COBOL – Its Forms and Uses

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Common Business Oriented Language is a very old, yet still widely used, computer language. Banks, insurance companies and governments still process their data through computer programs written in COBOL and run on Mainframes. There are different forms of COBOL programs that are run.

Job Control Language (JCL)

Batch COBOL programs can be scheduled through Job Control Language (JCL) to be run at a specific time, in a certain order. For example, data can be batched and processed overnight to update the database with the new data. JCL can be set to specify who has access to run the program as well as time parameters.


There are also CICS programs that are online COBOL programs that are run in real-time for screen display and data capture. For instance, when programs run, screens are displayed to a user. The user then enters data on the screen. The data is processed and saved in the background.

Author: Donna Jennings

I have a BA and a BComm, as well as a Diploma in Programming. I have been a COBOL system designer and coder for over 25 years, and I am still trying to demystify the language for myself...I Love the culture of COBOL and how it has provided so many people, including myself, with a lifelong livelihood. The opinions in my posts are completely my own, based on my many years of experience working in a COBOL development environment.

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