July 8, 2008

Micro Focus Net Express With .NET Brings Unprecedented Agility to COBOL Applications

Micro Focus(R) (LSE.MCRO.L), the leading provider of enterprise application management and modernization solutions, today launches the latest addition to its application development portfolio, Net Express with .NET, and provides significant updates to both Net Express and Server Express.

Net Express with .NET enables use of the highly productive Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 for the development of COBOL applications that can harness the full power of the Microsoft .NET Framework. Using a combination of strong COBOL compatibility and innovative language enhancements, enterprises can reuse existing COBOL assets across the enterprise, while also extending them into the .NET Framework. Developers can now build programs more efficiently, delivering greater business agility as IT departments can meet business needs at a faster pace. This will increase software developers' productivity, freeing up more resource to develop further projects.

Despite an increasing array of programming languages, COBOL remains the most widely used enterprise class language in the world today. Using Net Express with .NET, business applications can be given a contemporary look and feel, through the creation, in COBOL, of Windows Presentation Framework based user interfaces. Organizations taking this approach to modernization can significantly improve time to market to build more competitive, productive and functional applications by re-using existing code and the same tooling to focus on meeting new business needs. This agility can be further enhanced by the integration of COBOL applications with the Windows Communication Foundation to build truly distributed applications.

The exposure of COBOL business processes as web services as part of a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is a further step in enabling the language's processes to be consumed without the need for COBOL skills. This latest development represents another key milestone in the evolution of a language that processes 75% of the world's data and runs major corporate systems around the world.

Further advances have also been made to existing Micro Focus COBOL products, Net Express and Server Express, with the latest 5.1 iterations being released today. Net Express 5.1 will support the latest Windows Server 2008 platform, and Server Express 5.1 has been updated and extended to work on updated Linux and Unix platforms.

Stuart McGill, CTO Micro Focus, said: "These latest additions underline our commitment to developing and enhancing our products in the application development market. Major upgrades to our COBOL tools mean that COBOL not only remains a contemporary language, but will continue to be seen as essential for enterprise solutions developers the world over. The software released today runs on 57 different enterprise class platforms.

"Net Express with .NET allows users to use the latest Microsoft development environment, Visual Studio 2008, to develop COBOL applications that harness the full power of the latest Windows platforms, combining existing skills and assets with the power and flexibility of Visual Studio and the .NET Framework."

About Micro Focus

Micro Focus, a member of the FTSE 250, provides innovative software that allows companies to dramatically improve the business value of their enterprise applications. Micro Focus Enterprise Application Modernization and Management software enables customers' business applications to respond rapidly to market changes and embrace modern architectures with reduced cost and risk. For additional information please visit www.microfocus.com

Micro Focus, Server Express and Net Express are registered trademarks and Micro Focus Server are trademarks of Micro Focus.