News in COBOL-02
For more -
see links to the Cobol Standard and main provider's on-line documentation.
1. Program structure
The main extension is in the using of the identification division.
In addition to program-id there are first of all class-id, method-id
and function-id with some others.
In the data division there is new local-storage section for the recursive
and OO programming, screen section and report section.
2. Data description and the manipulation in memory
There are new possibilities of prototype definitions, clauses for validation
and table sorting and new data categories boolean and national.
The broad extension is use of standardized condition names as ec-.. exception names.
For dynamic-handling with the storage serve the new statements allocate and free.
3. File handling, nets, internet
New is the the standardization of the file sharing and locking.
Text oriented line sequential file organization and internet-handling
for the time being was not included.
4. Cultural adaptibility and multilingual support
One of the essential extensions is the possibility to use not only date, time
and currency symbols but all character sets of different national alphabets.
The capability is added to source text, library text, in data at execution time
and programmer-defined names may contain extended letters.
5. Report witer
There is interesting that an old generator of the level-controlled listings
which was from some providers ignored is newly included in the norm.
6. Work with the screen and keyboyard/mouse
The old accept/display statements was completed with line-column positioning
and full-screen-design in text-mode of the screen section.
The direct programming of grafical user interface with mouse (GUI) is in COBOL
language not implemented.
But with the new OO abilities there are necessary class and methods
in libraries at disposal or with call statements can be services of relevant
7. Compilation control
The frequently used exec .. end-exec construct for exterenal languages source
texts embedded was not included in the norm.
But there are important improvements by compilation directives
define, if and evaluate.
8. Function handling
From the 89-supplement there are compiler-defined intrinsic functions and
in the COBOL-02 are common user-defined functions included.
9. Object oriented programming
The most important new extension of the COBOL qualities is complex-support for
OO programming. There is now possible not only to create own classes and methods
but first of all to use the standard interface from libraries of all others
10. The future
The development of the COBOL language goes continually with the development
of ICT industry.
As example can serve the recently published ISO/IEC design  Native COBOL Syntax for XML Support