ACUCOBOL-85

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A COBOL-85 conforming pseudo-code compiler introduced by the USA based ACUCOBOL company in the latter half of the 80's, later versions of the compiler also supported some of the extensions proposed for the ANSI X3.23a-1989 standard. The toolkit allowed you to work with C code and libraries although not in a very flexible way, the C code had to be explicitly linked to b-code rather than COBOL source code, later the company offered tools to integrate with Java as well.

The main claim to fame was the portability of their toolkit and hence code developed for it, but in addition to 16 bit OS/2 the system supported DOS, AIX, AOS, NeXT, Ultrix, UNIX, XENIX and VMS. In the 1990's the company added support for 32 bit OS/2 (and dropped 16 bit support soon thereafter), in addition to support for MS Windows, Linux and a few new Unix variants as well. This portability was made possible with a Pascal like virtual machine that interpreted "b-code" intermediary code rather than native machine code, this also meant the compilers could not only generate code native to the system they were hosted on but also cross-compile to all the the other systems, although the target system had to have a run-time license but these were much cheaper than the full system.

In addition to ANSI COBOL-85 the toolkit supported code written for:

  • Ryan McFarland’s RM/COBOL
  • ICOBOL (aka Data General Interactive COBOL)
  • Digital VAX COBOL
  • IBM COBOL (Both mainframe and PC variants like IBM COBOL/2)
  • HP COBOL

The company started in the latter half of the 90's to focus more on Windows based products and in 1997 introduced ACUCOBOL-GT, a GUI product that only ran on 32 bit Windows systems, it could co-operate to a degree with some of their classic products and the company continued to deliver and update "classic" versions of their COBOL product. However their documentation increasingly mentioned only Microsoft database products and it was not immediately clear from their homepage that they sold systems for anything but MS Windows. The company was taken over by Micro Focus at 2007-05-04 and the ACUCOBOL line was discontinued although MF still support it.

Versions

  • 8.0.0 - 2006? - Last version delivered before sale to Micro Focus
  • 4.0.0 - 1997? - Last version to support OS/2 (32 bit only), FreeBSD, Motorola V-88 Unix and Digital Ultrix - First version to offer graphic capabilities and GUI on MS Windows
  • 1.3 - 1989 - Adds text-mode windowing capabilities on all supported systems in addition to considerable speed improvements over earlier versions.

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