COBOL or Cobol Definition/Meaning:
Acronym for common business-oriented language. A programming
language that was developed by CODASYL
and is a de facto standard for commercial data processing. COBOL
first came into use in I960; the version in general use at present
is COBOL 66, though discussions about COBOL 80 are at an advanced
stage. A COBOL program is divided into four divisions, of which the
most important are the DATA division and the PROCEDURE division. In
the DATA division the programmer defines the files to be used by
specifying their record structure. The PROCEDURE division is made up
of statements, grouped into sentences, paragraphs, and sections.
These statements define manipulation of data from the current
record(s) of one or more files. The notation is English-like, e.g.
IF X = Y MOVE A TO B;
IF GREATER ADD A TO Z;
OTHERWISE MOVE C TO D.
Input-output is defined in terms of complete records, so the
typical program reads a record from its input file, processes it,
and writes a record to its output file, repeating this sequence
until the whole file is processed. A powerful feature allows the
data definition to specify editing that will take place as a
side-effect of output, e.g. suppressing nonsignificant zeros.