COBOL Smart Differencer

The COBOL Smart Differencer tool compares two COBOL source files to determine the changes made from one to determine the other. It is a member of SD's family of SmartDifferencer tools. An example of the COBOL Smart Differencer's results can be seen here. The example illustrates both the text output of the tool and a graphical user interface for the Smart Differencer that Semantic Designs offers as a plug-in for the Rational Developer for System Z (RDz) Environment.

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COBOL Smart Differencer Features

  • Compares two COBOL files and produces list of explicit changes
  • Available for different COBOL dialects: ANSI85, IBM VS II, and IBM Enterprise
  • Understands COBOL language syntax precisely:
    • All keywords, operators, and identifiers
    • Integer and floating constants as their numeric value
    • Whitespace (ignored)
    • Comments of various types are ignored
  • Output in terms of language syntax elements: identifiers, expressions, statements, paragraphs, etc.
  • More succinct output than a conventional string diff tool, with coherent explanations and code display rather than simple string dumps
  • Detects consistent renaming within an arbitrary block of code
  • Generates deltas in two forms:
    • Human readable format, showing location of deltas type (language nonterminals), locations (line,column) and before and after text
    • Summary form, showing just succinct summary of delta types and locations
  • Can process batches of files, specified either manually or through a COBOL-based file-selector GUI.
  • Input encoding in ASCII, European ASCII, or UNICODE (UTF-8 or UTF-16)
  • Output encoding in ASCII, European ASCII, or UNICODE (UTF-8 or UTF-16)

Semantic Designs also provides other COBOL tools.

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COBOL Smart Differencer