Edgardo Burin

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Integrating mainframe applications into an SOA often carries the burden of dealing with metadata in the form of Cobol Copybooks. This metadata converted to an XML Schema format can be useful for a range of applications (from validation to creation of services). This article explains how to automate the conversion from Copybooks to XML Schema using regular expression logic. Cobol Copybooks 101 Mainframe metadata is usually defined using a subset of the Cobol language. Mainframe developers call these descriptions Copybooks. Cobol data definition is based on a hierarchical structure composed by two different types of items: Elementary Items and Group Items. Elementary Item is the name Cobol assigns to a data item that is not further subdivided (analogous to variables in other languages). Elementary Items are composed of: a Level Number, a Data Name, and a Picture Clause.... (more)