COBOL celebrates 50!

WoW! 50 Years.. Can you believe that 50 years ago today in 1959 COBOL was created!

Now, for those of you who never heard of COBOL, it is probably involved in your everyday life more than Google searches are. COBOL is a computer language that has run on many big computer systems in power companies, banks, ATM machines and the like for half a century now! In it's early days Con Edison used COBOL to read live account information to help it's customers using an interface they built called CICS (Customer Interactive Communications System). Database queries, using CICS and DB2 still surpass the speed of SQL and Oracle today by a large volume! The entire world could run on just 6 databases for every credit card in creation, and it would work fine. Talk about scalability!

COBOL has gone through only two major revisions in it's lifetime. The first was in 1973 (called COBOL-I or COBOL-73). The last of revision was in 1985 (called COBOL-II or COBOL-85). Versions were made for mainframes, minis (like the AS400) and for PCs like those you use at work and home today. Still all that changes remains the same.. with only small enhancements, mostly related to what are called data pointers in the final release.

In my days of teaching adult education in Queens, New York I had the pleasure of instructing computer grads and techs in CICS, DB2, COBOL73 and COBOL85. Ah, what a time, and what a ride.. and on it goes!

Happy Birthday COBOL! Here's wishing you many more..

Posted on 28 May 2009, 17:07 - Category: Al's Top News
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