COBOL : History, Install, Program Example

What is COBOL?

COBOL is a programming language that is mainly focused on solving a business problem. Full form of COBOL is Common Business-Oriented Language. It is primarily used in company and government business, finance, and administrative systems. This language also used as a solution to many data processing problems.


It is developed by CODASYL (Conference on Data Systems Languages). It is used as a language in the Mainframe


Features of COBOL

Here, are some most important features of the COBOL programming language:

  • Allows you to handle a considerable volume of data due to its advanced file managing capability.

  • Logical structure in COBOL is easier to read and modify.

  • It can be executed and compiled on machines like IBM, personal computers, etc.

  • Testing and debugging tools are always accessible on all platforms of the computer. Therefore, it is a robust programming language.

  • You can easily debug in COBOL as it has different divisions.

  • COBOL was designed for business-oriented applications. It can handle large volumes of data due to its advanced file handling capabilities.


History of COBOL

Here, are important landmarks from the history of COBOL:

  • COBOL was first designed in 1959 by CODASYL.

  • In late 1962, IBM announced that COBOL is going to be their primary development language.

  • COBOL edition 1965 introduces the facilities for handling mass storage files and tables

  • In 1968, COBOL was recognized and approved by ANSI standard language for standard commercial use.

  • By 1970, COBOL had become the widely used programming language in the world.

  • In 1982, ISO installed then-SC5's first Working Group: WG4 COBOL

  • In 1985, the ISO working group 4 was accepted this version of the ANSI proposed standard.

  • In 2002, first Object-Oriented COBOL was released which could be encapsulated, as a part of COBOL.

  • In 2012, Computerworld surveys found out that over 60% of organizations still using COBOL.

  • In COBOL 2014 includes features like Method overloading, Dynamic capacity tables, etc.


Installing COBOL on Windows

Below given are by following a few simple steps to Install Hercules emulator

There are various types of mainframe emulators used for Windows. You can use them to write and do the simple COBOL programs.


Hercules is one of the popular COBOL emulators which can easily installed on Windows. Hercules is an open-source tool. It works on the latest 64-bit z/Arch