Cobol to Natural conversion tool

Could anyone help me to know the tool used for converting Cobol to Natural …

Thanks in Advance,

Sajeev, the most important and cheapest tool to use is called “BRAIN”. BRAIN is able to convert any language into any other language, after a small learning curve of some years.

It’s a pity that many people do not use BRAIN though they have it available and it is for free.

BRAIN must not be istalled on the system, it is automatically there, most time it resides in a bowl in front of the screen. BRAIN works together with FINGER, another free tool with 10 occurences. FINGER is used to input data to the system using KEYBOARD (sorry, not for free, but mostly available).

Hope that helps :stuck_out_tongue:

Hi Sajeev;

Many years ago I coined a term, NATBOL. This refers to Natural code written by a Cobol programmer, who was given a Natural manual and told to “go forth and write Natural code”.

The resulting code is easily identified; invariably it is terrible Natural code. Natural is not Cobol; not even close.

Follow Wilfried’s suggestion, use BRAIN.



Software AG UK have a toolkit called ACCORD which automatically converts the majority of Cobol to Natural. It was used very successfully for one large project carried out recently in Germany.

You can get a bit more info and contact details at:


The key question you should consider the answer of before looking for a conversion tool is “Who is going to maintain this mess?”

It is quite probable that you can convert COBOL code into the necessary logical structures in Natural that will behave completely the same. But then, the only reason for doing so is to have a foundation on which you wish to build and enhance, and things like variable names, subroutine names etc will be so meaningless it would surely be a hassle to touch.

So, it’s not that its unreasonable to ask if there is such a tool, but consider the effort of human intervention instead against the benefit of having something meaningful and extendable.

If you have many (millions?) of lines of Cobol source code to convert, you could consider:
a) using the ACCORD tool to convert the bulk of the code (lets say 80%) ; performing this task manually can make BRAIN hurt and is error-prone
b) use the BRAIN tool for the remaining 20%, and use the development time you have saved to ‘Naturalise’ the code for future maintenance?

Another consideration. How old is the code? Was it good code to start with? Was maintenance done intelligently (re-write) or piece-meal? I have seen lots of old code where you can all but identify the maintenance pieces, which rather than correcting the original code, “build” on the original code, which is still there. After four or five major “enhancements/modifications”, the code is executing 2-3 times the code it should be executing. This is not code you want to convert to another language, whether automated or manual. The advantage of manual here is that someone may realize that the code could be greatly simplified.