COBOL Full Form | What is the Full Form of COBOL

COBOL Full Form - Common Business Oriented Language

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 Common Business Oriented Language

Common Business Oriented Language

  • COBOL stands for Common Business Oriented Language.
  • COBOL is a high-level programming language designed for the business applications.
  • It's the second oldest programming language as FORTRAN is that the oldest.
  • It had been created jointly by the private sector and therefore the U.S. government to satisfy two objectives: portability and readability.
  • It had been suitable for business applications that run on large computers.
  • COBOL programs use regular English and everything is clearly spelled out which makes it easily understandable and much longer in comparison to the same program written in another language.


  • COBOL was invented in late 1950s by the Grace Hopper.
  • Earlier each computer maker has to use its own programming language to function a computer.
  • COBOL programs could run on more than one computer of different manufacturers and hence was immediately adopted by the Department of Defense (dod) as they need to get computers from different buyers. Since 1960, it's undergone various updates and improvements.
  • The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has produced various revisions of COBOL, e.g. COBOL-68, COBOL-74, COBOL-85 and COBOL-2002. COBOL format is no longer being supported by new systems hence, it's called Legacy Language.


  • COBOL applications are very large.
  • COBOL applications are long lived.
  • COBOL applications can affect enormous volume of data.
  • COBOL applications are easy to know.
  • COBOL applications are portable that means is used by all.
  • COBOL applications are easy to maintain.
  • Allows both long names (up to 30 characters) and word-connector characters.
  • Self documenting language that offers visual programming environments.
  • Integration with the world Wide Web is possible.
  • Bugs are resolved easily.


  • COBOL is especially used in large organizations like Military, Government, Large scale Businesses and in some Banks also in USA.

COBOL Data Types

 Cobol Data Types

Cobol Data Types

  • Alphabetic :
    • The sample declaration is PIC A (30), which possibly will only include letters or spaces.
  • Alphanumeric :
    • The sample declaration is PIC X (30), which possibly will include any characters.
  • Boolean :
    • Sample declaration is PIC 1 USAGE BIT, which stores data in the format of 0s and 1s, as a binary number.
  • Index :
    • The sample declaration is USAGE INDEX, which is used to say about table elements.
  • National :
    • The sample declaration is PIC N (30), which uses an extensive list.
  • Numeric :
    • The sample declaration is PIC 9(5) V9 (5), which possibly will include only numbers.
  • Object :
    • Sample declaration is USAGE OBJECT REFERENCE, which possibly will mention about either an object or NULL.
  • Pointer :
    • The sample declaration is USAGE POINTER.

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