A Global Career of + Years in System Design, Development, Maintenance, Documentation, and Project Management

Working with world-class organizations from the Inter-American Development Bank, Sony, Corel, Oberoi Group, Toyota Motorsport, and Singapore Airlines — to the Prime Minister's Office in the Bahamas, Kuwait Municipality, Stanford Research Institute, Kowloon-Canton Railway, and Indonesia Strategic Industries … has provided an exceptional opportunity to build and enrich a wide range of technical and management skills.

The combined assets of eclectic expertise and global experience are now focused on the challenge of maintaining and re-generating COBOL-based legacy systems — with particular focus on systems that have the potential to be further empowered by the transformative work now being done to integrate AI technologies directly within the COBOL language. (see NexGen*Cobol )

When implementing a synergistic strategy to maintain a legacy system, consistency + familiarity are crucial. Utilizing the long-term commitment of a qualified expert, as a seamless yet remote extension of your in-house team, can be a great approach to acquiring and retaining a proven asset ... as-and-when you need it. Throughout the many years of providing legacy system support, this philosophy has been applied successfully — regardless of whether the system is administered in New York, Tokyo, London, Singapore, Zurich or Hong Kong.

Daniel Turner
Legacy System Specialist
NexGen* Creator/Programmer
Stratus Project Architect
Doctor Cobol Author


MAINTENANCE support includes everything from fixing minor errors in the code to rewriting complete sections of the application software, especially when it helps an existing system to interface with web interfaces, mobile apps, new external devices, and enhanced libraries.
INTEGRATION links legacy COBOL systems with new apps, which connect a legacy environment with breaking technologies based, for example, on the most recent implementations of Cloud and mobile computing, IoT, big data and critical security protocols.
EXTENSION of functional capability in a legacy COBOL system allows for the internal enhancement of the system's original mission, while still working with many of the same technologies, interfaces, data structures and languages upon which the original system was based.
CONVERSION support for a legacy system provides the critical expertise needed to comprehensively plan and prepare for the re-generation of a complete system, including (when required) the documentation of new system design specifications, growth strategies, and data migration guidelines.
TESTING spans the full range of system validation activities — from unit tests to integration and functional test. Unit tests are very low level, close to the application source. Integration tests verify that different modules work well together. And lastly, functional tests focus on validating the overall commercial requirements of an application.
DOCUMENTATION is often one of the greatest weaknesses of a legacy system, especially when maintenance has been carried out over a long period, by multiple programmers and, at times, by different organizations. Bringing back some continuity + integrity to documentation can make future revisions less costly and more timely.


The development of expertise in programming COBOL professionally began more than years ago with COBOL 74. Since then experience has been solidified in all subsequent versions of the language, with particular focus on IBM Enterprise COBOL for z/OS, and more recently on partial compiler implementations of COBOL 2023.

Visual Studio Code is currently the primary development environment with a highly-customized configuration for coding COBOL, JCL, JSON, XML and various other scripting and high-level programming languages. VSCode extensions are also used for Git version control and GitHub repositories.

Database experience, in relation to COBOL-driven systems, is founded on a broad knowledge of both IBM and Oracle databases. Skills related to Web Services are further supported by a strong foundation in both back-end development and front-end Web design (see danielturner.design), particularly as it relates to mobile platforms.

A long-term interest in designing programming languages and compiler architectures, as well as in the implementation of complex mathematical-modelling and fuzzy logic-based expert systems, has led to the recent design and ongoing development of the NexGen*Cobol language — and the FOREX investment Nex*Stratus application.


AI-Enabled Solution Designed To Empower Today's Large-Scale Financial Systems

When a language has been as successful, as well-suited to its purpose, and as pervasive as COBOL, modernizing it seems almost sacrilegious, but information technology has made staggering advances since the late 50’s when COBOL was first conceived to support the needs of mainframe-based Enterprise Computing – especially in the field of large-scale financial systems.

And although the many advances in the language implemented within COBOL 1985, 2002, 2014, and 2023 have gone a long way to upgrading COBOL for today's demanding applications, there’s still room to make the language cleaner, leaner (see comparative code examples), and more suited to the current skills and demands of programmers, especially when it comes to integrating the power of expert system techniques with COBOL’s inherent strength in business system platforms.

Completely rebuilding existing large-scale legacy systems is prohibitive. These systems are, more often than not, built upon millions and millions of lines of COBOL code. The solution to modernizing legacy systems is certainly not wholesale replacement, nor is it stagnation – the solution must rest in the choice to make a paradigm-shift in financial data processing, with advanced rules-based decision-making capability, without losing the roots that are firmly planted in the foundational concepts of the COBOL language – if not its primordial syntax.

The NexGen* Framework (as conceptually diagrammed above) provides an integrated solution for maintaining, expanding, and enhancing both existing and new systems through the use of its bidirectional expert system-driven COBOL—NexGen* translator, its NexGen* compiler and dual VSCode IDE extensions, which will support both future developers and the guardians of today’s critically-important legacy systems.

NexGen*Cobol is not just a tweak on the current COBOL language, it is a quantum leap that allows system architects and programmers to enhance and re-engineer code ‘Divisions’ without compromising or fully replacing the basic premises of mainframe software that have done the job for decades – only this time with the benefits of AI-empowered constructs that are accessible directly within the language.


Mainframe-based Strategy Development Application For Global Currency Investment On NexGen*Cobol Systems

The project goal is to create an integrated four-part software application (code-named: Nex*Stratus) using the NexGen*Cobol language (see NexGen*Cobol Codebase in the diagram below). The application is used to build and manage a large-scale IBM Db2 database that contains historic currency exchange information for 65+ countries — as sourced mainly from the OECD: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

By accessing the project database and entering current exchange rates, Nex*Stratus users will be able to perform interactive currency market analysis to predict future trends (see graphic user interface). Users will also be able to develop FOREX currency investment strategies using real-time statistical analysis and fuzzy logic-based mathematical modelling, which are supported by dynamic rules-based expert system technology. This multilingual application, coded entirely in NexGen*Cobol (except for the GUI), will ultimately be converted to accept multiple foreign currency data sources — not only data from the OECD.

All four parts of the Nex*Stratus application (see NexGen*Cobol CodeBase in the concept diagram above) are supported by a single front-end graphic interface for 1) currency database management, 2) user data entry, validation and retrieval, 3) currency trend evaluation, and 4) investment strategy development. The initial version of the application has been developed with the intent of providing future releases in multiple languages — including Japanese, Chinese, French and German.

Although initially developed and tested in a “closed” environment, the Nex*Stratus system is designed and ultimately intended for high-performance (massive-data) processing on IBM z/OS mainframes (or similar hardware configurations). In the future, it is anticipated that the Nex*Stratus Db2 database will be significantly enhanced by an interface with a user-controlled and securely-filtered neural network, which will further support AI-empowered FOREX Investment Strategy Development.


Learn To Program NexGen* In Only One Day — Is It Really Possible?

Yes and No ... If you can already program in another language like Python, Javascript, C#, Rust or Go, then this condensed Micro-Course will give you a solid understanding of what the NexGen*Cobol language is all about. The course is divided into 20 sections and each one can easily be covered within 20–30 minutes, which means that the full course can indeed be completed in a single day.

Of course, to really master any language, including NexGen*, it takes a sustained effort and many more hours to understand the inherent variations, idiosyncrasies and weaknesses of the language — in order to correctly apply its strengths. Having said that, learning the material in NexGen* In-A-Day will go a long way to providing a solid foundation for future coding projects.

Each page (linked in the Course Sections menu above) summarizes one key point at a time — with related diagrams containing examples of code syntax and structure. Pages are ordered in a logical pattern, which helps make the process of condensed learning as straight forward and succinct as possible. The final section outlines an approach to coding NexGen*Cobol as an art as well as a science — which should help new NexGen* programmers write code that is clean, coherent, well-structured and easily maintained.


Want To Follow Doctor Cobol On Your Phone? It’s Quick & Easy!

For those that already have a Twitter-X account, just click on the “Follow” link at the top of the sample post (to the right), or if you are on your phone, tap on the "Follow" link in the sample post below.

If you are new to Twitter-X, here’s a summary of simple steps that will get you up and running quickly:

Step 1. If you want to follow "Doctor Cobol" on your phone, download the Twitter app (from the App Store), or if you prefer to see posts on your computer, go to www.twitter.com in your browser.

Step 2. Twitter-X will then guide you through the process of creating an account. Only basic information is required, like your name and e-mail address. You will also need to select a username and password for the new account.

Step 3. You should now be able to follow any Twitter-X account, including @DoctorCobol, and receive posts as regular notifications on your phone.

If you have successfully created your new Twitter-X account you can now join @DoctorCobol – Enjoy!
Doctor Cobol brings you weekly doses of COBOL wisdom, legacy culture, coding tips, language history, programming opportunities, and related industry trends (e.g. NexGen*Cobol). A quick read of the sample post below will give you a sense of just how important COBOL is to the modern world of finance and institutional management.
Sample Post @DoctorCobol  Apr 27     Follow

Born in another era, COBOL lives on in over 800 billion lines of code—including code that powers 80% of in-person financial transactions. It’s the foundation of critically important legacy systems that have run successfully for decades in many major organizations around the world.

Sample Post @DoctorCobol

Apr 27     Follow

Born in another era, COBOL lives on in over 800 billion lines of code—including code that powers 80% of in-person financial transactions. It’s the foundation of critically important legacy systems that have run successfully for decades in many major organizations around the world.

What is not emphasized often enough is that there is an increasing gap between the large financial organizations, which rely heavily on COBOL, and the importance of the language among programmers today. This is a topic often covered by Doctor Cobol.

Visit the Doctor Cobol Twitter-X Archives to see the complete collection of published tweets/posts.


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1999- ©  Daniel Turner  All Rights Reserved

 1999- ©  Daniel Turner
  All Rights Reserved