Common business-oriented language definition
COBOL is a high-level programming language developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was specifically designed for business and finance. Private companies and governments used COBOL in administrative systems. It is known for its English-like syntax, making it easy to read and understand. COBOL uses a fixed-format layout, often divided into four divisions: identification, environment, data, and procedure.
COBOL was developed by industry experts, academics, and the U.S. Department of Defense. The goal was to create a language that could run on any brand of computer and be used for business applications, which were becoming increasingly complex. Many critical legacy systems, especially in financial institutions, still run on COBOL, even though newer languages are available.
Advantages of using COBOL
- Its English-like syntax makes the code self-documenting and easy to understand.
- Cobol is designed to be platform-agnostic, allowing programs to run on various computer systems with minimal changes.
- COBOL applications can handle massive amounts of data, making it easily scalable and suitable for large business operations.
Disadvantages of using COBOL
- COBOL requires more lines of code than some modern languages to perform the same tasks.
- As many COBOL programmers approach retirement, there’s a concern about who will maintain legacy COBOL systems.
- While it is robust, integrating COBOL systems with newer technologies can be challenging.