Like Jeff , we're a COBOL shop (and not too far from Celina). Although
we've got some RPG--primarily from our 3rd-party software. I'm bilingual,
but honestly prefer COBOL. That said, I would love to have some of the
added features of RPG. The support for RPG in RDi is far superior. We have
such a large COBOL code-base, I don't see us ever switching. The platform
has proven reliable over the years. I would have to check, but a few years
ago, I found a COBOL program originally compiled on the System/38. It had
never been recompiled. Another developer here said they saw the same
program more recently--still with the original compilation date from the
1980s. COBOL has great longevity.

Years ago I had a copy of an article titled "COBOL, the Successful
Failure". I would still have it but loaned it to someone else. (I believe
the article was published in ComputerWorld back in the 1980s.) The article
pointed out how someone on the committee for the original COBOL
specification disagreed with certain design decisions and so had a
tombstone made stating "RIP COBOL." They were saying COBOL would never
make it as a language. Over 50 years later, they're still being proved
wrong. COBOL will probably out live anyone reading this post.

Another article I read (I don't recall what journal this was in) declared
that you can't do a financial transaction without COBOL being involved in
it somewhere along the chain. I can't prove that one, nor corroborate it
with evidence or another write up. But I'm sure there's a lot of COBOL
running in financial institutions that will be around for a long time to

Alex Handy wrote a good piece about COBOL honoring its fifty years as the
language that would not die. Here's a link to the story:

An academic paper written available at: claims 80% of
business runs COBOL and their are over 200 billion lines of COBOL code.
The paper also cites a study which said that COBOL use would grow in the
next 10 years. (I believe the paper was published in 2000.

So there are a few thoughts and references that COBOL is not dead.

"COBOL400-L" <cobol400-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote on 04/30/2014
01:00:04 PM:

----- Message from Jeff Buening <Jeff.Buening@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
on Wed, 30 Apr 2014 10:20:12 -0400 -----


"COBOL Programming on the IBM i \(AS/400 and iSeries\)" <cobol400-


Re: [COBOL400-L] Is COBOL still "dead"? Thoughts?

I work at a small rural Insurance company and our whole backend is
I am the youngest(by quite a few years :)) on our small team and been
doing this for 6-7 years. They have no intentions in the near future to

go away from COBOL, nor having to go through a whole re-write of the
backend system. The front end is GUI etc... but still all connects to
COBOL in the back. Figure it is a case by case basis on what the
companies intentions and willing to get rid(re-write) the whole system.
will say I have harder time finding COBOL coding examples than RPG, but
doesn't seem to bother us. I started at the helpdesk and then moved
the COBOL area, which I have a feeling that is the approach companies
COBOL are doing.
If anything having some exposure to it might help get into some company,

even if in the future they go away from it.

Is it dead, I guess it depends where you work. 8 inch floppies are
the greatest thing for our Nuclear sites :).

Jeff Buening
Sr. Developer
P: 419.586.8599
| F: 419.586.6224

Celina Insurance Group
800.552.5181 | 1 Insurance Square, Celina, Ohio 45822

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