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Enterprise COBOL Applications Meet Web 2.0 - Social Software

JP Rangaswami, on his blog, confused of calcutta, has an insightful discussion, "Musing about enterprise information and flow. ...doesn't everyone in the blogosphere know about ping servers, search engines, aggregators, ad servers, data miners, ad servers and text scrapers? What's so instructive about spam blogs? And surely everybody knows about social bookmarking, about linking, and about making comments?

The instructiveness for me comes in the word I left out. Corporations. Enterprises.

In the 21st Century, the web is two-way; as Doc Searls often says, it's writeable. So, if we take these ideas into the enterprise, build enterprise applications around the web, what are the analogies? Should there be any analogies? Should enterprises be using exactly the same tools as their customers? Why not?"

Here's one idea.

COBOL Meets Web 2.0?

From CW (Computer World), "Confessions of a Cobol programmer".

Some 75% of the world's businesses data is still processed in Cobol, and about 90% of all financial transactions are in Cobol, according to Arunn Ramadoss, head of the academic connections program at Micro Focus International PLC, which provides software to help modernize Cobol applications.

Because of the massive installed base, it would be too expensive to try to replace all that code, he says. Instead, many companies are looking for ways to integrate Cobol with newer applications."

Don't laugh. I cut my teeth on COBOL at a time when IT was DP. I designed and wrote cics/cobol/IMS/DB2 code for dozens of mainframe applications. I even used Micro Focus with both, Telon and APS/PC - code generators. I'd love to have an opportunity to mashup a web 2.0 - social application with a COBOL one.

Any takers? What would the app do? Any ideas on consumer IT mixing it up with corporate IT? I have a couple of ideas around to-do lists with task, calendar, and event management.