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COBOL Tutorial
COBOL is a high-level programming language very first developed by the CODASYL Committee (Conference on Data Systems Languages) in early of 1960’s. Then it was assigned to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for developing new COBOL standards. There are three ANSI standards for COBOL have been developed in the respective years  1968, 1974 and 1985. Introduction COBOL is stands for Common Business Oriented Language. COBOL is designed for developing business, typically file-oriented, applications. It is not designed for writing systems programs. For instance you would not develop an operating system or a compiler using COBOL. Some characteristics that contribute to COBOL's success  COBOL is self-documenting: One of the design goals for COBOL was to make it possible for non-programmers such as supervisors, managers and users, to read and understand COBOL code. COBOL is simple: COBOL is a simple language. no pointers, no user defined functions, no user defined types and  with a limited scope of function. COBOL coding rules On coding forms, o The first six character positions are reserved for sequence numbers. o The seventh character position is reserved for the continuation character, or for an asterisk that denotes a comment line. o The actual program text starts in column 8. o The four positions from 8 to 11 are known as Area A, and positions from 12 to 72 are Area B. When a COBOL compiler recognizes the two areas, all division names, section names, paragraph names, FD entries and 01 level numbers must start in Area A. All other sentences must start in Area B. Different ways of writing cobol programs Based on the usage, cobol programs can be divided into the below two types. o Batch programs. 1) COBOL programs. 2) COBOL+DB2 programs. 3) COBOL+DB2+VSAM programs. o Online programs. 1) COBOL+CICS programs. 2) COBOL+DB2+CICS programs. 3) COBOL+DB2+VSAM+CICS programs.
If any questions on the above, post your queries on Cobol Discussion forum
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