Courses we teach: COBOL

Enterprise COBOL Update - 2 days
Enterprise COBOL Unicode and XML Support - 2 days
Structured COBOL Workshop for Enterprise COBOL - 5 days
Advanced Topics in COBOL (Enterprise, z/OS) - 3 days
Enterprise COBOL Debugging & Maintenance - 2 days
z/OS Debug Tool for Enterprise COBOL - 2 days
VSAM For COBOL Programmers - 2 days
Writing z/OS CGIs In COBOL - 2 days


COBOL (which stands for COmmon Business Oriented Language) is the most pervasive application development programming language in the world today. Although COBOL has been around for over 50 years, it is a dynamic language, constantly being revised, updated, and upgraded.

The International Standards Organization (ISO) is the body of people who establish and update the standards for the COBOL language. ANSI (American National Standards Institute) is the American representative to ISO. The most recent standards have been published in 1968, 1974, and 1985 (amended in 1989), and 2002, although few, if any, vendors have supplied a fully 2002-standard-compliant compiler.

IBM (as well as other companies) produces compilers that implement the standards as they are available. Sometimes a company will even include a feature before it gets into the standard (since it takes a long time to update each standard, sometimes a company feels it can't wait until the next standard will become available).

The most recent IBM compilers for the mainframe are these:

OS/VS COBOL - supports the '68 and '74 standards; for MVS and OS/390

COBOL for DOS/VS - supports the '68 and '74 standards for DOS/VS and later

VS COBOL II - supports the '74 and the '85 standards; available on MVS, OS/390, and various releases of VSE and VM

COBOL/370 (version 1, release 1 of the latest compiler) - supports the '85 standard, including the '89 amendmentment; available on MVS, OS/390, and various releases of VSE and VM

COBOL for MVS & VM (version 1 release 2 of the above compiler) - supports the '85 standard, the '89 amendment, and some enhancements from the 2002 standard (primarily Object Oriented COBOL and improved interoperability with C)

COBOL for OS/390 & VM (version 2 release 1, and version 2 release 2 of the above compiler) - supports everything above along with some additional enhancements (relatively minor from the external perspective of the language)

IBM Enterprise COBOL for z/OS and OS/390 (version 3 release 1, version 3 release 2, version 3 release 3, version 3 release 4, version 4 release 1, version 4 release 2, version 5 release 1) - supports Unicode, interoperability with JAVA, DB2 and CICS co-processors, an XML parser, and more

Also, IBM provides COBOL compilers for its OS/400, OS/2, and AIX environments and for MicroSoft Windows platforms


Our course Structured COBOL Workshop for Enterprise COBOL is designed with the Enterprise COBOL compiler as the starting point, although most of the content also works for the older COBOL for OS/390 & VM compiler.

Note also that our DB2, LE, and Advanced TSO courses all allow the student to work the labs in COBOL (as well as other languages).


Note that from COBOL/370 on, IBM COBOL compilers use a component called Language Environment (LE) for run-time support.

We provide training on Language Environment topics as well as on the supported languages


The following courses are multi-lingual and the labs may be run in COBOL if the student prefers:

Introduction to TSO and REXX APIs
DB2 Application Coding
DB2 Stored Procedures
Using LE Services in z/OS
Cross Program Communication in z/OS
Creating and Using DLLs in z/OS
Interactive Multi-Language Debugging with Debug Tool
Developing Applications for z/OS UNIX
Creating and Using DLLs in z/OS
Introduction to CGIs on z/OS


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