COBOL-Common Business Oriented Language was introduced for Business purpose applications by the CODASYL Committee (Conference on Data Systems Languages) in is a high level language, hence  the Cobol program can be executed on the system on which compiler is available.


COBOL programs are used globally in military agencies,insurance companies,banks and  commercial enterprises.95% financial enterprises are using COBOL in US.


COBOL is a standard language that can be compiled and executed on machines such as IBM AS/400.

There are 80 columns in a line of coding sheet.

Column                 Field

1-3                          PAGE Number (automatically increased along with the lines of code)

4-6                          Line Number (1-6 Sequence number- automatically increased)

7                              Continuation (-)/Comment (*)/Printer Stopper (/), Debugging indicator (D)

8-11                       Area A (All divisions, sections, paragraphs should be Area A)

12-72                     Area B (All other statements and sentences should be in Area B)

73-80                     programmer identification /mark-id

An * (Asterisk) in column 7 indicates a comment line and the entry is not compiled to produce object code. Compiler ignores them, anything that is included in comments.

  • Based on the usage of COBOL, programs are divided into two types:
  1. Batch
  2. Online
Batch Online
Batch program needed JCL (Job control language) or CL (Control Language) to execute. Online programs trigger immediately when user initiates the task and not need any control language to execute.
Batch programs run detached from terminal Online programs run connected from terminal to initiate the tasks.
Batch programs are the execution of series of jobs with user input. Online programs prompts the user to provide the input.


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