KEEPS ON GOING
"The "common business-oriented language" that has provided 59-year-old Stuart with a career through to retirement age marks its 50th birthday this year. The day to celebrate is slippery - Cobol didn't just scroll on to a terminal one day and ask the user to hit "Compile" - but 1959 is the year that the language came into being.
And Cobol is still in business. According to David Stephenson, the UK manager for the software provider Micro Focus, "some 70% to 80% of UK plc business transactions are still based on Cobol."
The piece goes on to give a typical use case:
"Mike Madden, development service manager with the catalogue-shopping firm JD Williams, believes so.
Better known for its online stores, such as Simply Be and Fifty Plus, Madden says JD Williams remains highly dependent on Cobol applications. "We have a huge commitment to Cobol," he says. "About 50% of our mainframe systems use it."
Why? "Simple - we haven't found anything faster than Cobol for batch-processing," Madden says. "We use other languages, such as Java, for customer-facing websites, but Cobol is for order processing. The code matches business logic, unlike other languages."
So, knicker-buying Simply Be customers are greeted by a pretty-in-pink Java interface, but when the order reaches the backroom, charcoal-grey Cobol code takes over the processing grunt work."
The piece goes on to describe how Cobol has continued to thrive behind the scenes, even after the notoriety it received in the public eye around the millennium bug brouhaha almost a decade ago.
Recommended read for geeks everywhere, especially if you had some instruction in the language so very long ago.