We understand that the first thought on your mind when reading an article about COBOL maintenance may be,Â â€œwhy on Earth is this even a thing?â€ COBOL is a language that was first introduced in the 1950s and has been used by businesses for decades. But as time goes on, its age becomes more apparentâ€”and its flaws are increasingly more difficult to ignore.
COBOL is everywhere. It never went away.
COBOL was one of the first programming languages to be used in computers. In fact, if you have ever used a computer or smartphone at all, you have probably been exposed to COBOL in some form.
Here’s a quick history lesson: When COBOL was first developed, it became the de facto standard for business applications. It is still widely used today as many legacy systems that run our financial and insurance industries rely on it. These systems are very complex and critical to the economy, and modernization efforts are made to drive its growth. Here are some examples of modern COBOL applications:
- Most of the world’s ATMs are written in COBOL. COBOL was designed with the idea of being able to handle large amounts of data. This makes it ideal for programming ATM machines, which require a high level of accuracy and precision in order to ensure that transactions are processed correctly and efficiently. It’s being updated to support new technologies, like mobile computing and cloud computing.
- COBOL powers our airports and airlines. It is the language behind aviation. Itâ€™s used to manage reservations, ticketing, and check-in; itâ€™s also used to manage the flight schedule. And if you thought COBOL was just for checking in luggage, think againâ€”it also manages the baggage handling system!
- COBOL powers our government and municipal services. Many businesses, government agencies, and other organizations still run, maintain, and update COBOL programs that stretch back many years. It’s used to process tax returns, unemployment claims, social security claims, and Medicare and Medicaid claims.
- COBOL powers our hospitals and healthcare. Hundreds of hospitals and healthcare systems are using COBOL to manage their day-to-day operations. If a patient arrives at the emergency room and they’re not in the system yet, that is where COBOL begins its work. As soon as a patient is registered, the hospital’s computers immediately start crunching numbers and comparing data points to determine what kind of care each person needs. This helps doctors know how best to treat their patientsâ€”and it also helps hospitals keep track of reimbursements from insurance companies.
COBOL Application Development and Maintenance
The COBOL maintenance model was developed to solve the problem of software development getting stuck in â€œanalysis paralysisâ€ â€“ where teams spend too much time planning their projects but never actually start building them.
In the modern world, COBOL maintenance is an ongoing, never-ending process.
But why does it matter?
Because it’s important to keep track of your software’s current state, it’s important for you, as a business owner, to understand how your company’s systems are performing and whether or not they’re meeting your needs. It’s also important for you as a developer or maintainer to understand where the system is headed and what changes need to happen to make sure it can continue to operate smoothly.
COBOL maintenance helps keep track of all this information by identifying factors that affect the application life cycle:
- The user interface (how users interact with the system)
- Data access method (how data gets stored in the database)
- Program logic (how programs are built and run)
- Data manipulation methods (how data is manipulated)
As long as we need these critical systems, we will need COBOL
COBOL is a programming language that will never die. As long as we rely on critical systems and back-end infrastructure, COBOL will be there to support them. It’s a very stable, flexible, powerful, efficient, and reliable languageâ€”all of which are important qualities in any programming language.
Even though it was created decades ago, COBOL is still very much alive. But many companies do not have the resources to keep their COBOL programs current with industry standards. This can lead to errors in the software that can cause problems for users or even put lives at risk. When these errors occur, it is important that they be addressed immediately so that they do not worsen as time goes on.
Contact Marble Computer today to handle your COBOL maintenance in El Paso. Let us take care of those pesky bugs so you can focus on what really matters: getting your product out there and making money. Call (800) 252-1400 today!