Wednesday, January 22, 2020

COBOL, IS IT GOING AWAY? :: essays research papers

  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  On May 28, 1959, the Conference of Data Systems Languages (CODASYL) met for the first time with the idea of developing a universal language for building business applications. That language was COBOL. By 1960, COBOL was commercially ready, and for the next 20 years, more programs were written in COBOL than in any other language. Influenced by FORTRAN, a programming language for the scientific community, and FlowMatic, the group recognized the growing needs of the business community. They thought that if the scientific programmers were going to get a single language, they could do the same for business. In April 1959, at an informal meeting at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, a small group of computer manufacturers, large users and academics asked the Department of Defense (DOD) to head the efforts (The Creation of COBOL,Brandel). The next month, the DOD called the first meeting of CODASYL, which consisted of eight computer manufacturers and a few l arge users. The DOD broke CODASYL into several committees, and by June, the nine member â€Å"short-range committee† was asked to undertake a six-month investigation into developing the language. DOD made COBOL mandatory for all suppliers of computing hardware and software who were bidding of defense procurements (Encyclopedia of Comp.Sci.,page350). This pressure resulted in persuading other suppliers to adopt COBOL also and thus the programming language took off.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  In addition to machine independence, one of the most important requirements of the language was simplicity. The committee wanted the language to be readable by laypeople, which led to the idea of using English (The Creation of COBOL,Brandel). In addition, computer manufacturers were trying to develop their commercial COBOL compilers while COBOL’s specifications were being defined (Creation of COBOL,Brandel). A complete specification was finished in just six months. That was in December 1959. In 1974, COBOL officially changed to four-digit date fields, but that change obviously didn’t catch on right away. The COBOL creators played a huge part in the famous Y2K problem because of the use of two-digit year fields they used and did not fix in time. This huge problem cost many companies millions and they say that many of these companies will not solve the problem within their own business until even as late as 2008. The Y2K problem effected the world as a whole and showed COBOL’s impact globally. Analyst firm Gartner estimates that applications managing about 85 percent of the world's business data are written in COBOL.

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