I've ported the PCRE (Perl Compatible Regular Expressions) to native z/OS (no USS [Unix Servicses], just good ol' native z/OS), including COBOL API. The installation file is available on: http://www.zaconsultants.net
on the downloads page.
The concept of Regular Expressions is new for most COBOL and PL/I programmers on the z/OS platform, but is old news for Unix and Linux programmers. Regular Expressions is a technology that allows finding patterns in text strings in ways that are not currently available in COBOL, PL/I or even Rexx.
The power of regular expressions is widely used by Java, VB.net, C#, PHP and Perl, to mention some of the most popular languages. The package that I've ported is the same one that is used by PHP and is highly compatible with Perl which is the standard setter for that stuff. In other words, I brought the most advanced form of Regular Expressions into the COBOL, PL/I and z/OS world.
I hope that the availability of PCRE would encourage all z/OS COBOL and PL/I programmers to learn about regular expressions and utilize this port. The license is BSD which pretty much allows use and even resell software based on it with very few real limitations.
We are working to introduce PCRE to PL/I for MVS, z/VM and Rexx, but COBOL and PL/I enterprise seem to be working fins
The files should also be available on CBTTTAPE.ORG and some other mirror site.