Today's COBOL systems
For more -
see links to the Cobol Standard and main provider's on-line documentation.
1. System qualities in brief
The COBOL language is still an important programming tool
and his different dialects and international norms are
permanently developed by the main corporations of ICT industry.
2. External system services
2.1 Operating system and development environment tools
The COBOL language compilers and most modern development environments
with many add-tools
exist in the all common hardware platforms and operating systems
inclusive .NET technology.
2.2 Compilation control and foreign source text embedded
In the new COBOL-02 norm are defined statements for broad compilation control
and in the provider's dialects there are tools for external another-language
source texts embedded - e.g. SQL, CICS, HTML, JAVA and C-family.
2.3 Utilities and run-time support in time of using
All providers have many products for run-time support in the
One of the most important classical utilities is the
support for the creating and retrieving of the indexed files.
All main dialects supplies the direct connectivity
with the standard Database systems.
From 89 supplement of COBOL-85 exist intrinsic functions
for mathematical, statistical and some others algorithms.
The COBOL-02 defines the common user's functions.
4.2 Callable system library routines
All providers have their own callable routines.
E.g. IBM - Language environment which is universal
for COBOL, PL/I, Fortran and C-family,
Micro Focus (MF) - set of the "call by numbers" and "call by names" etc.
4.3 OO-classes and methods from OO-libraries
Many dialects already provides the Object Oriented extensions conform
COBOL-02 norm which gives the possibility of direct cooperation
with C++, JAVA, Smalltalk and others OO development enviroments.
5. Limitations and remarks
Because of the long history of the COBOL language, more
providers with the different access and in the last time
the long waiting for the new norm COBOL-02,
there are some differences between products of individual providers.
But this differences are mainly in the development possibilities,
add-tools and run-time support. The language base is in all dialects the same
with little exceptions.