Os termos neste glossário estão definidas conforme o significado deles/delas dentro do COBOL.
Estes termos podem ou não ter o mesmo significado dentro de outras linguagens.
IBM is grateful to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for
permission to reprint its definitions from the following publications:
American National Standard Programming Language COBOL, ANSI X3.23-1985
(Copyright 1985 American National Standards Institute, Inc.), o qual
foi preparado pela Technical Committee X3J4, e revisado pelo American National Standard COBOL, X3.23-1974.
American National Dictionary for Information Processing Systems
(Copyright 1982 by the Computer and Business Equipment Manufacturers Association).
As definições do American National Standards Institute (ANSI) são precedidas por um asterisk (*).
- * abbreviated combined relation condition.
The combined condition that results from the explicit omission of a common subject or a common subject and common relational operator in a consecutive
sequence of relation conditions.
- * access mode.
The manner in which records are to be operated upon within a file.
- * actual decimal point.
The physical representation, using the decimal point characters period (.) or comma (,), of the decimal point position in a data item.
- * alphabet-name.
A user-defined word, in the SPECIAL-NAMES paragraph of the Environment Division, that assigns a name to a specific character set and/or collating sequence.
- * alphabetic character.
A letter or a space character.
- * alphanumeric character.
Any character in the computer's character set.
- alphanumeric-edited character
A character within an alphanumeric character-string that contains at least one B, 0 (zero), or / (slash).
- * alternate record key.
A key, other than the prime record key, whose contents identify a record within an indexed file.
- ANSI (American National Standards Institute).
An organization consisting of producers, consumers, and general interest groups, that establishes the procedures by which accredited organizations create
and maintain voluntary industry standards in the United States.
- * arithmetic expression.
An identifier of a numeric elementary item, a numeric literal, such identifiers and literals separated by arithmetic operators, two arithmetic expressions
separated by an arithmetic operator, or an arithmetic expression enclosed in parentheses.
- * arithmetic operation.
The process caused by the execution of an
arithmetic statement, or the evaluation of an arithmetic expression, that results in a mathematically correct solution to the arguments presented.
- * arithmetic operator.
A single character, or a fixed two-character combination that belongs to the following set:
- * arithmetic statement.
A statement that causes an arithmetic operation to be executed.
The arithmetic statements are the ADD, COMPUTE, DIVIDE, MULTIPLY, and SUBTRACT statements.
- * ascending key.
A key upon the values of which data is ordered, starting with the lowest value of the key up to the highest value of the key, in accordance with the rules
for comparing data items.
American National Standard Code for Information Interchange.
The standard code, using a coded character set consisting of 7-bit coded characters (8 bits including parity check), used for information interchange
between data processing systems, data communication systems, and associated equipment.
The ASCII set consists of control characters and graphic characters.
IBM has defined an extension to ASCII code (characters 128-255).
A name that identifies the organization of a COBOL file and the name by which it is known to the system.
- * assumed decimal point.
A decimal point position that does not involve the existence of an actual character in a data item.
The assumed decimal point has logical meaning with no physical representation.
- * AT END condition.
A Acondition caused:
- During the execution of a READ statement for a sequentially accessed file, when no next logical record exists in the file, or when the number of
significant digits in the relative record number is larger than the size of the relative key data item, or when an optional input file is not present.
- During the execution of a RETURN statement, when no next logical record exists for the associated sort or merge file.
- During the execution of a SEARCH statement, when the search operation terminates without satisfying the condition specified in any of the associated
- binary item.
A numeric data item represented in binary notation (on the base 2 numbering system).
Binary items have a decimal equivalent consisting of the decimal digits 0 through 9, plus an operational sign.
The leftmost bit of the item is the operational sign.
- binary search.
A dichotomizing search in which, at each step of the search, the set of data elements is divided by two; some appropriate action is taken in the case of
an odd number.
- * block.
A physical unit of data that is normally composed of one or more logical records.
For mass storage files, a block may contain a portion of a logical record.
The size of a block has no direct relationship to the size of the file within which the block is contained or to the size of the logical record(s) that are
either contained within the block or that overlap the block.
The term is synonymous with physical record.
A place in a computer program, usually specified by an instruction, where its execution may be interrupted by external intervention or by a monitor program.
A portion of storage used to hold input or output data temporarily.
A string consisting of a certain number of bits, usually eight, treated as a unit, and representing a character.
- * called program.
A program that is the object of a CALL statement combined at object time with the calling program to produce a run unit.
The term is synonymous with subprogram.
- * calling program.
A program that executes a CALL to another program.
- case structure.
A program processing logic in which a series of conditions is tested in order to make a choice between a number of resulting actions.
- * character.
The basic indivisible unit of the language.
- character position.
The amount of physical storage required to store a single standard data format character described as USAGE IS DISPLAY.
- character set.
All the valid characters for a programming language or a computer system.
- * character-string.
A sequence of contiguous characters that form a COBOL word, a literal, a PICTURE character-string, or a comment-entry.
A point at which information about the status of a job and the system can be recorded so that the job step can be later restarted.
- * class condition.
The proposition, for which a truth value can be determined, that the content of an item is wholly alphabetic, is wholly numeric, or consists exclusively
of those characters listed in the definition of a class-name.
- * class-name.
A user-defined word defined in the SPECIAL-NAMES paragraph of the Environment Division that assigns a name to the proposition for which a truth value can
be defined, that the content of a data item consists exclusively of those characters listed in the definition of the class-name.
- * clause.
An ordered set of consecutive COBOL character-strings whose purpose is to specify an attribute of an entry.
- CMS (Conversational Monitor System).
A virtual machine operating system that provides general interactive, time-sharing, problem solving, and program development capabilities, and that operates
only under the control of the VM/SP control program.
- * COBOL character set.
The complete COBOL character set consists of the characters listed below:
- Note: The º symbol indicates a space.
- * COBOL word.
- * collating sequence.
The sequence in which the characters that are acceptable to a computer are ordered for purposes of sorting, merging, comparing, and for processing indexed
- * column.
A character position within a print line.
The columns are numbered from 1, by 1, starting at the leftmost character position of the print line and extending to the rightmost position of the print line.
- * combined condition.
A condition that is the result of connecting two or more conditions with the AND or the OR logical operator.
- * comment-entry.
An entry in the Identification Division that may be any combination of characters from the computer's character set.
- * comment line.
A source program line represented by an asterisk (*) in the indicator area of the line and any characters from the computer's character set in area A and
area B of that line.
The comment line serves only for documentation in a program.
A special form of comment line represented by a slant (/) in the indicator area of the line and any characters from the computer's character set in area
A and area B of that line causes page ejection prior to printing the comment.
- * common program.
A program which, despite being directly contained within another program, may be called from any program directly or indirectly contained in that other program.
- * compile.
- To translate a program expressed in a high-level language into a program expressed in an intermediate language, assembly language, or a computer language.
- To prepare a machine language program from a computer program written in another programming language by making use of the overall logic structure of the
program, or generating more than one computer instruction for each symbolic statement, or both, as well as performing the function of an assembler.
- * compile time.
The time at which a COBOL source program is translated, by a COBOL compiler, to a COBOL object program.
A program that translates a program written in a higher level language into a machine language object program.
- compiler directing statement.
A statement, beginning with a compiler directing verb, that causes the compiler to take a specific action during compilation.
The SAA compiler directing statements are COPY, EJECT, SKIP 1/2/3, TITLE, and USE.
- * complex >condition.
A condition in which one or more logical operators act upon one or more conditions.
(See also "negated simple condition," and "combined condition," "negated combined condition.")
- * computer-name.
A system-name that identifies the computer upon which the program is to be compiled or run.
- * condition.
A status of a program at run-time for which a truth value can be determined.
Where the term 'condition' (condition-1, condition-2,...) appears in these language specifications in or in reference to 'condition' (condition-1, condition-2,...)
of a general format, it is a conditional expression consisting of either a simple condition optionally parenthesized, or a combined condition consisting of
the syntactically correct combination of simple conditions, logical operators, and parentheses, for which a truth value can be determined.
- * condition-name.
A user-defined word that assigns a name to a subset of values that a conditional variable may assume; or a user-defined word assigned to a status of an
implementor defined switch or device.
When 'condition-name' is used in the general formats, it represents a unique data item reference consisting of a syntactically correct combination of a
'condition-name', together with qualifiers and subscripts, as required for uniqueness of reference.
- * condition-name condition.
The proposition, for which a truth value can be determined, that the value of a conditional variable is a member of the set of values attributed to a
condition-name associated with the conditional variable.
- * conditional expression.
A simple condition or a complex condition specified in an EVALUATE, IF, PERFORM, or SEARCH statement.
(See also "simple condition" and "complex condition.")
- * conditional phrase.
A conditional phrase specifies the action to be taken upon determination of the truth value of a condition resulting from the execution of a conditional
- * conditional statement.
A statement specifying that the truth value of a condition is to be determined and that the subsequent action of the object program is dependent on this truth
- * conditional variable.
A data item one or more values of which has a condition-name assigned to it.
- * Configuration Section.
A section of the Environment Division that describes overall specifications of source and object programs.
A COBOL environment-name associated with the operator console.
- * contiguous items.
Items that are described by consecutive entries in the Data Division, and that bear a definite hierarchic relationship to each other.
A data item used for storing numbers or number representations in a manner that permits these numbers to be increased or decreased by the value of another
number, or to be changed or reset to zero or to an arbitrary positive or negative value.
- cross-reference listing.
The portion of the compiler listing that contains information on where files, fields, and indicators are defined, referenced, and modified in a program.
- * currency sign.
The character '$' of the COBOL character set.
- * currency symbol.
The character defined by the CURRENCY SIGN clause in the SPECIAL-NAMES paragraph.
If no CURRENCY SIGN clause is present in a COBOL source program, the currency symbol is identical to the currency sign.
- * current record.
In file processing the record that is available in the record area associated with a file.
- * current volume pointer.
A conceptual entity that points to the current volume of a sequential file.
* data clause. A clause, appearing in a data description entry in the
Data Division of a COBOL program, that provides information describing a
particular attribute of a data item.
* data description entry. An entry, in the Data Division of a COBOL
program, that is composed of a level-number followed by a data-name, if
required, and then followed by a set of data clauses, as required.
Data Division. One of the four main components of a COBOL program. The
Data Division describes the data to be processed by the object program:
files to be used and the records contained within them; internal
Working-Storage records that will be needed; data to be made available in
more than one program in the COBOL run unit.
* data item. A unit of data (excluding literals) defined by the COBOL
* data-name. A user-defined word that names a data item described in a
data description entry. When used in the general formats, 'data-name'
represents a word that must not be reference-modified, subscripted or
qualified unless specifically permitted by the rules for the format.
date field. Any of the following:
The term date field refers to both expanded date field and windowed date
field. See also nondate.
DBCS (Double-Byte Character Set). See "Double-Byte Character Set (DBCS)."
* debugging line. A debugging line is any line with a 'D' in the
indicator area of the line.
* debugging section. A section that contains a USE FOR DEBUGGING
* declarative sentence. A compiler directing sentence consisting of a
single USE statement terminated by the separator period.
* declaratives. A set of one or more special purpose sections, written at
the beginning of the Procedure Division, the first of which is preceded by
the keyword DECLARATIVES and the last of which is followed by the keywords
END DECLARATIVES. A declarative is composed of a section header, followed
by a USE compiler directing sentence, followed by a set of zero, one, or
more associated paragraphs.
* declarative sentence. A compiler directing sentence consisting of a
single USE statement terminated by the separator period.
* de-edit. The logical removal of all editing characters from a numeric
edited data item in order to determine that item's unedited numeric value.
* delimited scope statement. Any statement that includes its explicit
* delimiter. A character or a sequence of contiguous characters that
identify the end of a string of characters and separate that string of
characters from the following string of characters. A delimiter is not
part of the string of characters that it delimits.
* descending key. A key upon the values of which data is ordered starting
with the highest value of key down to the lowest value of key, in
accordance with the rules for comparing data items.
digit. Any of the numerals from 0 through 9. In COBOL, the term is not
used in reference to any other symbol.
* digit position. The amount of physical storage required to store a
single digit. This amount may vary depending on the usage specified in
the data description entry that defines the data item.
* direct access. The facility to obtain data from storage devices or to
enter data into a storage device in such a way that the process depends
only on the location of that data and not on a reference to data
* division. A collection of zero, one or more sections or paragraphs,
called the division body, that are formed and combined in accordance with
a specific set of rules. Each division consists of the division header
and the related division body. There are four divisions in a COBOL
program: Identification, Environment, Data, and Procedure.
* division header. A combination of words followed by a separator period
that indicates the beginning of a division. The division headers in a
COBOL program are:
Double-Byte Character Set (DBCS). A set of characters in which each
character is represented by two bytes. Languages such as Japanese,
Chinese, and Korean, which contain more symbols than can be represented by
256 code points, require Double-Byte Character Sets. Since each character
requires two bytes, entering, displaying, and printing DBCS characters
requires hardware and supporting software which are DBCS-capable.
* dynamic access. An access mode in which specific logical records can be
obtained from or placed into a mass storage file in a nonsequential manner
and obtained from a file in a sequential manner during the scope of the
same OPEN statement.
* EBCDIC (Extended Binary-Coded Decimal Interchange Code). A coded
character set consisting of 8-bit coded characters.
EBCDIC character. Any one of the symbols included in the 8-bit EBCDIC
(Extended Binary-Coded-Decimal Interchange Code) set.
edited data item. A data item that has been modified by suppressing
zeroes and/or inserting editing characters.
* editing character. A single character or a fixed two-character
combination belonging to the following set:
Note: The º symbol indicates a space.
element (text element). One logical unit of a string of text, such as the
description of a single data item or verb, preceded by a unique code
identifying the element type.
* elementary item. A data item that is described as not being further
* end of Procedure Division. The physical position of a COBOL source
program after which no further procedures appear.
* end program header. A combination of words, followed by a separator
period, that indicates the end of a COBOL source program. The end program
header is: END PROGRAM program-name.
* entry. Any descriptive set of consecutive clauses terminated by a
separator period and written in the Identification Division, Environment
Division, or Data Division of a COBOL program.
* environment clause. A clause that appears as part of an Environment
Environment Division. One of the four main component parts of a COBOL
program. The Environment Division describes the computers upon which the
source program is compiled and those on which the object program is
executed, and provides a linkage between the logical concept of files and
their records, and the physical aspects of the devices on which files are
environment-name. A name, specified by IBM, that identifies system
logical units, printer and card punch control characters, report codes,
and/or program switches. Valid environment-names for SAA COBOL are SYSIN,
SYSOUT, CONSOLE, C01, CSP, and UPSI-0 through UPSI-7. When an
environment-name is associated with a mnemonic-name in the Environment
Division, the mnemonic-name may then be substituted in any format in which
such substitution is valid.
execution time. See "run-time."
execution-time environment. See "run-time environment."
* explicit scope terminator. A reserved word which terminates the scope
of a particular Procedure Division statement.
exponent. A number, indicating the power to which another number (the
base) is to be raised. Positive exponents denote multiplication, negative
exponents denote division, fractional exponents denote a root of a
quantity. In COBOL, an exponential expression is indicated with the
symbol '**' followed by the exponent.
* expression. An arithmetic or conditional expression.
* extend mode. The state of a file after execution of an OPEN statement,
with the EXTEND phrase specified for that file, and before the execution
of a CLOSE statement, without the REEL or UNIT phrase for that file.
* external data. The data described in a program as external data items
and external file connectors.
* external data item. A data item which is described as part of an
external record in one or more programs of a run unit and which itself may
be referenced from any program in which it is described.
* external data record. A logical record which is described in one or
more programs of a run unit and whose constituent data items may be
referenced from any program in which they are described.
external decimal item. A format for representing numbers in which the
digit is contained in bits 4 through 7 and the sign is contained in bits 0
through 3 of the rightmost byte. Bits 0 through 3 of all other bytes
contain 1's (hex F). For example, the decimal value of +123 is
represented as 1111 0001 1111 0010 1111 0011. (Also know as "zoned
* external file connector. A file connector which is accessible to one or
more object programs in the run unit.
* external switch. A hardware or software device, defined and named by
the implementor, which is used to indicate that one of two alternate
* figurative constant. A compiler-generated value referenced through the
use of certain reserved words.
* file. A collection of logical records.
* file attribute conflict condition. An unsuccessful attempt has been
made to execute an input-output operation on a file and the file
attributes, as specified for that file in the program, do not match the
fixed attributes for that file.
* file clause. A clause that appears as part of any of the following Data
Division entries: file description entry (FD entry) and sort-merge file
description entry (SD entry).
* file connector. A storage area which contains information about a file
and is used as the linkage between a file-name and a physical file and
between a file-name and its associated record area.
* file control entry. A SELECT clause and all its subordinate clauses
which declare the relevant physical attributed of a file.
File-Control. The name of an Environment Division paragraph in which the
data files for a given source program are declared.
*file control entry. A SELECT clause and all its subordinate clauses
which declare the relevant physical attributes of a file.
* file description entry. An entry in the File Section of the Data
Division that is composed of the level indicator FD, followed by a
file-name, and then followed by a set of file clauses as required.
* file-name. A user-defined word that names a file connector described in
a file description entry or a sort-merge file description entry within the
File Section of the Data Division.
* file organization. The permanent logical file structure established at
the time that a file is created.
*file position indicator. A conceptual entity that contains the value of
the current key within the key of reference for an indexed file, or the
record number of the current record for a sequential file, or the relative
record number of the current record for a relative file, or indicates that
no next logical record exists, or that an optional input file is not
present, or that the at end condition already exists, or that no valid
next record has been established.
* file section. The section of the Data Division that contains file
description entries and sort-merge file description entries together with
their associated record descriptions.
* fixed file attributes. Information about a file which is established
when a file is created and cannot subsequently be changed during the
existence of the file. These attributes include the organization of the
file (sequential, relative, or indexed), the prime record key, the
alternate record keys, the code set, the minimum and maximum record size,
the record type (fixed or variable), the collating sequence of the keys
for indexed files, the blocking factor, the padding character, and the
* fixed length record. A record associated with a file whose file
description or sort-merge description entry requires that all records
contain the same number of character positions.
* format. A specific arrangement of a set of data.
* global name. A name which is declared in only one program but which may
be referenced from that program and from any program contained within that
program. Condition-names, data-names, file-names, record-names,
report-names, and some special registers may be global names.
* group item. A data item that is composed of subordinate data items.
header label. (1) A file label or data set label that precedes the data
records on a unit of recording media. (2) Synonym for beginning-of-file
* high order end. The leftmost character of a string of characters.
IBM COBOL extension. Certain COBOL syntax and semantics supported by IBM
compilers in addition to those described in ANSI Standard.
Identification Division. One of the four main component parts of a COBOL
program. The Identification Division identifies the source program and
the object program. The Identification Division may include the following
documentation: author name, installation, or date.
* identifier. A syntactically correct combination of a data-name, with
its qualifiers and subscripts, as required for uniqueness of reference,
that names a data item or the value of the referenced data item. The
rules for 'identifier' associated with the general formats may, however,
specifically prohibit qualification, subscripting, or reference
* imperative statement. A statement that either begins with an imperative
verb and specifies an unconditional action to be taken or is a conditional
statement that is delimited by its explicit scope terminator (delimited
scope statement). An imperative statement may consist of a sequence of
* implicit scope terminator. A separator period which terminates the
scope of any preceding unterminated statement, or a phrase of a statement
which by its occurrence indicates the end of the scope of any statement
contained within the preceding phrase.
* index. A computer storage area or register, the content of which
represents the identification of a particular element in a table.
* index data item. A data item in which the values associated with an
can be stored in a form specified by the implementor.
* index-name. A user-defined word that names an index associated with a
indexed data-name. An identifier that is composed of a data-name,
followed by one or more index-names enclosed in parentheses.
* indexed file. A file with indexed organization.
* indexed organization. The permanent logical file structure in which
each record is identified by the value of one or more keys within that
indexing. Synonymous with subscripting using index-names.
* initial program. A program that is placed into an initial state every
time the program is called in a run unit.
* initial state. The state of a program when it is first called in a run
* input file. A file that is opened in the INPUT mode.
* input mode. The state of a file after execution of an OPEN statement,
with the INPUT phrase specified, for that file and before the execution of
a CLOSE statement, without the REEL or UNIT phrase for that file.
* input-output file. A file that is opened in the I-O mode.
* Input-Output Section. The section of the Environment Division that
names the files and the external media required by an object program and
that provides information required for transmission and handling of data
during execution of the object program.
Input-Output statement. A statement that causes files to be processed by
performing operations upon individual records or upon the file as a unit.
| The input-output statements are: ACCEPT (with the identifier phrase),
| CLOSE, DELETE, DISPLAY, OPEN, READ, REWRITE, SET (with the TO ON or TO OFF
| phrase), START, STOP (with literal), and WRITE.
* input procedure. A set of statements, to which control is given during
the execution of a SORT statement, for the purpose of controlling the
release of specified records to be sorted.
* integer. A numeric literal or a numeric data item that does not include
any digit positions to the right of the assumed decimal point. When the
term 'integer' appears in general formats, integer must not be a numeric
data item, and must not be signed, nor zero unless explicitly allowed by
the rules of that format.
* internal data. The data described in a program excluding all external
data items and external file connectors. Items described in the Linkage
Section of a program are treated as internal data.
* internal data item. A data item which is described in one program in a
run unit. An internal data item may have a global name.
internal decimal item. A format in which each byte in a field except the
rightmost byte represents two numeric digits. The rightmost byte contains
one digit and the sign. For example, the decimal value +123 is
represented as 0001 0010 0011 1111. (Also known as packed decimal.)
* internal file connector. A file connector which is accessible to only
one object program in the run unit.
* intra-record data structure. The entire collection of groups and
elementary data items from a logical record which is defined by a
contiguous subset of the data description entries which describe that
record. These data description entries include all entries whose
level-number is greater than the level-number of the first data
description entry describing the intra-record data structure.
* invalid key condition. A condition, at object time, caused when a
specific value of the key associated with an indexed or relative file is
determined to be invalid.
* I-O-CONTROL. The name of an Environment Division paragraph in which
object program requirements for rerun points, sharing of same areas by
several data files, and multiple file storage on a single input-output
device are specified.
* I-O-CONTROL entry. An entry in the I-O-CONTROL paragraph of the
Environment Division which contains clauses which provide information
required for the transmission and handling of data on named files during
the execution of a program.
* I-O-Mode. The state of a file after execution of an OPEN statement,
with the I-O phrase specified, for that file and before the execution of a
CLOSE statement without the REEL or UNIT phase for that file.
* I-O status. A conceptual entity which contains the two-character value
indicating the resulting status of an input-output operation. This value
is made available to the program through the use of the FILE STATUS clause
in the file control entry for the file.
iteration structure. A program processing logic in which a series of
statements is repeated while a condition is true or until a condition is
K. When referring to storage capacity, two to the tenth power; 1024 in
* key. A data item that identifies the location of a record, or a set of
data items which serve to identify the ordering of data.
* key of reference. The key, either prime or alternate, currently being
used to access records within an indexed file.
* keyword. A reserved word whose presence is required when the format in
which the word appears is used in a source program.
kilobyte (Kb). One kilobyte equals 1024 bytes.
* language-name. A system-name that specifies a particular programming
* letter. A character belonging to one of the following two sets:
1. Uppercase letters: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q,
R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z
2. Lowercase letters: a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q,
r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z
* level indicator. Two alphabetic characters that identify a specific
type of file or a position in a hierarchy. The level indicators in the
Data Division are: CD, FD, and SD.
* level-number. A user-defined word, expressed as a two digit number,
which indicates the hierarchical position of a data item or the special
properties of a data description entry. Level-numbers in the range from 1
through 49 indicate the position of a data item in the hierarchical
structure of a logical record. Level-numbers in the range 1 through 9 may
be written either as a single digit or as a zero followed by a significant
digit. Level-numbers 66, 77 and 88 identify special properties of a data
* library-name. A user-defined word that names a COBOL library that is to
be used by the compiler for a given source program compilation.
* library text. A sequence of text words, comment lines, the separator
space, or the separator pseudo-text delimiter in a COBOL library.
* LINAGE-COUNTER. A special register whose value points to the current
position within the page body.
Linkage Section. The section in the Data Division of the called program
that describes data items available from the calling program. These data
items may be referred to by both the calling and called program.
literal. A character-string whose value is specified either by the
ordered set of characters comprising the string, or by the use of a
* logical operator. One of the reserved words AND, OR, or NOT. In the
formation of a condition, either AND, or OR, or both can be used as
logical connectives. NOT can be used for logical negation.
* logical record. The most inclusive data item. The level-number for a
record is 01. A record may be either an elementary item or a group of
items. The term is synonymous with record.
* low order end. The rightmost character of a string of characters.
main program. In a hierarchy of programs and subroutines, the first
program to receive control when the programs are run.
* mass storage. A storage medium in which data may be organized and
maintained in both a sequential and nonsequential manner.
* mass storage device. A device having a large storage capacity; for
example, magnetic disk, magnetic drum.
* mass storage file. A collection of records that is assigned to a mass
* megabyte (M). One megabyte equals 1,048,576 bytes.
* merge file. A collection of records to be merged by a MERGE statement.
The merge file is created and can be used only by the merge function.
* mnemonic-name. A user-defined word that is associated in the
Environment Division with a specified implementor-name.
MVS/XA* (Multiple Virtual Storage/Extended Architecture). An IBM
operating system that manages multiple virtual address spaces in IBM
processors operating in extended architecture mode. MVS/XA supports the
31-bit addressing mechanism of extended architecture mode, and therefore
allows an address space as large as 2(31) bytes (2048 megabytes or 2
name. A word composed of not more than 30 characters that defines a COBOL
* native character set. The implementor-defined character set associated
with the computer specified in the OBJECT-COMPUTER paragraph.
* native collating sequence. The implementor-defined collating sequence
associated with the computer specified in the OBJECT-COMPUTER paragraph.
* negated combined condition. The 'NOT' logical operator immediately
followed by a parenthesized combined condition.
* negated simple condition. The 'NOT' logical operator immediately
followed by a simple condition.
* next executable sentence. The next sentence to which control will be
transferred after execution of the current statement is complete.
* next executable statement. The next statement to which control will be
transferred after execution of the current statement is complete.
* next record. The record that logically follows the current record of a
* noncontiguous items. Elementary data items in the Working-Storage and
Linkage Sections that bear no hierarchic relationship to other data items.
* nonnumeric item. A data item whose description permits its content to
be composed of any combination of characters taken from the computer's
character set. Certain categories of nonnumeric items may be formed from
more restricted character sets.
null. Figurative constant used to assign the value of an invalid address
to pointer data items. NULLS can be used wherever NULL can be used.
* nonnumeric literal. A literal bounded by quotation marks. The string
of characters may include any character in the computer's character set.
* numeric character. A character that belongs to the following set of
digits: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
numeric-edited item. A numeric item that is in such a form that it may be
used in printed output. It may consist of external decimal digits from 0
through 9, the decimal point, commas, the dollar sign, editing sign
control symbols, plus other editing symbols.
* numeric item. A data item whose description restricts its content to a
value represented by characters chosen from the digits from '0' through
'9'; if signed, the item may also contain a '+', '-', or other
representation of an operational sign.
* numeric literal. A literal composed of one or more numeric characters
that also contain either a decimal point, or an algebraic sign, or both.
The decimal point must not be the rightmost character. The algebraic
sign, if present, must be the leftmost character.
* OBJECT-COMPUTER. The name of an Environment Division paragraph in which
the computer environment, within which the object program is executed, is
* object computer entry. An entry in the OBJECT-COMPUTER paragraph of the
Environment Division which contains clauses which describe the computer
environment in which the object program is to be executed.
* object of entry. A set of operands and reserved words, within a Data
Division entry of a COBOL program, that immediately follows the subject of
* object program. A set or group of executable machine language
instructions and other material designed to interact with data to provide
problem solutions. In this context, an object program is generally the
machine language result of the operation of a COBOL compiler on a source
program. Where there is no danger of ambiguity, the word 'program' alone
may be used in place of the phrase 'object program.'
* object time. The time at which an object program is executed. The
term is synonymous with execution time.
| obsolete element. A COBOL language element that is to be deleted from the
| next revision the COBOL 85 Standard.
* open mode. The state of a file after execution of an OPEN statement for
that file and before the execution of a CLOSE statement without the REEL
or UNIT phrase for that file. The particular open mode is specified in
the OPEN statement as either INPUT, OUTPUT, I-O or EXTEND.
* operand. Whereas the general definition of operand is "that component
which is operated upon," for the purposes of this document, any lowercase
word (or words) that appears in a statement or entry format may be
considered to be an operand and, as such, is an implied reference to the
data indicated by the operand.
* operational sign. An algebraic sign, associated with a numeric data
item or a numeric literal, to indicate whether its value is positive or
* optional file. A file which is declared as being not necessarily
present each time the object program is executed. The object program
causes an interrogation for the presence or absence of the file.
* optional word. A reserved word that is included in a specific format
only to improve the readability of the language and whose presence is
optional to the user when the format in which the word appears is used in
a source program.
OS/2* (Operating System/2*). A multi-tasking operating system for the IBM
Personal Computer family that allows you to run both DOS mode and OS/2
mode programs. ()
* output file. A file that is opened in either the OUTPUT mode or EXTEND
* output mode. The state of a file after execution of an OPEN statement,
with the OUTPUT or EXTEND phrase specified, for that file and before the
execution of a CLOSE statement without the REEL or UNIT phrase for that
* output procedure. A set of statements to which control is given during
execution of a SORT statement after the sort function is completed, or
during execution of a MERGE statement after the merge function reaches a
point at which it can select the next record in merged order when
overflow condition. A condition that occurs when a portion of the result
of an operation exceeds the capacity of the intended unit of storage.
packed decimal item. See "internal decimal item."
* padding character. An alphanumeric character used to fill the unused
character positions in a physical record.
page. A vertical division of output data representing a physical
separation of such data, the separation being based on internal logical
requirements and/or external characteristics of the output medium.
* page body. That part of the logical page in which lines can be written
* paragraph. In the Procedure Division, a paragraph-name followed by a
separator period and by zero, one, or more sentences. In the
Identification and Environment Divisions, a paragraph header followed by
zero, one, or more entries.
* paragraph header. A reserved word, followed by the separator period,
that indicates the beginning of a paragraph in the Identification and
Environment Divisions. The permissible paragraph headers in the
Identification Division are:
The permissible paragraph headers in the Environment Division are:
* paragraph-name. A user-defined word that identifies and begins a
paragraph in the Procedure Division.
parameter. Parameters are used to pass data values between calling and
password. A unique string of characters that a program, computer
operator, or user must supply to meet security requirements before gaining
access to data.
* phrase. A phrase is an ordered set of one or more consecutive COBOL
character-strings that form a portion of a COBOL procedural statement or
of a COBOL clause.
* physical record. See "block."
pointer data item. A data item in which address values can be stored.
Data items are explicitly defined as pointers with the USAGE IS POINTER
clause. ADDRESS OF special registers are implicitly defined as pointer
data items. Pointer data items can be compared for equality or moved to
other pointer data items.
* prime record key. A key whose contents uniquely identify a record
within an indexed file.
* priority-number. A user-defined word which classifies sections in the
Procedure Division for purposes of segmentation. Segment-numbers may
contain only the characters '0','1', ... , '9'. A segment-number may be
expressed either as a one or two digit number.
* procedure. A paragraph or group of logically successive paragraphs, or
a section or group of logically successive sections, within the Procedure
* procedure branching statement. A statement that causes the explicit
transfer of control to a statement other than the next executable
statement in the sequence in which the statements are written in the
source program. The procedure branching statements are: ALTER, CALL,
EXIT, EXIT PROGRAM, GO TO, MERGE, (with the OUTPUT PROCEDURE phrase),
PERFORM and SORT (with the INPUT PROCEDURE or OUTPUT PROCEDURE phrase).
Procedure Division. One of the four main component parts of a COBOL
program. The Procedure Division contains instructions for solving a
problem. The Procedure Division may contain imperative statements,
conditional statements, compiler directing statements, paragraphs,
procedures, and sections.
* procedure-name. A user-defined word that is used to name a paragraph or
section in the Procedure Division. It consists of a paragraph-name (which
may be qualified), or a section-name.
* program identification entry. An entry in the PROGRAM-ID paragraph of
the Identification Division which contains clauses that specify the
program-name and assign selected program attributes to the program.
* program-name. In the Identification Division and the end program
header, a user-defined word that identifies a COBOL source program.
* pseudo-text. A sequence of text words, comment lines, or the separator
space in a source program or COBOL library bounded by, but not including,
* pseudo-text delimiter. Two contiguous equal sign characters (==) used
to delimit pseudo-text.
* punctuation character. A character that belongs to the following set:
Note: The º symbol indicates a space.
QSAM (Queued Sequential Access Method). An extended version of the basic
sequential access method (BSAM). When this method is used, a queue is
formed of input data blocks that are awaiting processing or of output data
blocks that have been processed and are awaiting transfer to auxiliary
storage or to an output device.
* qualified data-name. An identifier that is composed of a data-name
followed by one or more sets of either of the connectives OF and IN
followed by a data-name qualifier.
1. A data-name or a name associated with a level indicator which is used
in a reference either together with another data-name which is the
name of an item that is subordinate to the qualifier or together with
2. A section-name that is used in a reference together with a
paragraph-name specified in that section.
3. A library-name that is used in a reference together with a text-name
associated with that library.
* random access. An access mode in which the program-specified value of a
key data item identifies the logical record that is obtained from, deleted
from, or placed into a relative or indexed file.
* record. See "logical record."
* record area. A storage area allocated for the purpose of processing the
record described in a record description entry in the File Section of the
Data Division. In the File Section, the current number of character
positions in the record area is determined by the explicit or implicit
* record description. See "record description entry."
* record description entry. The total set of data description entries
associated with a particular record. The term is synonymous with record
record key. A key whose contents identify a record within an indexed
file. Within an indexed file in SAA COBOL, a record key is the prime
* record-name. A user-defined word that names a record described in a
record description entry in the Data Division of a COBOL program.
* record number. The ordinal number of a record in the file whose
organization is sequential.
recording mode. The format of the logical records in a file. Recording
mode can be F (fixed-length), V (variable-length), S (spanned), or U
reel. A discrete portion of a storage medium, the dimensions of which are
determined by each implementor, that contains part of a file, all of a
file, or any number of files. The term is synonymous with unit and volume.
* reference format. A format that provides a standard method for
describing COBOL source programs.
* reference modifier. The leftmost-character-position and length used to
establish and reference a data item.
* relation. See "relational operator."
* relation character. A character that belongs to the following set:
* relation condition. The proposition, for which a truth value can be
determined, that the value of an arithmetic expression, data item,
nonnumeric literal, or index-name has a specific relationship to the value
of another arithmetic expression, data item, nonnumeric literal, or index
name. (See also "relational operator.")
* relational operator. A reserved word, a relation character, a group of
consecutive reserved words, or a group of consecutive reserved words and
relation characters used in the construction of a relation condition. The
permissible operators and their meanings are:
* relative file. A file with relative organization.
* relative key. A key whose contents identify a logical record in a
* relative organization. The permanent logical file structure in which
each record is uniquely identified by an integer value greater than zero,
which specifies the record's logical ordinal position in the file.
* relative record number. The ordinal number of a record in a file whose
organization is relative. This number is treated as a numeric literal
which is an integer.
* reserved word. A COBOL word specified in the list of words that may be
used in a COBOL source program, but that must not appear in the program as
user-defined words or system-names.
* resource. A facility or service, controlled by the operating system,
that can be used by an executing program.
* resultant identifier. A user-defined data item that is to contain the
result of an arithmetic operation.
routine. A set of statements in a program that causes the computer to
perform an operation or series of related operations.
* routine-name. A user-defined word that identifies a procedure written
in a language other than COBOL.
* run-time. The time at which an object program is executed. The term is
synonymous with object time.
run-time environment. The environment in which a COBOL program executes.
* run unit. One or more object programs which interact with one another
and which function, at object time, as an entity to provide problem
SAM (Sequential Access Method). An early access method in which physical
records are obtained from or placed into a file in a consecutive
processor-to-successor physical record sequence determined by the order of
records in the file. This method was a predecessor of Queued Sequential
Access Method; see also "QSAM (Queued Sequential Access Method)."
SBCS (Single Byte Character Set). See "Single Byte Character Set (SBCS)".
scope terminator. A COBOL reserved word that marks the end of certain
Procedure Division statements. It may be either explicit (END-ADD, for
example) or implicit (separator period).
* section. A set of zero, one or more paragraphs or entities, called a
section body, the first of which is preceded by a section header. Each
section consists of the section header and the related section body.
* section header. A combination of words followed by a separator period
that indicates the beginning of a section in the Environment, Data, and
Procedure Divisions. In the Environment and Data Divisions, a section
header is composed of reserved words followed by a separator period. The
permissible section headers in the Environment Division are:
The permissible section headers in the Data Division are:
In the Procedure Division, a section header is composed of a section-name,
followed by the reserved word SECTION, followed by a separator period.
* section-name. A user-defined word that names a section in the Procedure
selection structure. A program processing logic in which one or another
series of statements is executed, depending on whether a condition is true
* sentence. A sequence of one or more statements, the last of which is
terminated by a separator period.
* separately compiled program. A program which, together with its
contained programs, is compiled separately from all other programs.
* separator. A character or two contiguous characters used to delimit
* separator comma. A comma (,) followed by a space used to delimit
* separator period. A period (.) followed by a space used to delimit
* separator semicolon. A semicolon (;) followed by a space used to
sequence structure. A program processing logic in which a series of
statements is executed in sequential order.
* sequential access. An access mode in which logical records are obtained
from or placed into a file in a consecutive predecessor-to-successor
logical record sequence determined by the order of records in the file.
* sequential file. A file with sequential organization.
* sequential organization. The permanent logical file structure in which
a record is identified by a predecessor-successor relationship established
when the record is placed into the file.
serial search. A search in which the members of a set are consecutively
examined, beginning with the first member and ending with the last.
* 77-level-description-entry. A data description entry that describes a
noncontiguous data item with the level-number 77.
* sign condition. The proposition, for which a truth value can be
determined, that the algebraic value of a data item or an arithmetic
expression is either less than, greater than, or equal to zero.
* simple condition. Any single condition chosen from the set:
Single Byte Character Set (SBCS). A set of characters in which each
character is represented by a single byte. See also "EBCDIC (Extended
Binary-Coded Decimal Interchange Code)"
slack bytes. Bytes inserted between data items or records to ensure
correct alignment of some numeric items. Slack bytes contain no meaningful
data. In some cases, they are inserted by the compiler; in others, it is
the responsibility of the programmer to insert them. The SYNCHRONIZED
clause instructs the compiler to insert slack bytes when they are needed
for proper alignment. Slack bytes between records are inserted by the
* sort file. A collection of records to be sorted by a SORT statement.
The sort file is created and can be used by the sort function only.
* sort-merge file description entry. An entry in the File Section of the
Data Division that is composed of the level indicator SD, followed by a
file-name, and then followed by a set of file clauses as required.
* SOURCE-COMPUTER. The name of an Environment Division paragraph in which
the computer environment, within which the source program is compiled, is
* source computer entry. An entry in the SOURCE-COMPUTER paragraph of the
Environment Division which contains clauses which describe the computer
environment in which the source program is to be compiled.
* source item. An identifier designated by a SOURCE clause that provides
the value of a printable item.
source program. Although it is recognized that a source program may be
represented by other forms and symbols, in this document it always refers
to a syntactically correct set of COBOL statements. A COBOL source
program commences with the Identification Division or a COPY statement. A
COBOL source program is terminated by the end program header, if
specified, or by the absence of additional source program lines.
* special character. A character that belongs to the following set:
* special-character word. A reserved word that is an arithmetic operator
or a relation character.
SPECIAL-NAMES. The name of an Environment Division paragraph in which
environment-names are related to user-specified mnemonic-names.
* special names entry. An entry in the SPECIAL-NAMES paragraph of the
Environment Division which provides means for specifying the currency
sign; choosing the decimal point; specifying symbolic characters; relating
implementor-names to user-specified mnemonic-names; relating
alphabet-names to character sets or collating sequences; and relating
class-names to sets of characters.
* special registers. Certain compiler generated storage areas whose
primary use is to store information produced in conjunction with the use
of a specific COBOL feature.
* standard data format. The concept used in describing the
characteristics of data in a COBOL Data Division under which the
characteristics or properties of the data are expressed in a form oriented
to the appearance of the data on a printed page of infinite length and
breadth, rather than a form oriented to the manner in which the data is
stored internally in the computer, or on a particular external medium.
* statement. A syntactically valid combination of words, literals, and
separators,beginning with a verb, written in a COBOL source program.
structured programming. A technique for organizing and coding a computer
program in which the program comprises a hierarchy of segments, each
segment having a single entry point and a single exit point. Control is
passed downward through the structure without unconditional branches to
higher levels of the hierarchy.
* subject of entry. An operand or reserved word that appears immediately
following the level indicator or the level-number in a Data Division
* subprogram. See "called program."
* subscript. An occurrence number represented by either an integer, a
data-name optionally followed by an integer with the operator + or -, or
an index-name optionally followed by an integer with the operator + or -,
which identifies a particular element in a table.
* subscripted data-name. An identifier that is composed of a data-name
followed by one or more subscripts enclosed in parentheses.
switch-status condition. The proposition, for which a truth value can be
determined, that an UPSI switch, capable of being set to an 'on' or 'off'
status, has been set to a specific status.
* symbolic-character. A user-defined word that specifies a user-defined
syntax. (1) The relationship among characters or groups of characters,
independent of their meanings or the manner of their interpretation and
use. (2) The structure of expressions in a language. (3) The rules
governing the structure of a language. (4) The relationship among
symbols. (5) The rules for the construction of a statement.
* system-name. A COBOL word that is used to communicate with the
* table. A set of logically consecutive items of data that are defined in
the Data Division by means of the OCCURS clause.
* table element. A data item that belongs to the set of repeated items
comprising a table.
* text-name. A user-defined word that identifies library text.
* text word. A character or a sequence of contiguous characters between
margin A and margin R in a COBOL library, source program, or in
pseudo-text which is:
° A separator, except for: space; a pseudo-text delimiter; and the
opening and closing delimiters for nonnumeric literals. The right
parenthesis and left parenthesis characters, regardless of context
within the library, source program, or pseudo-text, are always
considered text words.
° A literal including, in the case of nonnumeric literals, the opening
quotation mark and the closing quotation mark that bound the literal.
° Any other sequence of contiguous COBOL characters except comment lines
and the word 'COPY' bounded by separators which is neither a separator
nor a literal.
top-down design. The design of a computer program using a hierarchic
structure in which related functions are performed at each level of the
top-down development. See "structured programming."
trailer-label. (1) A file or data set label that follows the data records
on a unit of recording medium. (2) Synonym for end-of-file label.
* truth value. The representation of the result of the evaluation of a
condition in terms of one of two values: true or false.
* unary operator. A plus (+) or a minus (-) sign, that precedes a
variable or a left parenthesis in an arithmetic expression and that has
the effect of multiplying the expression by +1 or -1, respectively.
unit. A module of direct access, the dimensions of which are determined
* unsuccessful execution. The attempted execution of a statement that
does not result in the execution of all the operations specified by that
statement. The unsuccessful execution of a statement does not affect any
data referenced by that statement, but may affect status indicators.
UPSI switch. A program switch that performs the functions of a hardware
switch. Eight are provided: UPSI-0 through UPSI-7.
* user-defined word. A COBOL word that must be supplied by the user to
satisfy the format of a clause or statement.
* variable. A data item whose value may be changed by execution of the
object program. A variable used in an arithmetic expression must be a
numeric elementary item.
* variable length record. A record associated with a file whose file
description or sort-merge description entry permits records to contain a
varying number of character positions.
* variable occurrence data item. A variable occurrence data item is a
table element which is repeated a variable number of times. Such an item
must contain an OCCURS DEPENDING ON clause in its data description entry,
or be subordinate to such an item.
* verb. A word that expresses an action to be taken by a COBOL compiler
or object program.
VM/SP (Virtual Machine/System Product). An IBM-licensed program that
manages the resources of a single computer so that multiple computing
systems appear to exist. Each virtual machine is the functional
equivalent of a "real" machine.
volume. A module of external storage. For tape devices it is a reel; for
direct-access devices it is a unit.
volume switch procedures. System specific procedures executed
automatically when the end of a unit or reel has been reached before
end-of-file has been reached.
VSAM (Virtual Storage Access Method). A high-performance mass storage
access method. Three types of data organization are available: entry
sequenced data sets (ESDS), key sequenced data sets (KSDS), and relative
record data sets (RRDS). Their COBOL equivalents are, respectively:
sequential, indexed, and relative organizations.
VSE/ESA (Virtual Storage Extended/Enterprise Systems Architecture). An
IBM operating system that manages multiple address spaces (partitions), up
to a maximum combined virtual storage size of 256 million bytes. A single
address space may be as large as 16 million bytes.
* word. A character-string of not more than 30 characters that forms a
user-defined word, a system-name, or a reserved word.
* Working-Storage Section. The section of the Data Division that
describes working storage data items, composed either of noncontiguous
items or working storage records or of both.
zoned decimal item. See "external decimal item."
() (*) MVS/XA is a trademark of International Business Machines
() (*) OS/2 and Operating System/2 are trademarks of
International Business Machines Corporation.