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Need ODBC solution for COBOL data

Posted on 2014-12-30
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Last Modified: 2015-04-21
We have an old DOS-based business system that I'd like to be able to extract data from (easily)   - this will be a one-time exercise as we are migrating away from the DOS system.  Microfocus COBOL.  I'm looking at several tools which are all a little expensive - isn't there an ODBC driver out there that won't cost a lot?
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Question by:cheningham1
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by:tliotta
ID: 40524863
We have an old DOS-based business system that I'd like to be able to extract data from (easily)
Are you asking for an ODBC driver that somehow allows you to write in Mf COBOL to retrieve data from an old DOS-based database?

Can you tell us what that database is? I.e., what DBMS defines it? What platform is it installed on and how does it run?

Without knowing the DBMS, there is no good way to know if any ODBC driver was ever created. Makes it difficult to provide answers.

Tom
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by:cheningham1
ID: 40525271
Yes, I am asking for an ODBC driver that I can use to extract data from application called Real World accounting.  We can get the data via text exports but I'm looking for something dynamic.  Products I've seen out on the web that would likely handle this include Parkway, Transoft, Relativity, but I'm not going to spend that level of $$$.
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Bill Bach earned 2000 total points
ID: 40664329
I may be wrong, but I believe that the RealWorld accounting database uses the Btrieve/PSQL database engine for storage of all of its data.  Can you confirm whether you have either a Btrieve or Pervasive PSQL database engine on your database server?  

If you have Pervasive.SQL 7 or newer (V8, v9, v10, v11, or even v12), then you can use the native ODBC drivers that are provided with the full PSQL engine install.  If you have Btrieve 6.15, then only SOME of the engine licenses included the ODBC driver, so this may be a bit more troublesome.  In this case, search your stack of old 3.5" floppies and look for the Btrieve 6.15 ODBC drivers.  If you have them, then you'll have the drivers.  If not, then you might be stuck.

Once you have the ODBC drivers available, you're half-way home.  Unfortunately, the other half can be just as troublesome.  You need to now locate data dictionary files for your database.  Usually located somewhere int he application data folder, these files (with a DDF extension, like FILE.DDF, FIELD.DDF, etc.) provide the information about the low level database record layout that the the ODBC drivers need to parse the data properly.  If you cannot find DDF's, check with the application developer or support people, or perhaps a user group (in case someone else has built them).  If you don't have DDF's, things get VERY sticky real quick.

With the ODBC drivers and DDF's, the rest is academic.  Create a DSN that points to the database on the server, and you should be set.  

Since there are a LOT of IF's here, give me an idea if any of this is even close, and we can work through one issue at a time.
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Expert Comment

by:cheningham2
ID: 40671324
I have moved on.  Thanks.
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by:tliotta
ID: 40724801
Near as I can determine, BillBach provided an actual (and the only) "answer" at http:#a40664329 .

Tom
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