Accessing the Windows API

The Windows API lets you develop applications that take advantage of the features and capabilities of the Windows operating system. In essence, the Windows API provides building blocks that can be used by applications written for Windows, regardless of the language those applications are written in.

If desired, you can call Windows API functions from ACUCOBOL-GT, giving your COBOL program features and functions that are unique to Windows. You can give your application a graphical user interface; display graphics and formatted text; and manage system objects such as memory, files, and processes. Literally hundreds of Windows API functions are available.

Windows API functions are contained in DLLs. To access a Windows API function from ACUCOBOL-GT, you load the DLL and then call the function. The procedure for this is outlined in Calling a Windows API Function from ACUCOBOL-GT.

Before you get started, you should become familiar with the documentation that is available, the DLLs that you'll use most often, and some guidelines specific to ACUCOBOL-GT and data mapping. This information is provided in the section Windows-specific Features of ACUCOBOL-GT.