• COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language) was one of the earliest high-level programming languages.
  • COBOL was developed in 1959 by the Conference on Data Systems Languages (CODASYL). This committee was a formed by a joint effort of industry, major universities, and the United States Government. This committee completed the specifications for COBOL as the year of 1959 came to an end.
  • These were then approved by the Executive Committee in January 1960, and sent to the government printing office, which edited and printed these specifications as Cobol60.
  • COBOL was developed within a six month period, and yet is still in use over 40 years later.
  • Since 1960, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) was responsible for developing new COBOL standards.
  • Three ANSI standards for COBOL have been produced: in 1968, 1974 and 1985.
  • Object-oriented COBOL is the fourth edition in the continuing evolution of ANSI/ISO standard COBOL.

The government contributed to COBOL’s initial popularity by insisting that computers sold or leased to the government had to have COBOL software available.

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