Micro Focus has launched a platform dubbed Reuze to help small and medium-sized businesses to move their Cobol-based business applications off of IBM mainframes and onto Windows servers.

Unveiled at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans, the Reuze platform is intended to help businesses cut costs by moving to lower cost Windows deployments, said Richard Pegden, director of product marketing at Micro Focus. Reuze is geared to businesses with small mainframes, typically with as much as 50 MIPS of processing power.

"This is a real opportunity for companies to reduce their ongoing costs," Pegden said. Users also can simplify their IT infrastructure.

Offering an alternative to rewriting and replacing applications, Reuze features two components: Developer, a client-based graphical tool to migrate applications to Windows and modernise them; and Server, the deployment environment for the migrated applications. Developer features a Visual Studio-based development environment and makes use of cross-team collaboration. Server takes advantage of 64-bit Windows architectures.

"Essentially, what we're doing is we're taking the underlying business logic of the Cobol-based applications that are running on the mainframe and we're migrating that application as it is onto a Windows platform," Pegden said. Customers also can migrate to databases like Microsoft MySQL and also could consider redeploying applications to cloud environments.

The Micro Focus software supports the Microsoft .Net Framework. Source code on the former mainframe applications is typically left unchanged.

Micro Focus offers more expensive products for larger enterprises, such as its Micro Focus Studio platform.

But Pegden declined to state the price of Reuze. The software is available now.