# Solved: search example

Search example, a topic that seems simple, but has greater depth that one could imagine. Understanding search methods not only allows us to find specific data in a large dataset, but also underpins the functionality of a plethora of applications including search engines and databases. One of the basic programming tasks is to create a search algorithm and today, we will delve into this by writing a search algorithm in COBOL language, a high-level programming language that has been ruling the industry since the 1950s’.

Here, we will not only write the code, but will also discuss the step-by-step implementation and in-depth about the various built-in functions in COBOL that aid in problem-solving.

## Search Problem

Searching is an essential operation in various areas of computer science, typically performed on a large volume of data. The information could be anything like a website’s database containing details of its users, an e-commerce site’s product list or a supermarket’s product database. The main goal of a search algorithm is to find an item with specified properties among a collection of items.

## Cobol solution for a search problem

The COBOL language provides various approaches to tackling search problems, namely sequential and binary search. In this guide, we will employ a linear search, a less complex but reliable method.

IDENTIFICATION DIVISION.
PROGRAM-ID. SEARCHING.
DATA DIVISION.
WORKING-STORAGE SECTION.
01 ARRAY.
05 ITEM PIC 99 OCCURS 10 TIMES.
01 X PIC 99.
PROCEDURE DIVISION.
BEFORE-SEARCH.
MOVE 8 TO X.
PERFORM VARYING ITEM FROM 1 BY 1 UNTIL ITEM > 10
IF ITEM(X) = X
DISPLAY ‘FOUND’
STOP RUN
END-IF
END-PERFORM.
STOP RUN.

This snippet of code depicts a simple linear search on an array of 10 elements.

## Working of Solution

Initially, our target value ‘X’ is 8. We browse through an array of 10 items from 1 to 10. If ‘X’ is identified, then ‘FOUND’ is displayed and the program is halted. In case after iterating through the entire array if no match is found, ‘NOT FOUND’ is displayed.

## Functions involved

The PERFORM statement is a powerful feature in COBOL as it handles repetitive tasks smoothly. It iterates over the array until the index outstrips 10.

The DISPLAY statement in the IF condition prints ‘FOUND’ when the required criterion is matched, in this scenario when X = 8.

The STOP RUN statement quits the program once the aim of the search is accomplished.

With the basic understanding of how search works in COBOL, let’s intertwine programming and fashion!

## Fashion Trends and their coding analogy

Now, you may think how coding might be linked with fashion, let me show you!

Just like in programming where an efficient problem-solving approach is critical, in fashion it’s all about how you ‘style’ and ‘combine’ articles of clothing.

• Minimalism: Rooted in the simplicity of shapes and forms, this style is comparable to the KISS principle (Keep it Simple, Stupid) of programming. The minimalist style on runways often manifests itself in monotone outfits and clean lines, similar to how clean, organized code appears to programmers.
• Vintage: Renowned for its intricate designs and quality construction, vintage style could be equated with older programming languages like COBOL itself, which although may seem outmoded, can offer indispensable solutions.
• Street style: Street style outfits are all about breaking convention, just like how constantly-evolving programming languages challenge established norms.

Whether it’s the search algorithm code which requires clear understanding and precision or understanding the major fashion aesthetics which are ever-evolving, it’s all about identifying styles, implementing them confidently and doing it with panache.

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