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What is the full form of COBOL

COBOL: Common Business Oriented Language

COBOL stands for Common Business Oriented Language. COBOL is a high-level programming language designed for the business applications. It is the second oldest programming language as FORTRAN is the oldest. It was created jointly by the private sector and the U.S. government to fulfill two objectives: portability and readability. It was suitable for business applications that run on large computers. COBOL programs use regular English language and everything is clearly spelled out which makes it easily understandable and much longer in comparison to the same program written in another language.

COBOL full form


COBOL was invented in late 1950s by the Grace Hopper. Earlier each computer maker has to use its own programming language to function a computer. COBOL programs could run on more than one computer of different manufacturers and hence was immediately adopted by the Department of Defense (DoD) as they have to purchase computers from different buyers. Since 1960, it has undergone various updates and improvements. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has produced various revisions of COBOL, e.g. COBOL-68, COBOL-74, COBOL-85 and COBOL-2002. COBOL format is no longer being supported by new systems hence, it is called Legacy Language.


  • COBOL applications are very large.
  • COBOL applications are long lived.
  • COBOL applications can deal with enormous volume of data.
  • COBOL applications are easy to understand.
  • COBOL applications are portable that means can be used by all.
  • COBOL applications are easy to maintain.
  • Allows both long names (up to 30 characters) and word-connector characters.
  • Self documenting language that offers visual programming environments.
  • Integration with the World Wide Web is possible.
  • Bugs can be resolved easily.


COBOL is mainly used in large organizations like Military, Government, Large scale Businesses and in some Banks also in USA.

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