COBOL Reigns Supreme

COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language) was developed in the late 1950s, which is still a widely popular programming language that is used by organizations across the world for their mission-critical applications.Looking back on how COBOL emerged back in the year 1950 for main two business needsi.e, to develop a programming language which is more accessible to non-technical resources and allowing the users of the program to use it on a variety of computer without having a substantially rewrite the program for each system. COBOLis built to look just like the English language making it easier to learn and transfer between computers.

Few interesting facts about COBOL-

  • There are 200 billion lines of COBOL code
  • About 95 percent of ATM swipes use COBOL code
  • COBOL systems handle $3 trillion in commerce

For a few yearsnow a myth stating that the mainframes and COBOL are dead is in the news but the reality is the program which is currently in use may be more than 30 years old but there is a significant development in the underlying technologies. Today’s mainframes run at a higher clock speed and a larger number of processors than the servers coming in from x86 world.

COBOL became the primary way to build large business systems in the 1960s to 1980s and those systems are currently running. Even until today the Mainframes and COBOL running and adapted to serve the business purpose, hence the major leading banks and retailers use Mainframes, COBOL, CICS, and IMS.  A transaction may start on a web browser running on a code written on Javascript or.Net but it almost always ends on a CICS or IMS back end running COBOL.

The underlying hardware might change but the software will continue to run as it has for decades due to the continued commitment to compatibility by IBM and many others in the mainframe ecosystem.

Scott Fagen, the Chief Products Officer at 21st Century Software provides more informative insights about the world of COBOL in his interview for Enterprize Tech Journal. Click on the below link to access the full interview.

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