Salem, Massachusetts-based Language Technology Corp has launched CICS/Recoder, an automated re-engineering tool for on-line applications, designed to decipher and untangle Cobol code written under IBM’s Customer Information Control System, CICS. The company also claims that the software boosts application effciency by 30%, and is the first product to provide documentation identifying otherwise hidden Handle conditions. Handle conditions indirectly alter program control flow when an error or abend occurs, by diverting standard CICS commands to a special routine. According to Language Technology, these control flow jumps create loops and runaway tasks that are difficult to trace and correct on CICS/Cobol programs layered with overlapping Handles. The CICS/Recoder is designed to solve this problem in three different ways, it explains. Initially, the product separates each Handle routine from the program’s main stream, and removes any remaining unstructured control flow. It then provides comments which document the relationship between Handles and each CICS command. Finally, it completes the documentation package with the CICS Command List and a set of Handle Location, Handle Target, and Handle Cross Reference reports. The CICS/Recorder was developed in collaboration with corporate development partners Merrill Lynch, Baxter Healthcare, and Canada Trust. An additional benefit claimed by Canada Trust development support analyst, Doug Holland, is a reduction in style and structure differences between batch Cobol and CICS Cobol programs. This, in turn, should help reduce the steep learning curve for those who support CICS Cobol, he adds. All three development partners also testify to 100% functional equivalence of programs, and minimal impact on program response time and performance. Licence prices for the product, available now in the US, range from $87,000 to $174,000, depending on the number of Cobol programmers at the site, and include the company’s current batch version of Recoder. Existing Recoder customers can expect to upgrade for between $12,500 and $24,500, depending on their current Recoder licence terms.