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On May 29th, 1959 a working group engaged by the American Ministry of Defense introduced a standard which was made up from the programming languages of the time: Flow–Matic from Sperry Univac, Commercial Translator (Comtran) from IBM and Fact from Minneapolis-Honeywell. That meeting in the Pentagon is regarded as the onset of the Common Business Oriented Language (COBOL).

In 1960 the newly-formed Short Range Committee introduced a first description of the language with Cobol-60, which was subsequently developed by national and international standards committees. The current standard was established in 2002. The first programming language developed for commercial use still forms the backbone of many enterprise applications because of its structure and stability.

However, very few users are aware of how often they use software based on Cobol:

Flight bookings, ATM withdrawals, bank wire transfers, insurance policy calculations, phone bills – companies still rely on Cobol, whenever large user numbers or a high transaction volume are involved.

This conclusion was drawn by Datamonitor after a study conducted last year. For its 50th anniversary the British software company Micro Focus commissioned a survey about the frequency of use of Cobol. According to the survey, every person encounters Cobol programs at least 10 times per day. The study also showed, that there are 200 billion lines of Cobol code worldwide today. Approximately 1.5 to 2 million developers still deal with Cobol code.

David Stephenson from Micro Focus assumes that 200 times more Cobol-based operations are carried out every day than search requests on Google. Therefore the language can be seen as “a true classic for any business IT specialist” in financial circles.

Make use of our COBOL expertise

Our experts have decades of experience in the development of PL/1, COBOL, z/OS and z/VSE. We support you in the use of legacy data and the transfer into the "PC World" in order to benefit from the many opportunities, which modern tools such as Big Data, business intelligence and data warehouse offer your company or your agency.

For example:
The SMF records of the mainframe system (z/OS 2.3) were read out as flat file by means of IFASMFDP. The record type 32(X'20') TSO, type 80(X'50´) /81(X'51') RACF and type 110(X'6E´) /111(X'6F') were used for the calculation and combined by means of an external program.

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