Solved: FILE SEQ

To comply with your request, let’s start diving into the world of FILE SEQ in COBOL, a fascinating technology that allows developers to handle file-related operations more efficiently.

FILE SEQ or sequential file handling in COBOL is a testament to the powerful and versatile nature of this long-standing programming language. It simplifies the process of data management in files – opening, reading, writing, and closing – with an intuitive syntax and structure.

What is FILE SEQ in COBOL?
Simply put, it’s a set of instructions built into the COBOL language that allow a developer to manipulate and control data within files in a linear or ‘sequential’ manner.

Sequential Files and their Importance

Sequential files in COBOL occupy an essential role since they form the most basic form of file handling, implementing a design where data records follow a simple principle: one after another.

In business data processing, where COBOL penetrates deeply, sequential files cater to various scenarios. Whether it’s processing customer records, sales transactions, or large databases, handling these data sequentially efficiently becomes a must.


In the code fragment above, we have created a sequential ‘file’ in COBOL, named ‘StudentFile’, that is read or written to sequentially.

Tackling a data management problem with FILE SEQ

Let’s illustrate sequential file handling in COBOL with a typical problem most developers encounter – reading from and writing to a file.

Suppose we have a requirement where we have to read student records from an input file, perform some operations, and then write the processed data to an output file.

The first step would be to create necessary file structures in the DATA DIVISION of your COBOL program.

FD StudentFile.
01 StudentRecord.
05 StuName PIC X(20).
05 StuAge PIC 99.

Above code defines a file structure for ‘StudentFile’ with fields ‘StuName’ and ‘StuAge’.

Subsequently, the procedure to open, read, and write would come into play utilizing COBOL’s seamless syntax for sequential file handling.

Libraries or Functions Involved

COBOL’s I/O library offers a host of file-related operations wrapped in straightforward syntax including OPEN, READ, WRITE, and CLOSE directives.

Additionally, the IF, ELSE, END-IF and other conditional and control statements in COBOL further kid to your file handling needs by enabling you to apply checks and make decisions based on your specific conditions or values in your file data.

Overall, the simplicity and readability of COBOL’s syntax for file handling, combined with its powerful I/O and control libraries, make it an absolutely suitable choice for solving complex data processing tasks with ease and efficiency.

In addition to its technical aspects, understand that embracing COBOL’s FILE SEQ means adopting a slice of history – a language that originated in 1959 and has been evolving ever since, serving businesses around the globe. It’s truly a testament to the timeless power of efficient, structured coding practice and proven data management principles.

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