What is COBOL? COBOL programming explained

Jeffrey Cuebas

Some technologies never ever die—they just fade into the woodwork. 

Request the regular software program developer about COBOL (Frequent Business Oriented Language) and they’ll glimpse at you as if you mentioned carbon paper, leaded gasoline, or the 78 RPM history. In contrast to modern day languages like Go or Python—or even Pascal or C!—COBOL would seem wordy, clunky, passé.

But COBOL has endured. Far from an obsolescent engineering we’ve happily parted enterprise with, COBOL has become an institution. Enormous COBOL codebases are nevertheless in use about the environment, lots of of them working virtually just as they have been when very first designed. In Hollywood parlance, the COBOL language has “legs.”

So, yes, COBOL is nevertheless pertinent and timely—painfully so, in point. In the latest months COBOL has re-entered the general public consciousness, as states like New Jersey have set out a call for programmers to assist move their COBOL programs into the twenty first century.

In this piece we’ll glimpse at COBOL’s origins, how the layout of the programming language stands out even currently, and what would make COBOL both so enduring and so intractable.

COBOL record

COBOL arose in the late fifties and early sixties. The enhancement of the language was a challenge sponsored by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) that involved a consortium of computer corporations such as IBM, Honeywell, Sperry Rand, and Burroughs. The objective was to generate a programming language with the pursuing attributes:

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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