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Full form of COBOL

High-level programming languages like COBOL (Common Commercial-oriented language) are used for commercial applications. It continues to be used in many business and financial applications today and was the first widely used language to be operating system-neutral.

COBOL was created for corporate computer applications in the finance and human resources sectors. In contrast to certain advanced programming languages for computers, COBOL utilizes English vocabulary to facilitate comprehension for regular business users. The language drew heavily from the text-based FLOW-MATIC programming language developed by Rear Admiral Grace Hopper in the 1940s. Hopper is sometimes called the "grandmother of COBOL." She was an expert advisor on the FLOW-MATIC project.

Every operating system has a programming language associated with it before COBOL. This presented an issue for businesses that used many computer brands, such as the US Department of Defence, which supported the COBOL project. COBOL swiftly became one of the most popular programming languages worldwide due to its portability and ease of use. COBOL is still the most extensively used programming language today, even though most people consider it obsolete.

Features of COBOL

COBOL's well-known features include:

Uniformity and simplicity: COBOL is a standard language that is simple to learn and can run on a range of machines. It has a clean coding style and offers a large syntactic vocabulary.

Capabilities focused on business: Massive amounts of data can be handled by COBOL thanks to its sophisticated file-handling features. Still, over 70% of global corporate transactions are handled via COBOL. For anything from straightforward batch reporting to intricate transactions, COBOL is appropriate.

Universality: With its adaptability to six decades of business transformation, COBOL is compatible with various platforms and devices. The language provides testing and debugging tools for nearly every computer platform, and new COBOL products, compilers, and development tools are still being released annually.

Organization and expandability: COBOL has logical control structures that simplify comprehending, altering, and debugging. In addition, COBOL is cross-platform, portable, dependable, and scalable.

Cloud-based COBOL

The cloud provides an additional platform for quick deployment and upgrade of COBOL programs. Because of COBOL's flexible and highly portable enabling features, most COBOL systems may be swiftly and seamlessly redeployed on a virtual or cloud platform.

This has been made feasible by the intrinsic design of COBOL, its high degree of adaptability, and the dedication of industry vendors like IBM and Micro Focus. Even further, portability for application creation, testing, and deployment across a hybrid IT infrastructure is added by COBOL's support for containers.

As of May 2019, COBOL is ranked twenty-fourth out of the top fifty programming languages according to the TIOBE Index, which measures programming language popularity. Mission-critical services are supported by core business programs, which are frequently designed in COBOL for many worldwide groups.

The cloud provides an additional platform for quick deployment and upgrade of COBOL programs. Because of COBOL's flexible and highly portable enabling features, most COBOL systems may be swiftly and seamlessly redeployed on a virtual or cloud platform. Even further, portability for application creation, testing, and deployment across a hybrid IT infrastructure is added by COBOL's support for containers.

The COBOL history

CODASYL, the Conference on Data Systems Language, created COBOL-60 in 1959. In 1962, IBM said that COBOL would be their main language for development. In 1968, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) authorized a standardized version of COBOL for commercial usage. COBOL had become the most popular computer language worldwide by 1970.

Financial companies and government organizations still frequently employ COBOL nowadays. COBOL is now again being taught in several colleges, this time to assist application modernization and the DevOps movement, even though the number of programmers with COBOL experience constantly declines as people who learned it during its peak near retirement age. The growing need for COBOL developers has resulted in creative training options and higher pay in this field. IBM has trained over 150,000 developers in COBOL and mainframe capabilities through training programs and fellowships over the last ten years.

Benefits of COBOL:

  • COBOL is the best language for sequential processing, file access, batch operations, and reporting.
  • Applications from the government, banks, insurance companies, and the military still use it.
  • A lot of fantastic job options arise from COBOL.
  • Alphabetical, reference, alphanumeric, object, numerical in nature, national, index, and Boolean data types are included in COBOL.