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The Future of COBOL A Focus on Interactive Programming Appendix C Stern & Stern.

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Presentation on theme: "The Future of COBOL A Focus on Interactive Programming Appendix C Stern & Stern."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Future of COBOL A Focus on Interactive Programming Appendix C Stern & Stern

2 COBOL: An Opinion? WHY COBOL HAS SURVIVED AND IS THRIVING Easy to Read and Logical Structure Ability to handle large files easily and efficiently The bulk of mainframe programs for business that currently exist are written in COBOL and the task of converting them to another language is daunting and probably unnecessary

3 WHY COBOL IS UNPOPULAR IN SOME CIRCLES It is a verbose language Many lines of code Many words needed for instructions It has a dated look in its basic form

4 THE FUTURE OF COBOL Some people think COBOL will become obsolete Others believe that the new PC versions, with their web-based features, visual orientations and object-oriented capabilities will result in a resurgence in COBOL

5 The COBOL Controversy BIG Question Will COBOL fit into mainstream programming in the 21st Century?

6 Evolution of COBOL Existence since 1959 1 st programming language for business needs 1 st standard language All versions, regardless of compiler or hardware, use same syntax Initiative of Department of Defense

7 Y2K Fears which never materialized FEARS (pre-2000) IT professionals believe a 40 year old language is outdated COBOL programs would not work in year 2000 because of the 2-digit date format Y2K fears were put to rest – there was no major crisis FACT (post-2000) A significant number of COBOL programs still exist At 40+ years old, COBOL is not obsolete Revision to standard COBOL compiler due Dec. 2002 – this may result in a more robust language

8 Impact of Hardware Advancements PC & interactive I/O enable results to display instantaneously Smaller computers lend themselves to interactive processing Mainframe  PC  laptop Reduction in compilation and run time I/O devices of today increase data entry and data display speed Card  tape  keyboard  mice  screen  scanner, etc. Card  Tape  disk  screen

9 PC Compilers Interactive processing is a major feature of the COBOL language for PCs Batch processing was always a COBOL advantage READ & WRITE statements Very specific file and record descriptions Interactive processing is now an advantage as well ACCEPT & DISPLAY statements Augments batch processing with many interactive features

10 The Competition COBOL vs Newer Languages Newer languages preferred by some Created primarily for interactive processing Have very visual graphical user interfaces COBOL Recent versions include ability to create graphical user interfaces, web pages, incorporate Visual Basic & other programming language components

11 Interactive Programming Code Screen Section Enables programmers to put all descriptions of displayed material (or screens) in one place Many dynamic and pizazzy displays are possible with colors, reverse video, positioning of displays, etc. Procedure Division Enables programmer to specify code that actually displays dynamic screens and allows for data to be typed in with data validity checks

12 Screen Section Allows programmer to create functional user interfaces Performs two functions Describes both input and output specifications of a screen Does not display screen or allow for data to be typed in … this is the function of the PROCEDURE DIVISION

13 Additional Code for Interactive Programming Auto Foreground and Background Color Implied Decimal vs Actual Decimal Blank Screen Highlight and Reverse-Video Required Secure and No-Echo

14 The Future of COBOL The Future is bright! New COBOL compilers Micro Focus NetExpress and Personal COBOL by Merant Fujitsu New Features make language more dynamic and flexible Already approved for new object-oriented standard of COBOL scheduled for release in 2002

15 New Features of Object- Oriented COBOL Ability to integrate COBOL code with Visual Basic, Visual C++, Oracle, Access, Excel COBOL applications can be run on the web More appealing GUI displays can created Enhanced file-handling features Compilation time faster when compared with similar Visual Basic programs Ability to include multimedia features

16 Mark Your Calendar! December 2002 Expected date for adoption of new COBOL standard New features proposed relate to object- oriented programming Some disagreement among users and developers as to how these elements should be implemented

17 Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or translation of this work beyond that permitted in Section 117 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act without the express written permission of the copyright owner is unlawful. Request for further information should be addressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. The purchaser may make back-up copies for his/her own use only and not for distribution or resale. The Publisher assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions, or damages, caused by the use of these programs or from the use of the information contained herein.”

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