COBOL Overview - IBM Mainframe

COBOL is the most widely used application programming language in the world today, and its use is growing. Much of this popularity stems from COBOL's power in handling the data processing needs of business. In fact, the word COBOL stands for Common Business Oriented Language.

Programs written in COBOL are designed to handle large volumes of input data from a variety of sources. They can manipulate data, and can produce a variety of outputs, such as printed reports or files on disk storage devices. COBOL is also flexible enough to handle a wide range of data processing needs—from the overnight processing of a company payroll to the 'l-need-an-answer-now' demands of insurance claim inquiries.

The English-like look of the COBOL language also adds to its wide appeal. Notice how much the following COBOL statements resemble English sentences.

COBOL Overview

Because of this, it is often easier to translate the logic of a program into COBOL statements than into less English-like programming languages. It is also easier to read a COBOL program and thus simpler to maintain it. COBOL's widespread usage magnifies the importance of tools that can make COBOL programmers more productive. VS COBOL II is a tool that can do that and more. VS COBOL II can increase programmer productivity, enhance application efficiency and ease debugging and maintenance of COBOL applications.

VS COBOL II is also one of the products that programmers can use to develop applications that take advantage of the consistency and connectivity offered by IBM's Systems Application Architecture (SAA). This section describes the features, such as ANSI 1985 COBOL Standard support, SAA support, structured programming support, and 31-bit addressing support that make VS COBOL II Release 4 a powerful and flexible product and an excellent choice for today's business applications.

The purpose of this section on VS COBOL II is to help you in doing the following in the Mainframe environment:

  • Develop, design and code VS COBOL 11 programs
  • Analyze, maintain and modify existing VS COBOL II programs
  • Compile, debug, link-edit and execute VS COBOL 11

The section contains information about structured programming. It also contains descriptions of the features of VS COBOL II. The primary objective of this section is to teach the professionals who are working in or who want to work in the IBM Mainframe environment (MVS environment) how to analyze, design, code, develop, compile, debug, test, link-edit and execute VS COBOL II programs. The book does not intend to teach you COBOL from scratch, it assumes that you know COBOL and how to develop application in it. The book concentrates on the enhancements and features of VS COBOL II.

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