Object COBOL ConceptsNext"

Chapter 1: Introduction to Object COBOL

Object COBOL extends Micro Focus technology to enable object-oriented programming in COBOL, while retaining all the dialects and features previously available. This chapter explains:

If you don't want to use OO you don't need to read this manual, and can use Micro Focus Object COBOL in the same way you used Micro Focus COBOL.

1.1 OO Features of Object COBOL

To enable you to write OO programs in COBOL, Micro Focus has added the following components and features to the COBOL system:

1.2 Getting Started with Object COBOL

This manual is intended to help you get started programming with Object COBOL as quickly as possible. However, if you are completely new to OO you might want to do some background reading to familiarize yourself with the new concepts, and perhaps get some training in Object-Oriented Analysis and Design. There is a list of books in the section Reading List.

The next two sections explain:

1.2.1 Developing OO Applications

The list below shows the basic steps to develop an OO application.

>>To develop an OO application

  1. Analyse the problem, and identify the objects needed to solve it.

  2. Identify the relationships between the objects.

    You need to see where inheritance hierarchies will help you to reuse code, and to see which objects will interact between each other and the messages they will send.

  3. Find which classes you already have which you can reuse. Some of these will come from the Class Library, while others may have been written either by you or by someone else in your organization. Use the Class Library documentation to find out what is already there.

  4. Start coding your application.

    Windows and OS/2:
    You can use any text editor for coding; we recommend you use the Micro Focus Class Browser. This gives you templates to help you construct classes and methods quickly, and also enables you to navigate methods and classes faster than a conventional editor.

    UNIX :
    You can use any text editor to code Object COBOL; we recommend the Micro Focus Editor. Alternatively, you can develop and debug your application on Object COBOL or Workbench for Windows NT, and transfer the code to a UNIX platform for production. Apart from GUI programming, which is not supported on UNIX, Object COBOL code is portable between OS/2, Windows NT and UNIX.

  5. Compile your application.

    Windows and OS/2:
    On Windows and OS/2 platforms,the Class Browser provides functions to compile individual classes, a class and its subclasses, or all the programs in your application.

  6. Debug your application using Animator or Animator V2 (Animator V2 is not available on UNIX).

  7. Repeat steps 3 to 5 until you are ready to ship your application to end-users.

  8. Compile and link your application, ready for shipping.

Steps 1 and 2 are OO analysis, and fall outside of the scope of this book. Some information sources to help you get started are provided in the section Learning More About Object-Orientation. The next section explains how you can use the documentation to help you with steps 3 to 8.

1.2.2 Using the Documentation

When you start developing OO applications with Object COBOL, you learn about three things:

This manual is divided into parts for ease of use: Exploring the Class Library

The Class Library contains public classes and private classes. Private classes are not part of the public interface and are not fully documented - for an explanation of what Micro Focus means by public and private, see the sections Private Interface and Public Interface in the chapter Introduction to the Class Library.

To help you get started with the Class Library, we have provided four sources of information, moving from introductory and "how-to" information, to detailed reference information:

1.3 Learning More About Object-Orientation

The documentation supplied with Object COBOL will help you to start programming in Object COBOL. However, if you are new to OO, learning about the principles of Object-Oriented Design and Analysis (OOD and OOA) will enable you to make the best use of this new technology.

The reading list below suggests some texts you might want to start with. There are also several training organizations who run language-independent courses on OOD and OOA. Additionally, you can get a computer-based training package from Micro Focus Publishing.

Micro Focus Training also runs Object COBOL programming courses.

1.3.1 Reading List

This is a short list of texts dealing with Object-Oriented methodologies and technologies.

Grady Booch: Object-Oriented Design

Benjamin/Cummings, 1994 ISBN: 0-8053-0091-0

Ivor Jacobson: Object-Oriented Software Engineering

Addison-Wesley, 1992 ISBN: 0-201-54435-0

James Rumbaugh: Object-Oriented Modeling and Design

Prentice Hall, 1991 ISBN: 0-13-629841-9

Raymond Obin: Object Orientation - An Introduction for COBOL Programmers

Micro Focus Publishing, 1993 ISBN 1-56928-005-3

Aimed at existing COBOL programmers who want to learn about Object-orientation, and also provides a sketch of the forthcoming ANSI extensions to the COBOL language.

Sally Shlaer and Steve Mellor: Object-Oriented Systems Analysis: Modeling the World in Data

Prentice Hall, 1988 ISBN: 0-13-629023-1

Object Lifecycles: Modeling the World in States

Prentice Hall, 1992 ISBN: 0-13-629940-7

David Taylor: Object Oriented Information Systems: Planning and Implementation

John Wiley, ISBN: 0-471-54364-0

Aimed at managers who need to make informed decisions for successful system installation and development.

Rebecca Wirfs-Brock and B. Wilkerson: Designing Object-oriented Software Computer-based Training

The following courses have been developed by Object Management Labs and are available through Micro Focus publishing:

Copyright © 1999 MERANT International Limited. All rights reserved.
This document and the proprietary marks and names used herein are protected by international law.

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