WBproduct.gif (3090 bytes)

GCOS8 Net Express

GCOS8 Net Express provides a fully integrated Bull GCOS8-mainframe maintenance and development  environment, enabling programmers to take advantage of modern, powerful development tools to edit, compile, debug and test mainframe applications on their workstations.



Mainframe-based software development tools and the development practices that evolved from their use were adequate for building the first generation of mainframe only systems. However, the IT and business landscapes are changing and the following demands are being made:

GCOS8 Net Express provides a fully integrated Bull-mainframe maintenance and development environment, enabling programmers to take advantage of modern, powerful development tools to edit, compile, debug and test mainframe applications on their workstations. GCOS8 Net Express combines leading-edge mainframe emulation, a comprehensive unit and integration test environment, and connectivity, increasing productivity across the entire development lifecycle.

Back to Top


Faster Time-To-Market

By using a streamlined development and testing process, GCOS8 Net Express programmers can create and modify mainframe-based applications in significantly less time.

Lower Costs and Reduced Risk

By using GCOS8 Net Express, programmers are in full control of their own test environments. Offloading development and testing cycles to the workstation releases costly mainframe resources, and eliminates resource contention. Editing, compilation, test and printing overheads are significantly reduced, and expensive mainframe hardware upgrades, with their associated software costs, can be postponed. The best-in-class testing facilities in GCOS8 Net Express lead to improved code quality and reduce the potential for system downtime in production.

Attract and Retain Top Talent

For many years, client-server programmers have had access to the most modern tools. With GCOS8 Net Express, mainframe programmers can also benefit from a modern, rapid, graphical development environment. Experienced COBOL programmers with valuable programming expertise and knowledge of the business can become fluent in GUI client/server technologies, while new programmers can be more easily attracted to COBOL development.

Enable Legacy-To-Web and E-Business Development

GCOS8 Net Express provides a flexible, high-performance platform for the development and testing of Internet based and client/server applications. It enables organizations to combine mission-critical COBOL with emerging information technologies in order to extend business applications across the enterprise.

Micro Focus

GCOS8 Net Express is based on Micro Focus Net Express®, the number one solution for building and modernizing COBOL enterprise components and business applications for client/server platforms and for the web. Micro Focus is the industry leader in COBOL development solutions.

Back to Top


Graphical Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

The GCOS8 Net Express IDE provides integrated access to all of the tools needed to develop, maintain and test applications deployed on the mainframe – and to transform and test new e-business functionality. The high level of feature integration streamlines and simplifies common maintenance, support and development tasks.

A Data File editor and support tools for batch and TP are integrated into the IDE, along with subsystem emulators, including IDS-II, Interel and TP8.

Application components—source programs, copies and files are easily added to the project view, which is the basis of programmers work. Default or explicit GCOS8 compile dialects are assigned as source programs are added. The project view allows programmers to compile an entire application with one click of the mouse — which improves productivity while simplifying administration and project management.

Advanced Debugging Support with Animator®

The Animator debugging utility within GCOS8 Net Express provides advanced features to help analyze the execution flow of applications, and find and resolve code errors. These features include:

Mainframe Code and Data Access

GCOS8 Net Express includes facilities to provide access to mainframe source and data resources.

Data Manipulation

GCOS8 Net Express includes a complete set of tools to manage test data. Using the data file editor, programmers can define data structures and insert, update or delete data records quickly and easily. All standard mainframe data-types are supported and can be edited directly. A formatted view of data records based on the COBOL data structure is provided, as well as a hex view of the data.

Using Interactive IDS-II, programmers can easily browse and maintain IDS-II test databases, either using DML direct or a DML Wizard.

Using DB2 UDB Tools, programmers can easily browse and maintain Interel test databases.

Back to Top

GCOS8 Support

GCOS8 Net Express includes a number of powerful features to provide programmers with a single-user GCOS8 test environment.


A fast COBOL compiler designed to support mainframe COBOL applications by providing:


Complete support of all GCOS8 database systems. Unlike GCOS8, each programmer will be able to work with their own databases, and thus independent of other programmers.


All GFRC and UFAS format files are supported. Existing GCOS8 test files may transferred and optionally converted using record views based on a COBOL data structure.


No JCL is required and program testing can be launched with a mouse click. No linking is required, any program/module is ready for test as soon as it has been compiled. Module test is possible, without the calling program.
A simple mapping technique may be used to control allocation of non-DB files.
For batch stream testing you are able to build and execute command files, like a job on GCOS8.


A comprehensive single-user emulation of TP8, which programmers can launch with a mouse click. Several TP8 specific testing aids may be used to catch common errors, before going into production.
Both native communication with VIP77, VIP78, DKU and IBM 3270 protocol, as well as standard Forms software is supported.



A complete emulation of Web8 with additional local definition tools.

Open Client



A comprehensive emulation of application services provided by GCOS8:


GCOS8 programs implemented in Fortran-77 may be compiled and integrated in the test environment, using Lahey Fortran compiler and a simple stub interface technique.


GCOS8 programs implemented in Virtual-C may be compiled and integrated in the test environment, using standard Windows C compiler and a simple stub interface technique.


GCOS8 programs implemented in GMAP are NOT supported, however, such programs may be migrated to COBOL-85. Often only parts of the GMAP logic needs migration to support a test environment, and B & C Solution provides a free-of-charge analysis of GMAP programs with an offer to perform such migration as required.

Other Tools

Back to Top

Technical Specifications



DSA Gateway (optional):

Back to Top

About B & C Solution

B & C Solution has more than 20 years of experience with Bull GCOS3/8 and has been providing a number of mainframe products and consulting services to customers worldwide.

In 1993 we first introduced GCOS8 COBOL Workbench - the predecessor to GCOS8 Mainframe Express, which was distributed through Bull. With more than 1000 licenses worldwide, the workbench concept has been well recognized in the Bull mainframe world. We are determined to continue to provide state-of-the-art software tools to GCOS8 mainframe customers, as support of newer Bull technologies like WEB8, GTEA, HooX, DBSP etc. prove. The introduction of GCOS8 Mainframe Express and GCOS8 Net Express will ensure Bull mainframe customers have access to the same advanced tools as IBM mainframe customers.

In 1998 we first introduced the GCOS8 Re-hosting Workbench—a solution which allow GCOS8 application systems to be migrated/rehosted on Open Systems with limited efforts and within a fairly short timeframe. With the introduction of GCOS8 Rehosting Express, rehosting of a GCOS8 application system is not only smooth and efficent, it is also the path fro bringing GCOS8 application systems into de-facto standard for RDBMS and TPMS/Application server environments.

Back to Top

Questions or comments regarding Beck Solutions Web Site ? webmaster@becksolutions.dk  
Copyright © 2009 Beck Solutions. All rights reserved. Information in this document is subject to change without notice. Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders.