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It's not that COBOL is particularly good or bad. It's that COBOL-era database technology is painfully-obsolete. Flat files, ISAM, and IMS are all pre-SQL, and old shops are likely to still be running some of that stuff. DB2 isn't too bad; it speaks SQL and runs on various platforms including Linux.

With the older systems, the database update logic and the business logic are in the same programs. This is not good.




Flat files, ISAM, and IMS

Those were all good ideas at the time.

Infact IMS was such a good idea the hipsters just reinvented about 1% of its functionality and called it MongoDB!


I was explaining NoSQL to an older coworker of mine who bemusedly humored me for 20 minutes or so before explaining she'd started her career off with Pick in the 1970s...


Right. Much NoSQL is a re-invention of the CODASYL DBMS concept from 1969.[1] Everything is explicit links.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CODASYL



Yes


Funny cuz that's what Ive been saying about IDMS for years:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/IDMS


> With the older systems, the database update logic and the business logic are in the same programs. This is not good.

Can you elaborate? Sometimes it seems that business logic must be implemented in SQL, for example, or else you will get a massive performance hit.


The article has an explanation of this point, I thought it was plenty to understand what was going on.


Why would you want to be forced to rewrite business logic just because you're using a different database provider?


The COBOL I worked with was all SQL with DB2. Admittedly we were the most "modernized" part of the company.


It was interesting, because they interview gave the impression they were quite behind the curve on mainframe technologies - our mainframers work predominantly with DB2 as a back end and have mostly migrated off the more primitive stores quite a long time ago.


The banks have had zero incentive on spending money on their systems. From a bankers perspective, it's a cost centre, that you need to have since it's cheaper than people doing manual stuff.

It's just until recently that someone realized that since all services are delivered digitally, the banks would have been outcompeted by Google, Microsoft, Apple or just about any competent and large enough tech company, was it not for the heavy regulations, and a conservative financial world.


> The banks have had zero incentive on spending money on their systems.

Yeah, that's just not true.


As far as I see it, they have to spend shitloads of money sometimes, but there is no incentive to spend money on improving and adding features to the core systems such as the ledgers, as it is very hard to get a return on the money that way, partially because it will not really improve their market share.

The money is spent on systems on top of the core systems (web etc) basically trying to stay on par with the competition. If they spend on the core systems, it's when they try to consolidate and save costs.


DB2 is bad... If you're used to using MSSQL, MySQL, Postgres, or SQLite, the tooling and limitations of DB2 are pretty galling.


> DB2 isn't too bad

DB2 is what Oracle wishes it could be when it grows up.




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