Micro Focus NetExpress

Language Reference - Additional Topics

Micro Focus®

Issue 17N
October 1998

Copyright © 1998 Micro Focus Limited. All rights reserved.
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Micro Focus has made every effort to ensure that this manual is correct and accurate, but reserves the right to make changes without notice at its sole discretion at any time.

The software described in this document is supplied under a license and may be used or copied only in accordance with the terms of such license, and in particular any warranty of fitness of Micro Focus software products for any particular purpose is expressly excluded and in no event will Micro Focus be liable for any consequential loss.

COBOL is an industry language and is not the property of any company or group of companies, or of any organization or group of organizations.

No warranty, expressed or implied, is made by any contributor or by the CODASYL Programming Language Committee as to the accuracy and functioning of the programming system and language. Moreover, no responsibility is assumed by any contributor, or by the committee, in connection herewith.

The authors and copyright holders of the copyrighted material used herein:

FLOW-MATIC™ Programming for the Univac® I and II, Data Automation Systems copyrighted 1958,1959, by Sperry Rand Corporation; IBM® Commercial Translator Form No. F28-8013, copyrighted 1959 by IBM®; FACT, DSI27A5260-2760, copyrighted 1960 by Minneapolis-Honeywell

have specifically authorized the use of this material in whole or in part, in the COBOL specifications. Such authorization extends to the reproduction and use of COBOL specifications in programming manuals or similar publications.

Micro Focus® and Animator® are registered trademarks of Micro Focus Limited. Micro Focus COBOL™, VS COBOL™, LEVEL II COBOL™, LEVEL II COBOL/ET™, and Professional COBOL™ are trademarks of Micro Focus Limited.

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This manual describes the support for those COBOL language features that are additional to the ANSI COBOL standards X3.23-1985, X3.23a-1989 and X3.23b-1993. These COBOL language extensions are supported by a number of COBOL systems.


This manual is intended for programmers already familiar with the COBOL language.

Notation in this Manual

Throughout this manual, the following notation is used to describe the format of COBOL statements:

  1. Words printed in capital letters which are underlined must always be present when the functions of which they are a part are used. An error will be reported by your COBOL system if the underlined words are absent or incorrectly spelled. The underlining is not necessary when writing a COBOL source program.

  2. Words printed in capital letters which are not underlined are used in the COBOL source program for readability only. They may be written, or not, as the programmer wishes, but if written, must be correctly spelled.

  3. All words printed in small letters are generic terms representing names which will be devised by the programmer.

  4. When material is enclosed in braces { }, a choice must be made from the options within them.

  5. When material is enclosed in choice indicators { | | }, one or more of the unique options must be specified, but a single option may be specified only once.

  6. When material is enclosed in square brackets [ ] , it is an indication that the material is an option which may be included or omitted as required.

  7. In text, the ellipsis (...) shows the omission of a portion of a source program or a sequence. This meaning becomes apparent in context.

    In the General Formats, the ellipsis represents the position at which repetition may occur at the user's option. The portion of the format that may be repeated is determined as follows:

    Given ... in a clause or statement format, scanning right to left, determine the } or ] immediately to the left of the ...; continue scanning right to left and determine the logically matching { or [; the ... applies to the words between the determined pair of delimiters.

  8. The COBOL dialect represented in this book is ANSI '85. Text in blue shows Micro Focus extensions to that dialect.