COBOL - Introduction
COBOL is a Common Business Oriented Language. It is a high-level programming language. As the expanded acronym suggests, COBOL is designed for developing business, typically file-oriented applications.
COBOL is used by the US Department of Defense, in a conference, formed CODASYL (Conference on Data Systems Language) to develop a language. COBOL is used for writing application programs, and we can't use it to write system software. This means you would not develop an operating system or a compiler using COBOL.
How COBOL Works
We must understand the way COBOL works. Computers only know machine code, a binary stream of 0s and 1s. The code of COBOL must be converted into machine code using a compiler. Run the program source through the compiler. The compiler first of all checks for any syntax errors and then converts it into machine language. Then the compiler creates an output file, which is known as a load module. This output file contains executable code in the form of 1s and 0s.
History of COBOL
COBOL language was one of the earliest high-level programming languages. During the 1950s, when the businesses were rising in the western part of the world, there was a need to automate various processes for ease of operation, and this gave birth to a high-level programming language destined for business data processing.
Features of COBOL
COBOL is a standard language that can be compiled and executed on systems such as IBM AS/400, personal computers, etc.
COBOL is developed for business-oriented applications related to defense domain, financial domain, etc.
Logical control structures are offered in COBOL, which makes it easier to read and modify. COBOL provides different divisions, so it is easy to debug.
COBOL is a robust language as its numerous testing, and debugging tools are available for almost all computer platforms.
COBOL is a simple language. No user-defined functions, no user-defined types, no pointers, and a limited scope of function.
One of the major design goals for COBOL was to make it possible for non-programmers such as managers, supervisors, and users to read and understand COBOL code.
Advantages of COBOL