COBOL lectures and tutorials

These pages contain the COBOL programming lectures and tutorials for CS4312 - Software Engineering 2. For COBOL programming exercises, COBOL example programs, links to other COBOL sites or information about the Year2000 problem please connect to the main COBOL page.

The COBOL programming lectures presented in the are delivered using Microsoft PowerPoint slides (Powerpoint 95 i.e. v7.0). There are three ways to view these slides.

  1. Come to the lectures
  2. View the slides online using the Microsoft PowerPoint Plug-In ( you'll need Internet Explorer 3.0 or Netscape 2.0 for this).
  3. Download the ZIP file containing the slides and view it with either the PowerPoint Viewer or PowerPoint itself.

The Plug-In and Viewer for PowerPoint 95 are no longer easy to obtain from the Microsoft site (they have been replaced by PowerPoint 97) so I am making them available from here.

Download the PowerPoint 95 Plug-In
Download the PowerPoint 95 Viewer

Each lecture topic in the module outline is followed by these three clickable buttons -

After a number of requests I have collected all the lecture slides (except the Report Writer tutorials) into one
612KB file called AllLectures.Zip.

A comprehensive, one hundred page, COBOL Quick Reference based on these lecture slides is contained in the book "Year 2000 in a Nutshell". A detailed description of the book is available on the O'Reilly web site.

Year 2000 in a Nutshell
by Norman Shakespeare


Module Contents

General Introduction

Introduction to COBOL

COBOL Basics 1

COBOL Basics 2

Introduction to Sequential Files

Processing Sequential Files

Simple iteration with the PERFORM verb

Arithmetic and Edited Pictures


Designing Programs

Introduction to Diagrammatic Stepwise Refinement


Tables and the PERFORM ... VARYING

Advanced Tables

Searching Tables

Advanced Sequential Files

Introduction to Direct Access Files

Relative Files

Indexed Files

Calling Subprograms




The USAGE clause

The COBOL Report Writer - A worked example

The COBOL Report Writer - Syntax and Semantics



The copyright for these presentations belongs to the author - Michael Coughlan. Permission is given to use these presentations, in part or whole, in your own lectures but you may not use the material in any published work without written permission from the author.

If you find any errors in these presentations or wish to make some comment concerning them please email the author Michael Coughlan.

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Last updated : 18th November 1998
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