the learning curve is longer – you’ll still be able to have COBOL programs accessing SQL Server data relatively quickly, but it will take longer to reach full proficiency as that requires an understanding of how different mapping choices affect the operation of the SQL database.

How much effort is required to create the NeoData SQL maps?

That depends on the complexity of the record. Records with no REDEFINES, no OCCURS clauses, and no data items where you want to map several items to one SQL type (e.g. mapping time-of-day/day/month/year to a DateTime type) involve negligible effort. Each addition of complexity in a record structure will require another step in the mapping process.

The NeoData Mapper helps you through these steps one at a time so the mapping process is methodical and straightforward.

Product Training

Posted on: March 23rd, 2013 by admin

With advanced product training, your developers can take full advantage of GT Software products. They’ll be more productive and will find new ways to make your enterprise system more efficient and capable.

Our product-specific training courses can help your developers master our suite of mainframe migration tools. Learn online via webinars, through traditional classes or via one-on-one instruction.

Webinars

Our engineers have created an array of in-depth training videos on everything from COBOL modernization to redesigning CICS screens with new ASP.NET web pages.

Training subjects include:

  • COBOL Modernization with NetCOBOL
  • Improving batch with JCL on Windows® with NeoBatch
  • Revitalizing CICS user screens using ASP.NET web pages with NeoKicks
  • Have better access and utilization of your data with NeoData and SQL Server®

Training Classes

GT Software offers on-site classes to help developers master our suite of mainframe migration software. All classes are held by expert members of our Professional Services team with assistance from top-level GT Software developers.

Instruction

Our Professional Services team can give your developers one-on-one training at the GT Software Atlanta headquarters or on-site at your business. One-on-one training includes the most advanced instruction. 

Maintenance

Posted on: March 23rd, 2013 by admin

Product Maintenance Reinstatements

Your IT is critical to your business—and it’s critical to us. Our support team is dedicated to keeping your system running smoothly. We offer several support plans and a variety of ways to assist, including 24-hour support and on-site consultation.

The GT Software update, upgrade and maintenance reinstatement policy for our products is designed to encourage you to stay current on maintenance agreements as this gives us a sure platform for planning future releases. This topic explains update, upgrade and maintenance reinstatement pricing for different situations.

On this page:
•Definitions of “Update” and “Upgrade”
•Customers with a current maintenance agreement

•Updating to a new release when maintenance has lapsed

•Reinstating maintenance when maintenance has lapsed and there has been no update release of the product since the lapse

•Replacing licenses when maintenance has lapsed

Update – by “update” we mean receiving a new release of a product you already have. For example, you have release 1.3 and we come out with a new version of that product numbered 1.4 or 2.0.

Upgrade – by “upgrade” we mean the situation where you have a particular product and now want to change to a more expensive edition of that product or a related product. For example, upgrading from a Professional Edition to an Enterprise Edition, or upgrading from the Windows version to a .NET version.

Customers with a current maintenance agreement

Customers who are current on maintenance receive:

- free updates

- credit when upgrading to a more expensive version

When an update to a product is released all customers with up-to-date maintenance are informed and have the ability to download the update release at their convenience. A customer on current maintenance also has the ability to choose to upgrade to a more highly priced product and receive full credit for the price paid for the software portion of their present license as a discount on the new purchase.

Current examples of qualifying NetCOBOL upgrades:

•Windows Enterprise to: .NET Universal

•.NET Professional to: .NET Developer, or .NET Universal

•.NET Developer to: .NET Universal

•Sparc Standard to: Sparc Enterprise

•HP-UX Standard to: HP-UX Enterprise

Updating to a new release when maintenance has lapsed

If you decide you want to update to a new release of a product, having allowed your maintenance to lapse, your update price is based on:

1.Reinstating your maintenance see section below.

2.Adding an update fee equal to 25% of the current product price.

Reinstating maintenance when maintenance has lapsed and there has been no update release of the product since the lapse

If you decide to reinstate your maintenance and there has been no update release since your maintenance lapsed, you will purchase 12 months maintenance but the reinstatement price and starting/end date is determined by how long your maintenance has been lapsed:

Maintenance Renewal - If any new release comes out after maintenance has lapsed, an additional 25% of current product price will be charged in addition to all of the following late fees to obtain the new release. GT Software only supports the current release of all products.

Time Late Penalty (all maintenance costs refer to current annual price of maintenance, i.e. 25% of current software-only price)
 1st Month Renewal is full cost of 1 year maintenance, and renews for 11 months from date of lapse
 2nd Month Renewal is full cost of 1 year maintenance, and renews for 10 months from date of lapse
 3rd Month Renewal is full cost of 1 year maintenance, and renews for 9 month from date of lapse
 3+ Months Renewal is full cost of maintenance from first day of lapse to last day of current month, plus cost of 1 year maintenance ending on last day of current month in following year, plus delinquent fee of 25% of cost of 1 year maintenance

Replacing licenses when maintenance has lapsed

If your maintenance has lapsed and you lose your product license (for example, if a computer crashes or you need help to move to a different computer), you have two options:

1.Reinstate maintenance on all licenses From Subject Received Size Categories

2.Pay the software only cost of the current version and we will supply a license for any version along with maintenance for 30 days for installation issues only

Example: You have NetCOBOL for Windows V9 but never moved from V7 so you decide not to renew maintenance. A year later you lose a hard drive and request a replacement V7 site key. You have the option to reinstate maintenance on all your licenses (with the costs and fees as specified above), or you can pay the software only cost of the current release of NetCOBOL for Windows Enterprise and we will issue a site key replacement for V7 (if that is what you desire) without maintenance beyond the 30 days to get it up and running. 

Questions? Please see our contact page or email sales@gtsoftware.com

Support Portal

Posted on: March 11th, 2013 by admin

Resolve questions with help from GT Software Support

At GT Software, you’ll receive world class technical support by a group of dedicated engineers. Your issues are our issues and we will work diligently to help you resolve them. We’re here to give you the answers you need in the shortest amount of time possible.

The Support Portal  Provides you with access to our support representatives as well as knowledge base articles and software downloads. Questions asked via the Web are assigned an incident number and receive an auto-response confirming delivery.

Simply click on the button below and you’ll be redirected to our web support portal.

Request Information

Is this the right tool for you? have questions? Would like a demo?

Contact & Support

  • Support: 404.253.1300
  • Sales: 1.800.765.4348