Marble Computer, Inc.: Delivering Specialized COBOL-driven Software Development

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Joel R. Banner, President
Today, the realm of software development is brimming with programming languages that compete with each other over their computational prowess with respect to handling data. Rewind the clock sixty years, and the most popular programming language with its self-documentation, easily understandable language, and ability to handle large volumes of data easily, was COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language). Based on its advantages, COBOL was the prime language used to develop and maintain business applications that were portable across platforms. However, due to its domain-specific nature and limited applications outside of business programming, COBOL training in universities witnessed a decline by the 1980s. Despite its downfall, COBOL is still dominant as a programming language in the banking, insurance, military, healthcare, and government spaces, which have deeply rooted applications written in COBOL decades ago.

On the business-end, COBOL’s significance to users is slowly being revitalized by IBM who released their COBOL compiler family that support IBM’s AIX and z/OS mainframe solutions and assist their clients in amplifying the program development and maintenance of existing mission-critical applications. And as an industry veteran in the IBM mainframe world, Texas-based Marble Computer provides COBOL development and maintenance software tools to help its clients make the most of their IBM mainframe. “As experts in documenting and analyzing COBOL code, our portfolio offers a tactical advantage to businesses seeking the efficient development and effective maintenance of their mainframe and other applications,” says Joel Banner, president at Marble Computer.

Founded in 1983 by Marshall Crawford—an expert on IBM mainframe COBOL, the company was initially a conventional computer software organization before pivoting into core COBOL documentation and analytics. Marble Computer’s clientele includes Blue Cross Blue Shield healthcare firms, and leading firms from the realms of banking, finance, manufacturing, retail and governmental agencies across the U.S. “Wherever companies have reinvested in mainframe application development, our ‘horizontal’ tools carve their place with their ability to analyze COBOL and provide statistical information,” adds Banner.

Currently, the company’s product line includes the latest version of its Control/DCD (Data Correlation and Documentation) product, which simplifies modernization projects for mainframe applications and bypasses the lack of COBOL talent with its unique COBOL code analyzer.


As experts in documenting and analyzing COBOL code, our portfolio offers a tactical advantage to businesses seeking the efficient development and effective maintenance of their mainframe and software applications

Following the analysis of code, Control/DCD creates documentation files, either an alternative compile listing (ACL) or a digital documentation manual (DDM) for each specific program, making it easy to use for all parties in a DevOps environment. Apart from Control/DCD, Marble Computer also has rights to sell the RES suite of tools and services, which collect detailed insights about a client’s IT environment to ensure the optimization of processes and system governance across all areas of the business.

With such unmatched core competencies, Marble Computer has ignited several success stories since its inception. In one instance, the company helped a large healthcare organization better leverage their IBM mainframe deployments via the new Enterprise COBOL compilers. Initially, as the healthcare firm had a longstanding relationship with Marble Computer, they approached the company to consult on the implementation of IBM’s Enterprise COBOL compilers. Subsequently, as the client started using the compilers daily, Marble Computer trained200+ of the healthcare firm’s programmers over six months. After the project, the client gained the ability to perform efficient mainframe software development and maintain it without outsourcing resources or programmers.

Moving forward, Marble Computer aims to expand its clientele by serving more companies seeking to leverage IBM’s Enterprise COBOL compilers and helping them do a better job of analyzing and understanding the code. Simultaneously, the company is planning to develop technology transfer offerings that will allow Independent Software Vendors (ISVs)to obtain licensing rights to Marble Computers’ code and become self-sustaining with respect to developing and maintaining COBOL-driven mainframe software applications.

Company
Marble Computer, Inc.

Headquarters
El Paso, TX

Management
Joel R. Banner, President

Description
As an industry veteran in the IBM mainframe world, Texas-based Marble Computer provides COBOL development and maintenance software tools to help its clients make the most of their IBM mainframe. As experts in documenting and analyzing COBOL code, our portfolio offers a tactical advantage to businesses seeking the efficient development and effective maintenance of their mainframe and other applications. Founded in 1983 by Marshall Crawford—an expert on IBM mainframe COBOL, the company was initially a conventional computer software organization before pivoting into core COBOL documentation and analytics

Marble Computer, Inc.