To help one to deal with the problems of system integration, IBM has developed a master strategy for making COBOL, CICS and DB2 the foundation for the Web and Intranet applications. In this scenario, CICS is the transaction-processing monitor for web applications, DB2 is the database and COBOL provides the business logic that drives these applications. That takes care of all the programming except for the user interfaces on the clients or the terminals and these can be developed with Java, Visual Basic, or other programming languages. This means that all that Java and Visual Basic will do is provide the graphical user interfaces that send data to and receive data from CICS. In other words, the role of these languages will be extremely limited. It is easy to understand that this state will prevail for quite some time at least for three reasons. First, it's a lot simpler to develop a large application with a single database server than it is to replicate that data over several of smaller servers. Second, a heavy-duty transaction-processing monitor like CICS currently provides processing efficiencies that are superior to those that are possible with client/server technologies. Third, IBM is in the best position to provide workable solutions for system integration because they control the mainframes. Hence even if this master plan changes somewhat during the next few years, DB2 and CICS on a mainframe with COBOL as the self-documenting business language is going to be a tough combination to challenge and beat. Thus COBOL is by far the most dominant language on mainframes and it will continue to be so in the foreseeable future. In fact, around 15 years back many computer experts thought that COBOL is on the verge on becoming extinct, even today some people believe the same and in my opinion so will some people in the future.
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