COBOL

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Grace Murray Hopper
(1906 ~ 1992)
One of the architects of COBOL

Business application language designed at the behest of the USA Department of Defence in the 1950's. In addition to domain specific business language features it has other tools to facilitate the writing of business software such as indexed file system with database like features, typically ISAM but in the case of IBM products VSAM.

Still relatively popular on mainframes due to huge amounts of legacy code and mature tool chains but also sees use on smaller systems for development of custom business applications.

OS/2 Implementations of COBOL

  • ACUCOBOL-85 - Commercial - Discontinued
  • Wild Hare Computer Systems Axis - Commercial - Discontinued
  • CA-Realia - Commercial - Discontinued
  • Cobol Workbench - Commercial - Discontinued
  • Code/400 - AS/400 cross development toolkit - Commercial - Discontinued
  • IBM COBOL/2 - Commercial (1988-1998) - Discontinued
  • IBM VisualAge COBOL - Commercial - Discontinued
  • Liant COBOL - Commercial - Discontinued
  • mdp COBOL 85 - Commercial - Discontinued
  • Micro Focus Cobol - Commercial - Discontinued
  • Microsoft Cobol - Commercial - Discontinued

Libraries and bindings

  • Easy Toolkit - Portability toolkit - Commercial - Discontinued

GUI builders and Cobol CASE tools

  • CA-Telon - CASE tool/application generator - Commercial - Discontinued
  • COBOL sp2 - Commercial - Discontinued

COBOL related programmer's utilities

  • Exuberant ctags - Creates index files out of COBOL source files - Open source - Current

OS/2 text & programmers editors with COBOL support

  • Boxer - COBOL support included by default - Commercial - Discontinued
  • BRIEF - COBOL support included by default - Commercial - Discontinued
  • Preditor/2 - COBOL template with syntax highlighting - Commercial - Discontinued

DOS Implementations of COBOL

IBM
  • 1982: COBOL Compiler Version 1.0
  • 1987: COBOL Compiler Version 2.0
Micro Focus
  • 1985: Professional COBOL
Ryan-McFarland
  • 1987: RM COBOL 85

GUI builders and Cobol CASE tools

DOS text & programmers editors with COBOL support

  • Boxer - COBOL support included by default - Commercial - Discontinued
  • BRIEF - COBOL support included by default - Commercial - Discontinued

Implementations that run under WinOS/2

GUI builders and Cobol CASE tools

Java Implementations

  • isCobol - Commercial - Current - (Target only?)
  • Micro Focus Cobol - Commercial - Current - Target only.
  • NetCOBOL - Commercial - Current - (Target only?)
  • PerCobol - Commercial - Discontinued

COBOL implementations in JavaScript

Generic or cross platform source code

Publications

  • David Dill: The COBOL Presentation Manager Programming Guide: For OS/2 Versions 1.3 and 2.0 - VNR 1992, ISBN 0-442-01293-4
  • Robert B. Chapman: OS/2 Presentation Manager Programming for COBOL Programmers (Revised edition) – Wiley 1993, ISBN 0-471-56140-1

Tutorials

Links

USENET
  • comp.lang.cobol - Still alive (mostly)
  • alt.cobol - By now a dead duck, however during the 90´s a better information resource on COBOL than the traditional comp.lang.cobol group, and since google has most posting of the group archived and searchable, it is a great information resource for those working with older COBOL tools.

Standards

  • COBOL-60 first formal standard
  • COBOL-61 published as "Cobol-1961: Report to Conference on Data Systems Languages (U.S. Department of Defence 1961). - This should be in the public domain as a DoD publication but for some reason is not. Not fully compatible with COBOL-60, but the basis for most COBOL compilers developed in the 1960's.
  • COBOL-61 EXTENDED An extension for COBOL-61 with syntax clarifications and so on, arithmetic extensions mean that the language is not 100% compatible with COBOL-61. First standard that offers the sort and report writer features, although the latter is optional.
  • COBOL-65
  • ANSI-74 (ANS X3.23-1974) = ISO 1989:1978
  • ANSI-85 (ANS X3.23-1985) = ISO 1989:1985 = DIN 66 028
  • COBOL 2014 (ISO/IEC 1989:2014)