COBOL stands for COmmon Business Oriented Language. It was developed in 1960s. This language was specifically developed for business purposes. The language is English like and easier to read. Non-programmers can also get some idea of what the program is doing by just looking at the code.
Structure of the COBOL program
The language is based on the language called FLOW-MATIC. A COBOL code is divided into divisions. Think of a program like a book. You will not start a book directly. First you will give the title of the book on the cover page. Also, you will give the author of the book, the publisher name and the publication date.
Same way in a COBOL program you will first give a DIVISION called IDENTIFICATION. This will contain all the details such as name of the program, coder who wrote it and other such details. You will then go on and declare other details such as the computer on which the code will be executed. This information is written inside the ENVIRONMENT DIVISION. You will then give DATA DIVISION which will store the DATA used in the program. And in the end you will finally give PROCEDURE DIVISION. This will store the real code of the program.
How to learn COBOL
A Mainframe access will be beneficial to learn the enterprise version of the langauge. But you can still learn this language for free using the software called OpenCOBOLIDE. You can downloaded the software from the link: https://launchpad.net/cobcide/+download
My Mainframe Course
My Udemy course also has a section on COBOL. It will teach you how to compile and run a program on a Mainframe.
5 Assignments are also there in the course. There are over 7,300 students in that course.
You will learn how to create a COBOL-CICS program. You will then install and run this program in the CICS region.
The course covers all the below topics:
- Different types of STATEMENTS
- Conditional Processing and Loops
- File Handling
In my YouTube tutorial i teach step by step the entire process to install the software, code your first program then compile and run it.