If you work in any sort of financial institution, companies like airlines, larger hotel chains or any other business that processes customer records for more than 20 years now, you might have come across COBOL applications. The “Common Business Oriented Language” was designed in the 1950s for mainframe computers of that era to build early computer software for businesses. It was designed by a committee consisting of government bodies, computer manufacturers and consultants. Academic bodies were not involved which is also one of many reasons why it was never very popular for academic work. I don’t want to get into the history of COBOL as that is perfectly described in numerous sources elsewhere, like the Wikipedia COBOL article. …

Jan Kammerath

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