Cobol is a term that might bring a sense of nostalgia to some while being completely unknown to others. This programming language is as old as the concept of coding itself. But, does that make it a relic of the past? If one looks at the modern trends in programming, is Cobol deemed obsolete? In this article, we are going to dive into this fascinating topic and delve into how Cobol has managed to remain relevant in the ever-changing technological landscape.
The enduring relevance of Cobol
Some might argue that Cobol is far from being obsolete due to its widespread use in existing systems. Cobol remains the backbone of critical mainframe applications in various sectors including banking, insurance, healthcare, and transportation. The vast amount of sensitive customer data and complex business logic handled by Cobol programs are vital to business operations and cannot be easily converted or migrated to other languages.
A deeper look into Cobol codes
Let’s take a closer look at Cobol’s code perspective to further understand why this coding language is still in use today. Cobol is known for its readability, user-friendly features, and steady performance, especially for arithmetic operations, making it a preferred choice for business applications.
DISPLAY ‘Hello, World!’.
This simple traditional “Hello, World!” program example in the Cobol language epitomizes its human-readable vocabulary, structured syntax, and approach towards procedure-based programming.
The program starts with the `IDENTIFICATION DIVISION`, the first mandatory division where the programmer gives a unique name for the program. The `PROGRAM-ID` ‘HELLO-COBOL‘ specifies the name of the program. The `PROCEDURE DIVISION` is where the actual execution of the program resides. Here, the `DISPLAY` command is used to print the text, “Hello, World!” on the console or output display.
Cobol in modern application development
While Cobol might not be the first choice for developing modern interactive applications, it’s still extensively used for maintaining existing large-scale applications. Newer languages are being adopted to interface with Cobol at the back-end, which keeps it relevant in today’s era. Cobol’s syntax is also constantly evolving through updates from its governing body, keeping it in line with modern programming features.
Thus, the survival of Cobol in this rapidly evolving tech world can be attributed to its strategic combination of historic robustness, continuous modernization, and unfolding legacy transformations.