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COBOL: From Micro to Mainframe, 3rd Edition

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COBOL: From Micro to Mainframe, 3rd Edition


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  • Copyright 1999
  • Pages: 896
  • Edition: 3rd
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-790817-2
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-790817-2


The third edition of COBOL: From Micro to Mainframe is designed to satisfy all of your COBOL needs - on multiple platforms. The textbook covers all basic COBOL elements, with additional chapters on the Year 2000 problem, structured programming and design, debugging, subprograms, table processing, sorting, screen I/O, sequential file maintenance, indexed files, and object-oriented COBOL. The third edition teaches programming as it is practiced in the real world, with programming tips that go beyond the syntactical rules of COBOL, that make programs easier to maintain and run more efficiently.

Best-selling author Robert T. Grauer and co-authors Carol Vazquez Villar and Arthur R. Buss provide you with a complete learning package - available with the Micro Focus Personal COBOL for Windows compiler -that will prepare you for success with COBOL programming. Look for these enhancements in the third edition:

  • NEW -Our most important revision is an entirely new chapter on the Year 2000 problem that discusses the nature of changes that need to be made to existing COBOL programs.
  • NEW - A second new chapter is devoted to Object-Oriented COBOL Programming, an emerging technology of increased importance in the COBOL world.
  • NEW - Availability of the Micro Focus Personal COBOL for Windows with the third edition. A new appendix has been added with more than 60 screen shots describing how to use the software.

NEW AND REVISED appendix with more than 100 programming projects.

Sample Content

Table of Contents

 1. Introduction.

 2. From Coding Form to Computer.

 3. A Methodology for Program Development.

 4. The Identification, Environment, and Data Divisions.

 5. The Procedure Division.

 6. Debugging.

 7. Editing and Coding Standards.

 8. Data Validation.

 9. More About the Procedure Division.

10. Screen I-O.

11. Introduction to Tables.

12. Table Lookups.

13. Multilevel Tables.

14. Sorting.

15. Control Breaks.

16. Subprograms.

17. Sequential File Maintenance.

18. Indexed Files.

19. The Year 2000 Problem.

20. Object-Oriented COBOL Programming.

Appendix A: Micro Focus Personal COBOL for Windows: Users Guide and Tutorial.

Appendix B: Getting Started.

Appendix C: Reserved Words.

Appendix D: COBOL-85 Reference Summary.

Appendix E: COBOL 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, or … ?

Appendix F: Answers to Odd-Numbered Exercises.

Appendix G: Projects.



COBOL: From Micro to Mainframe is a truly comprehensive work, providing in a single source all subjects normally covered in the one-year COBOL sequence. The scope is extensive, ranging from an introduction to COBOL, to maintaining sequential files and nonsequential files. The text also shows the new directions for COBOL in a chapter about Object-Oriented COBOL and an appendix devoted to the proposed changes in the COBOL 2000 standard.
All programs in the book can be run on personal computers or with minor modifications on mainframes or other platforms. The beauty of COBOL is that it can operate on any platform. This text provides instruction in ANS XOPEN standard COBOL. The one exception is the use of Micro Focus Object-Oriented COBOL in Chapter 20, since the final ANS standard has not yet been adopted.

Improvements in the Third Edition
The third edition responds to the requests of many students and instructors to provide access to Windows-based tools while maintaining the proven approach to teaching COBOL. Features of this edition include the following:

  • The text has been modified to show the development of programs in a Windows environment. While the essential characteristics of COBOL remain unchanged, the development tools have not. This edition provides examples using one of the most popular Windows development tools available: Micro Focus (r) Personal COBOL(tm) for Windows(tm).
  • Chapter 19 has been added to explain the Year 2000 problem. This chapter discusses the sources of the problem, shows why it is a problem, and discusses several techniques to correct the problem. At the end of the chapter, we provide a list of World Wide Web sites where further information may be obtained.
  • Another new chapter (Chapter 20) demonstrates the concepts of Object-Oriented COBOL. This new approach to COBOL promises to be a way for companies to maintain the value of their legacy COBOL programs while still being able to use the benefits of object-oriented programming.
  • Appendix A provides extensive coverage of the Micro Focus Personal COBOL for Windows. In addition to explaining every menu item and button, this appendix also includes a brief tutorial allowing the student to experience process of creating a program.
  • Appendix B provides a guide to installing Personal COBOL for Windows and several techniques to make using the product easier.
  • Coverage of COBOL 2000 and intrinsic functions has been added in Appendix E. The 1989 extensions to COBOL 85 allow the use of predefined functions that had been missing in COBOL. This appendix also discusses the changes anticipated in COBOL 2000.
  • In Appendix G, there are 32 new projects for student programming assignments. Many of these projects build on previous tasks allowing the student to experience the development of systems and the performance of maintenance.
  • Various chapters have been changed to incorporate the changes in debugging and editing techniques used with a Windows programming environment as opposed to using a DOS compiler and debugger.

Benefits and Features
All of the features that have made the second edition successful have been retained and carried over into the third edition. These include:
  • Immediate entry into COBOL programming, beginning in Chapter 1. Programming is learned by doing, and the book has students writing a complete program from the very beginning. Chapter 2 continues the discussion by having them execute the program of Chapter 1 in a thorough introduction to the programming process.
  • Over 30 illustrative COBOL programs reinforce the discussion in the text and serve as both pedagogical aids and subsequent reference material. Every program is presented in a uniform and detailed format, including program narrative, record layouts, report layouts, test data, and processing specifications.
  • A thorough discussion structured methodology, hierarchy charts, pseudocode, and top-down testing is presented in Chapter 3 and followed throughout. Students learn the proper way to develop programs early on and follow the procedure throughout the text.
  • Every COBOL program in the text as well as data files for the student projects are available for download from a special World Wide Web site:
  • The availability of the sample listings enables students to reproduce and/or modify any of the programs without the tedium of data entry and further enhances the learning experience.
  • An abundance of short-answer (true-false and fill-in) questions, COBOL problems, and programming projects for every chapter, with answers to the odd-numbered questions provided in Appendix F.
  • Programming tips, dispersed throughout the text, that go beyond the syntactical rules of COBOL, and suggest stylistic considerations to make programs easier to read and maintain.
  • Extensive use of graphic aids, featuring a two-color presentation, with figures to further clarify the presentation. Where Micro Focus Personal COBOL is discussed, actual pictures of the screens assist the student in understanding the user interface.
  • System concept presentation at the beginning of most chapters, as COBOL instruction has come to require additional material beyond the language itself. There are detailed discussions of control breaks, data validation, techniques for table lookups and initialization, storing, the balance line algorithm for file maintenance and the organization of indexed files.
  • While focusing on the proven techniques of structured programming and the established syntax of COBOL 85, the text also introduces the concepts of object-orientation and previews the significant changes in COBOL 2000.

Software and Supplements
The following software and supplements are available from Prentice Hall:
  • SOFTWARE - Micro Focus Personal COBOL for Windows 3.1 with object-orientation and Personal Dialog System. Compatible with Windows95 and WindowsNT, Personal COBOL provides all the tools to help you learn and use COBOL. The software includes an integrated editor, compiler and animator for creating, debugging and executing COBOL programs. Prentice Hall offers an affordable package of COBOL: From Micro to Mainframe, Third Edition with the Micro Focus Personal COBOL Compiler. Please order ISBN 0-13-975178-5.
  • WEB SITE - Download every COBOL program in the text as well as data files for the nearly on hundred student projects from the COBOL: From Micro to Mainframe web site at:
  • Instructor's Resource Manual (ISBN# 0-13-081513-6)
  • Prentice Hall Custom Test. Based on the powerful testing technology developed by Engineering Software Associates, Inc. (EAS), Prentice Hall Custom Test allows the educator to create and tailor the exam to their own needs. Please order ISBN# 0-13-081515-2

We are especially grateful to our editors at Prentice Hall, Laura Steele, Alan Apt, and Marcia Horton, without whom this project would not have been possible. We also want to thank the many other individuals who helped produce the third edition. Irwin Zucker, who supervised the production, Kate Kaibni, editorial assistant, who worked hard to provide us with timely chapter reviews, and Joel Berman, our marketing manager at Prentice Hall, who developed the innovative campaign to make this book a success. We also want to acknowledge our reviewers, who through their comments and constructive criticism, made this a far better book: Robert V. Binder, Robert Binder Systems Consulting, Inc.
Dinon Boyer, University of Akron
Georgia Brown, Northern Illinois University
Jan De Lassen, Brigham Young University
Ida M. Flynn, University of Pittsburgh
Frank T. Gergelyi, NJIT
Ken Goldsmith, University of Miami
Tom Gorecki, St. Charles Community College
Carol C. Grimm, Palm Beach Community College
Monica Holmes, Central Michigan University
Ann W. Houck, Pima Community College
David Lee
James W. Payne, Kellogg Community College
Nicholas Ross, University of Illinois at Chicago
Wendell I. Pope, Utah State University
Daniel H. Rindfleisch, Computer Specialist with Federal Government
Daniel R. Rota, Robert Morris College
Richard H. Saracusa, Northeastern University
Ron Teemley, DeVry Institute of Technology
Donat Valcourt, Northeastern University
Ron Williams, McLennon Community College
Jackie Zucker, University of Miami
A final word of thanks to you, our readers, for choosing this book. Please feel free to contact us with any comments or suggestions via email.
Robert Grauer
Carol Vazquez Villar
Arthur R. Buss


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