Linking the old world of programming with the new, a Web developer from Romania has built a bridge between highly fashionable Node.js and that venerated but antiquated business programming language: Cobol.
While Cobol is not in vogue these days, there is a lot of Cobol code still running, Forrester analyst Kurt Bittner said. "Most development work done in Cobol is maintaining or extending that large code base." There is still some demand for Cobol experts. A search on the Dice.com IT jobs site this week turns up 493 jobs for Cobol developers and 1,156 positions for those with Node.js skills.
Bittner, though, disagrees with Bizau's approach. "The ability to run Cobol snippets from Node.js seems like a clever but misplaced solution to the reuse problem and may actually cause more problems by tightly coupling Node.js code and Cobol code." A better solution, he said, would be to wrap the Cobol code in services and solid APIs. "That way, any application can use that code in a controlled manner and in a way that lets the Cobol code evolve independently from any application that calls it, even to the point of completely replacing the Cobol code over time, where desirable."
Bizau, in response, said there was always something to improve and what Bittner suggests could be made into a feature request in the repository issue tracker. He pledged to improve the bridge if people like it based on the initial release.