I run a small plumbing and home repair service and would like to have a COBOL system developed that would on the main screen display the name of the company then have options for different screens like 1 customer info like name address and phone numbers and options to change or add customers. 2 for scheduling 3 for billing. I was wondering if this was something someone on this forum would be interested in developing. Thanks
The “short answer” is probably, “Yes.” But, people would probably want to know why you want to custom-build something that every business probably wants or needs, and which has probably been available --even, in some cases, ‘for free’-- for a fairly long time.
Assuming that you had a reason that would allow the programmer to think you weren’t a scammer (nor crazy), the answer would probably BE, “Yes,” whether you are “time-sharing” on someone else’s mainframe computer, or whether you have a PC in a home-office, with a copy of MicroFocus COBOL on it.
The business you describe, and the things you say you want, are perfect, for COBOL (although the management of the “display-screen” would be done via “calls” to some kind of “system-service” mechanism unique to your computer [e.g., “FMS” on the DEC VAX, or “DPS” on the UNIVAC 1100]).
But, beware: the Domain-Name, on this site, is “OpenMainframeProject”.
An experienced, “big-computer”-oriented COBOL programmer is likely to say, to himself [with “himself” being a “short form” of “himself/herself/theirself”, rather than an indication that “only males can be programmers”],…
…"You’d probably want the ‘Customer’ to be created, when the first phone-call comes in, simply as part of your spouse/receptionist/partner scheduling the first job that the caller asks your company to do;…
…“…and, while the ‘Customer Maintenance’ part of the system might be able to ‘Create New Customer’, as an option, the main ‘reason’ for that separate, ‘Customer Maintenance’ module would be, to be able to keep track of their address(es), birthdays, etc., in order to be able to send them --in addition to bills/invoices-- Christmas cards and/or other, possibly-customized notes and other greetings, periodically, so that they keep calling your company, when they need plumbing or home-repair services, instead of ‘throwing a dart at a list of names’ and calling whichever name is closest to the point.”
Such a programmer is probably going to want to make it possible, for your “Billing” modules to be connected to other, as-yet-unmentioned modules that keep track of the receipts your company maintains, on the supplies that your technicians buy, for each “job” or “call”,…
…in order to help you to figure out whether you’re making a profit (and how much), while still charging a fee that’s low enough, to keep you “first choice”, among your satisfied customers, when they (or their friends) need more work done.
[NOTE: “Billing” equates to “Accounts Receivable”, which is only one aspect of the “Accounting” that you will need to stay on top of, in order to be able to pay taxes and stay “legitimate” (or, at least, “not criminal”); so, the COBOL programmer is going to want to make sure that the “Billing” module feeds into your “Accounting” software.]
Anyway, it won’t be until AFTER you’ve already gotten all of your “operational” systems running, that the REAL benefit of such a system, written in COBOL, would become available: the reports.
“How much money does each of my customers bring into my business?”
“Which of my customers keep coming back?”
“How accurate are my company’s estimates?”
“What is the value of my business?”
Are you willing or able to pay the cost required, to get a custom-written system?