Are fulfilled 60 years of the COBOL programming language and it's more alive than ever

COBOL is a procedural and imperative programming language whose commands were designed to resemble conventional English. That name, suggested by Bob Bemer was the definitive, but others like BUSY were considered (Business System), INFOSYL (Information System Language) and COCOSYL (Common Computer Systems Language).

That language had a difficult time at first despite the support of the DoD, from IBM or from UNIVAC. Other companies like Honeywell were working at FACT at the time., what they considered to be the business programming language of the future, and that he really had very innovative ideas. The problem is that FACT was not supported by the hardware of the time, so it ended up being COBOL the one that prevailed, in September its creators had already prepared the basic syntax.

In 1970 it was already the most widely used programming language in the world, and in 1972 was adopted by the ISO standardization organization, but that standard language it grew at its own pace with various versions that they were adding different versions that were named with the year of publication of the same.

Among the best known are COBOL-74, COBOL-85 and the importantCOBOL-2002 which is especially significant for becoming an object-oriented language which took various features from C ++ and Smalltalk. The project to transform it into a programming language of this type began in 1997, when the Gartner consulting firm estimated that there were 200.000 millions of lines of COBOL code in programs running around the world: the 80% of business programs, stated that study, it was COBOL.

COBOL today

Most programming languages ​​come and go, but COBOL has managed to become a legend thatto their 60 just turned years is surprisingly alive and widespread.

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This can be seen, for example, in the job offers that continue to arise and that professionals in this field demand - around 190 and LinkedIn only in Spain, for example-, and in the United States it has already been made clear that at least in 2016 the Department of Homeland Security or the Social Security Administration they were still using COBOL on some of their systems.

Organizations like the call -with a lot of joke-COBOL Cowboys keep trying to show the world the current relevance of COBOL andoffering your expertise and its consulting services.

They claim that the 85% of all business transactions continue to use this language, and it seems that this data may not be very misguided according to Micro Focus, the company behind which all its development is currently centralized. In the words of its marketing director “we know thatthe number of companies using COBOL systems today is in the tens of thousands“.

In fact millions of people partially depend on these systems because if there is a sector in which COBOLis specially integrated is in that of financial and insurance institutions. Also in public administrations, and how do they assureand ZDNet there are already efforts tomove COBOL applications to the cloud, what it seems will make this language live, at least, others 60 More years.

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