COBOL “Common Business-Oriented Language” is a high-level programming language for business applications. It was the first popular language designed to be operating system-agnostic and is still in use in many financial and business applications today.
COBOL was designed for busines computer programs in industries such as finance and human resources. Unlike some high-level computer programming languages, COBOL uss English words and phrases to make it easier for ordinary business users to understand. The language was based on Rear Admiral Grace Hopper’s 1940s work on the FLOW-MATIC programming language, which was also largely text-based. Hopper, who worked as a technical consultant on the FLOW-MATIC project. is sometimes referred to as the “grandmother of COBOL.”
Which language is suitable for both scientific and business applications?
Is Cobol still used 2019?
Why Cobol is still used today?
COBOL in the cloud
For applications written in COBOL, the cloud offers another platform for rapid deployment and modernization. Because COBOL is both adaptive and highly portable enabling, most COBOL systems can be quickly re-deployed to a virtual or cloud platform with no change.
COBOL’s inherent design, its highly adaptable nature and the commitment from industry vendors such as Micro Focus and IBM have made this possible. COBOL’s support for containers adds even greater portability for application development, testing and deployment across a hybrid IT deployment.
According to the TIOBE Index, which tracks the popularity of programming languages, COBOL is ranked twenty-fourth among the top fifty languages as of May 2019. Core business applications, often written in COBOL, underpin mission critical services for many global organizations.
For applications written in COBOL, the cloud offers another platform for rapid deployment and modernization. Because COBOL is both adaptive and highly portable enabling, most COBOL systems can be quickly re-deployed to a virtual or cloud platform with no change. COBOL’s support for containers adds even greater portability for application development, testing and deployment across a hybrid IT deployment.
An application written in the late 1960’s using traditional ANSI 68 COBOL can be re-deployed with little change to the Cloud in 2019. Switching to the cloud, however, can be a significant infrastructure project.
Helping organizations modernize core COBOL systems to new platforms means helping plan and execute the technical, operational and cultural elements of such a change. Typical challenges can include a lack of understanding of the effort required for testing and user acceptance. For any critical system, target platform deployments will require adequate testing and validation before placed into production.
An additional challenge area may be the skills needed for an organization before and after the move. The skills needed to move the application from one platform to the next might be very different skills from those required for day-to-day operations. In both cases, experience in large-scale modernization projects helps identify the key technical and operational considerations during the planning phase.