Technical Solutions for COBOL

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Redvers COBOL JSON Interface - Frequently Asked Questions

Why have you written the interface in COBOL?

We've taken the unusual step of writing and delivering this product in the form of COBOL source code subroutines because we understand how important it is to have a product that is easily integrated with existing applications. If you need a product to interface COBOL with JSON then you must have COBOL programs and a COBOL compiler already.

Another advantage is that people using the product will already be familiar with the terminology, characteristics and capabilities of COBOL based programs.

How do I install this software?

The Redvers COBOL JSON Interface programs are sold in COBOL source code form and are installed by copying to your site source code library and running your standard COBOL compiler. Compilation at client sites enables installation on multiple platforms and ensures complete compatibility with all other COBOL applications on the platform.

In order to protect both clients and ourselves from unauthorized code changes, the source code has been "cloaked" using the Redvers Cloaking Device. This process makes no logical difference to the code but renders it unintelligible to humans.

What are the technical limitations?

As the product is written and compiled as a site standard COBOL program, the limitations are the same as those placed on the calling application. Therefore, if an application uses a 16MB copybook layout with 5,000 fields, each requiring a 500 character JSON name, our subroutines can process it.

In order to make the most efficient use of machine resources, several parameter variables (referred to in the user guides as User Maintained Variables) are defaulted to fairly modest values. These may be increased or decreased according to application/system requirements.

Is the interface compatible with ASCII as well as EBCDIC based character sets?

Yes, all our products run on ASCII and EBCDIC platforms. No code changes are necessary.

Is the interface compatible with sites using "little-endian" binary storage?

Yes, all our products will run on "big-endian" and "little-endian" platforms. No code changes are necessary.

What are the benchmark statistics?

JSON generation rate is 9.6 megabytes per second; parsing rate is 8.8 megabytes per second. All benchmark timings are based on an IBM zSeries mainframe running z/OS 1.10. Maximum object size is 99,999,999 bytes but there is no maximum object size for batch applications.

Most applications will require I-O external to the interface in order to collect data for conversion to JSON or to update COBOL based files/databases from the JSON input. Therefore, as no I-O is performed by the interface, application run times are unlikely to be affected by the addition of the Redvers COBOL JSON Interface.

Will the parser validate the incoming JSON object?

The Redvers COBOL JSON parser issues an error message, identifying the erroneous character position within the input string, when an input JSON object contains JSON syntax errors. JSON syntax is defined in the JSON Data Interchange Standard on the website. No schema validation is performed.

Can a CRD be automatically generated from a JSON schema?

Redvers Consulting offers a free CRD building program called RCCRDJSN. This tool creates a base CRD from the information held in the input schema. In keeping with our other tools, this program is written in open source COBOL and is available from your Redvers account manager.

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