COBOL applications normally run on mainframes, but startup Heirloom Computing seeks to move them to the cloud with its ELPaaS platform. ELPaaS uses Heirloom's Elastic COBOL integrated development environment to compile COBOL applications, as well as those written for IBM's CICS, into Java source code. They can then run without changes on cloud service platforms including VMware's Cloud Foundry, HP’s Public Cloud, Amazon’s Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon EC2 and Red Hat’s OpenShift. The upshot, says Heirloom CTO Mark Haynie, is that enterprises can "consolidate their existing application infrastructure to an open strategic platform." Elastic Cobol has about 400 users so far, the company says. That could grow as more IT shops invest in"legacy app renewal." Frank Scavo, president of researcher Computer Economics, told Computerworld:
CIOs haven't been looking to move their Cobol apps to the public clouds, such as AWS or Rackspace, because such options haven't existed ... That could change if options like ELPaaS prove successful. I'm pretty sure (ELPaaS' approach) will still require tweaks to the Cobol code, as well as extensive testing. But I think it's something that mainframe IT shops should add to their list of options."