COBOL is an acronym for "Common Business-Oriented Language." It is a high-level programming language that was designed specifically for business applications. Originally developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s, COBOL gained popularity due to its English-like syntax that made it easier for non-programmers to read and understand.
COBOL is primarily used for writing programs that handle large volumes of data and perform complex calculations. It is well-suited for processing business transactions, such as banking records, payroll systems, and inventory management. The language includes features such as file handling, data manipulation, and record sorting, which are important for handling large datasets.
COBOL programs consist of a series of English-like sentences, called statements, which are divided into sections. The language supports structured programming constructs, allowing for the use of decision-making and looping mechanisms to control the flow of execution. COBOL programs are typically compiled into machine-readable code that can be executed on a variety of computer systems.
Despite being one of the oldest programming languages, COBOL remains widely used in legacy systems, especially in government and financial institutions, where there is a need to maintain and update older applications. The language has experienced numerous revisions and updates to keep it relevant and compatible with modern technologies.
Overall, COBOL is a powerful and widely-used programming language specifically designed for business applications, known for its readability and suitability for handling large datasets and complex calculations.
The word "COBOL" is an acronym for "COmmon Business-Oriented Language". COBOL was developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s by a committee of computer professionals known as the Short Range Committee, which included members from industry, government, and academia. The committee aimed to create a language that was easier to understand and use for business applications, as the existing programming languages at the time were primarily designed for scientific and mathematical calculations.
The choice of the name "COBOL" reflected the committee's focus on creating a business-oriented language. While the exact origin of the name is not widely documented, it is believed to have been coined by Dr. Mary Hawes, a computer scientist who served as the director of the Data System Research Staff at the U.S. Air Force Cambridge Research Center.