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Case study
Distri Data

Distri Data modernizes its large Cobol-based application with Servoy

Distri Data 

Distri Data has provided complete wholesale automation solutions for over 25 years. The Distri Data team comes from the wholesale industry and brings extensive expertise to its customers. Distri Data develops, sells, implements, and maintains software solutions that are specifically designed to meet the requirements of the wholesale industry.

In short // TLDR


Group 1385
Complex industry

Disti Data’s clients have diverse needs and complex data.

Legacy software

A key COBOL application made them less competitive due to costs of customization.


The new solution needed to be customizable by the users themselves, based on their needs.


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Their mobile-capable solution helped ensure continued relevance for customers.


Users can access their solution through a range of devices.

No compromises

Application was developed rapidly without compromising on quality of code.

Full version

Distri Data provides a software application and associated hardware, as well as technical devices such as handheld scanners, access control card readers, cash registers and scales. ZEGRIS, one of Distri Data’s software packages, supports the entire wholesale process—from order to receipt. 

The system is very popular with wholesale customers with branches ranging from 50 to 500 users. Several hundred wholesalers in the hotel and restaurant industries are using Distri Data’s solutions. 

Distri Data’s successful ZEGRIS wholesale application was written in COBOL. Customers needing personalized optimization of the platform were charged by the hour. Distri Data wanted to go back to its original business model of continuous revenue stream from licenses (subscription fees) rather than software customization. 

In 2010, Distri Data decided to completely redevelop its successful wholesale application in order to create a new software development platform that would be state of the art and future-proof. The new system would benefit from a new user interface as well as smartphone and tablet support. New capabilities would be added, such as customer self-service for the payment process. Finally, the system would be customizable by customers as per their requirements and internal processes.

Servoy combines highly efficient software development with outstanding agility and flexible deployment options.”

Jeroen van Es // Commercial Director Distri Data


Distri Data enrolled the financial backing of an investor for its project. Distri Data briefly considered replacing the COBOL code with JavaScript but realized that the operation was too risky. It might result in poor quality code, in turn leading to high development and maintenance costs. Distri Data needed a modern platform that supports fast and agile software development. 

The investor recommended Servoy because it was already successfully used by two other companies in his portfolio. Jeroen van Es, Commercial Director of Distri Data, says: “Those companies convinced us that Servoy would enable us to develop a good product. We therefore chose the Servoy business application platform as our new development environment.” 

Using Servoy, Distri Data recently developed a new, advanced hybrid cloud system called SOLIDIS. With SOLIDIS, Distri Data hopes to strengthen its market leader position within the wholesale industry.

“With Servoy, we were able to redevelop our wholesale software quickly and benefit from state-of-the-art functionalities, easy handling, and support of all modern devices and implementation models.”


The development team had been using COBOL for the past 25 years. The developers had to be retrained in object-oriented programming before they could familiarize themselves with Servoy-based software development. 

A Servoy expert was embedded in the team, with another Servoy specialist added to help with development. Soon, a pilot was successfully implemented and tested by food wholesalers in Rotterdam and in Belgium. 

The new software application— named SOLIDIS—launched in summer 2013. Existing ZEGRIS customers rapidly showed interest in SOLIDIS. They were offered a subscription model, with yearly license fees based on the number of users. Their databases were exported from ZEGRIS’s Cobol environment in SOLIDIS. New customers could have their data imported from legacy systems into SOLIDIS.


Distri Data has gained an innovative platform; access to development resources; and easy-to-use, affordable development. Key features are standard in the Servoy platform. The Distri Data team did not have to develop its own components, instead integrating prebuilt functionalities such as navigation and report generation. With Servoy, applications are developed once and can be deployed anywhere, on-site or in the cloud. SOLIDIS customers can choose between the on-premises and cloud versions, with both versions using the same code. 

Distri Data developers create desktop, browser, and mobile applications all with the same development platform. SOLIDIS automatically supports smartphones and tablets. It integrates applications such as SOLIDIS bar-code scanning and POS capabilities.

Jeroen van Es concludes: “Servoy combines highly efficient software development with outstanding agility and flexible deployment options. With Servoy, we were able to redevelop our wholesale software quickly and benefit from state-of-the-art functionalities, easy handling, and support of all modern devices and implementation models.”

The end

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