COBOL AT 60: THE LEGEND CONTINUES

5

COBOL’s Credentials

COBOL once had few competitors, and
“portability” just meant supporting the only
computing option at the time: a handful of
what became known as mainframe computers.
This modest beginning sparked a revolution
that has launched a thousand technological
advances and IT choices for users. Examples?
Consider the following random list.

Data stores: IMS-DB, VSAM, QSAM, Db2,

ISAM, IDMS, Adabas, Datacomm

Monitors/messaging: CICS, IMS TM, MQ,

WebSphere

Languages: C, C#, Java, Visual Basic

Chipsets: Intel, mainframe, IBM Power

Systems

OSes: z/OS, VSE, AIX, OS/2, MS-DOS,

Windows, Linux, Linux on IBM Z

Managed code environments: .NET, JVM

Cloud environments: Azure, AWS, IBM Z

Containers and virtual environments:

VMWare, Docker, Kubernetes

Contemporary application language

constructs: microservices, API, object
orientation, SOA, webservices

Back to timelines. Plotting COBOL’s history
of integration is a roll-call of cutting-edge
technology, where digital innovation has added
to established COBOL investments. But it’s a
different world now, where new technologies
must integrate with core COBOL back-end
systems. It’s time to collect a dividend. In many
cases, it means integrating mainframe-based
core business systems into an increasingly-
connected world. There will be questions
around future innovation, integration and
continued investment. But COBOL has had
to deal with this scrutiny for more than half a
century now. It always has theanswers.

Plotting COBOL’s history
of integration is a roll-
call of cutting-edge
technology, where digital
innovation has added
to established COBOL
investments.