COBOL (Common Business-oriented Language) is a computer programming language designed specifically for business purposes. And, since 2002, the language is object-oriented, imperative, and procedural. COBOL programming language is mainly used in private and government institutions for administrative functions. Also, the language is used in legacy applications like IBM iSeries, for large-scale batch and transaction processing.
But with time, the popularity of COBOL has decreased, and experienced COBOL developers has also retired. Furthermore, the COBOL programmers started to migrate to new platforms, and codes were re-written in modern languages.
However, most of the COBOL programmers are still there to maintain existing applications.
COBOL was introduced in the year 1959 by CODASYL. COBOL was developed for the US Department of Defense (DoD) in an effort to develop a portable programming language for data processing. COBOL programmers referred to it as a stopgap, but DoD forced the COBOL developers to provide it. This resulted in widespread adoption of the language. It was standardized in 1968, and since then, it has been revised four times. The expansion was in favor of IBM iseries services and OOP. The current version of this language is ISO/IEC 1989:2014.
Although many other programming languages are available for the business environment, being fifty-year-old doesn’t mean that COBOL is outdated. COBOL programmers are still accountable for more than 70% of business transactions all around the world.
How is COBOL Different from Any Other Language?
If you’re a rational developer for iseries and enjoy working on any common language like, C, C++, Java, and many others, then COBOL is a totally different breed. It is not like your general-purpose language and not a great fit for the tasks performed by high-level jobs that other languages can perform.
Assuming that COBOL was introduced before UNIX and C saw the daylight, there won’t be any surprise that its heritage is different. As the name describes, COBOL (Common Business-oriented Language), as the name says, was invented as a business application. Have a look at the list, which highlights the primary difference between COBOL programmers and modern-day languages:
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