Monday, June 16, 2008

COBOL History

In 1952, Grace Murray Hopper began a journey that would eventually lead to the language we know as COBOL.

She began by developing a series of programming languages that became more and more like natural language. The language used phrases to express the operations of business data processing. FLOWMATIC was the result of this evolutionary journey.

Through the 1950's, other computing leaders were also working through the challenge of creating a practical business language. IBM had produced a language named COMMERCIAL TRANSLATOR.

In 1959, an industry-wide team was assembled to formulate a common business programming language. The Conference on Data System Languages (CODASYL) led by Joe Wegstein of National Bureau of Standards (now National Institute of Standards and Technology) developed a new language, and created the first standardized business computer programming language.

COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language) was developed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Defense in cooperation with computer manufactures, users and universities. The initial specifications for COBOL were presented in a report of the executive committee of CODASYL committee in April of 1960. It was designed to be a business problem oriented, machine independent and capable of continuous change and development.

Since 1960,COBOL has undergone considerable updates and improvements. It has emerged as the leading data processing language in the business world. The standard language specification has three levels low,middle and high so that standard COBOL can be implemented on computers of varying sizes.

Despite the attempts at standardization, variations in COBOL implementations continue to exist. Most deviations or "extensions" are intended to take advantage of hardware or environmental features which were not defined in the standard definition.


1968 -- American National Standards Institute (ANSI) developed a standard form of the language known as American National Standard (ANSI) COBOL. This was an attempt to overcome the incompatibilities of the different versions of COBOL.

1974 -- ANSI published a revised version of (ANSI) COBOL

1985 -- ANSI published another revised version

Today -- ISO and ANSI committees have completed the features of the latest revision of COBOL 2002.

1 comment:

Isaac Ebubechukwu said...

nice one, how do get the uses, advantages and disadvantages of cobol