COBOL LANGUAGE CONSTRUCTION


Ø  COBOL is like an English language.
Ø  Character is the lowest component.
Ø  Word is made up of one or more characters.
Ø  Clause consists of word and characters. It specifies an attribute for an entry
Ø  Statement is syntactically valid combination of words and clauses
Ø  Sentence is a sequence of one or more statements terminated by period
Ø  Paragraph consists of one or more sentences
Ø  Section consists of one or more paragraphs
Ø  Division consists of one or more paragraphs or sections
Ø  Program is made up of divisions

COBOL CHARACTER SET
Set of 51 characters
            0,..9                     DIGITS
          A,..Z                     LETTERS
          b                          SPACE/BLANK CHARACTER
          +,-,*,/,(,),=            SPECIAL SYMBOLS
          $,;,“,>,<,.

COBOL WORDS

User defined words
Ø    Words declared by programmer to coin identifiers, paragraph names, file names and section names.
Reserved words
Ø    Words that are having specific meaning to the compiler.

COBOL CODING FORM

Columns
1- 6       Sequence numbers identifying pages or lines of a program
7          Continuation, comment or starting of a new page
8 - 72     COBOL program statements

73-80    Remarks
Ø       Column 7  * (asterisk) designates entire line as comment
                    / (slash) forces page break when printing source listing
          - (dash) to indicate continuation of nonnumeric literal
Ø       Columns 8-72 divided into two areas
                  Area A - columns 8 to 11
                 Area B - columns 12 to 72
   Division, section and paragraph-names must all begin in Area A and end with a period.

DIVISIONS OF COBOL

Every COBOL program contains up to four separate divisions in the following order:


Ø       IDENTIFICATION DIVISION
Ø       ENVIRONMENT DIVISION
Ø       DATA DIVISION
Ø       PROCEDURE DIVISION

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