September 12 2019: COBOL (Common Business-Oriented Language) the first popular language designed to be operating system-agnostic and is still in use in many financial and business applications today, is 60 years this month. COBOL was designed for business computer programs in industries such as finance and human resources. Unlike some high-level computer programming languages, COBOL uses English words and phrases to make it easier for ordinary business users to understand.
The language was based on Rear Admiral Grace Hopper's 1940s work on the FLOW-MATIC programming language, which was also largely text-based. Hopper, who worked as a technical consultant on the FLOW-MATIC project, is sometimes referred to as the "grandmother of COBOL." But it was actively developed by Mary Hawes, a Burroughs Corporation programmer who saw a need for a computer language. In March 1959, Hawes proposed that a new computer language be created. It would have an English-like vocabulary that could be used across different computers to perform basic business.
Micro Focus among many It companies, commenced its COBOL60 activities this week , celebrating the continued relevance of information technology’s most enduring business language. Since starting with the development of a COBOL compiler in 1976, Micro Focus has spearheaded the evolution and innovation of the language and the contemporary technology that supports it.
“Our current digital economy is changing rapidly and while core business processing remains critically at the heart of that change, COBOL is fully equipped to meet today’s and tomorrow’s business needs,” says Chris Livesey, Senior Vice President, Application Modernization and Connectivity at Micro Focus. “Modernizing trusted COBOL systems is a proven path to success, which is why COBOL is and will remain to be the bedrock of digital transformation.”
Today, Micro Focus offers products for those learning, maintaining and building upon core COBOL applications. Read the Micro Focus white paper “COBOL at 60: A Living Legend”