What is Cobol ?
Cobol is an acronym of Common Business Oriented Language..
So it seems that this language is made (born) to support business.. so it's mission is very clear.
Why Cobol ?
It is made for business...
I am a C lover and a C user for some years... and at first I questioned "Why they don't use C on mainframe?, I've been told that C is one of the fastest language.. Why they use Cobol instead of C?"
Now.. maybe I found the answer... C is too good for solving the business problem.
All we need on mainframe is string processing... and Cobol have the built in string processing routine... so why wee need the more complex language? (but still, I love C more than Cobol :p)
Why they don't change Cobol to the newer language ?
Humm... as we see now, Java spreads everywhere... is it going to replace Cobol ?
Will the applications in mainframe written on Cobol be rewritten to Java (or any newer language) ?
Humm... Who know ? Maybe...
but on my opinion, Cobol application will be exist at least until I die... ( it means that I can use my Cobol skill to get some money before I die :p )
Because to rewrite and redeploy applications on the production line is not as simple as making a standalone application... It's all about business... it's all about money...
If the mainframe is down (let say during the transition mainframe will down for 5 hours) How many transaction is lost ?
According to preliminary results of Micro Focus' survey of 750 mainframes in the U.S. and Canada, 41% name COBOL as a principal programming language by an approximate 25% margin over Java, the next most popular language. Preliminary results also find 52% of mainframe applications are still written in COBOL.
"COBOL is like an invisible giant. There's reported to be 180 billion-200 billion lines of code out there, processing 75% of commercial business. Few companies are keen to throw away the hundreds or thousands of man-years that have been invested in mature, high-performance COBOL code. Instead, they are integrating and building bridges between COBOL, .NET and J2EE [Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition], using service-oriented architectures to preserve the strengths of the legacy code while benefiting from Web-oriented development tools," Lillycrop, CEO of U.K.-based Arcati Research and Publishing, said.