The expansion rate reflects how many lines of output code are produced based on a certain set of input code. This document explores the expansion rate when transforming COBOL code to C# or Java, using Anubex’ CodeTurn. The information is presented based on a concrete use case of a recently transformed COBOL application that went into production for one of our customers.

To get meaningful numbers out of this exercise, some additional background on the transformation of COBOL needs to be provided, specifically around the concept of COBOL copybooks and how these can be transformed. From a maintenance point of view, copybooks should be transformed into separate C#/Java entities as much as possible. However, due to the specific technical characteristics of all the technologies involved, this is not always possible. For more details on the complexities of the usage of COBOL copybooks, please see our document titled Anubex - Safely transforming COBOL COPY statements with CodeTurn. As a result, the following two different categories of COBOL programs are identified:

  • COBOL programs that don’t need to expand any of the COBOL copybooks used.
  • COBOL programs that need to expand at least one COBOL copybook.

The programs that fall in the first category provide the best insight into the quality of CodeTurn’s transformation as far as code expansion rate is concerned, knowing CodeTurn has been optimized to avoid expansion as much as possible.

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