For COBOL to interoperate with managed code in other languages, the COBOL must use data types that are compatible with those
languages. Often there is not a strict one-to-one correspondence between types in different languages and so you need to manipulate
the code to ensure compatibility.
Some ISO 2002 (or more precisely ISO/IEC 1989:2002) data types, such as binary-long and float-short are available, and we
recommend you use these where appropriate. See
COBOL Type Compatibility for details.
The techniques for ensuring data type compatibility include the following:
- For integers, you could use the predefined type binary-long, which corresponds to int in both C# and Java.
- For display types (PIC X fields), you could use a .NET System.String, a java.lang.String, or a portable string type.
- For numeric types (PIC 9 fields), you could use a .NET System.Decimal, or in JVM a com.microfocus.cobol.program.ScaledInteger,
and then you move the number out of there to whatever COBOL numerical field it was
- For group items, you could use a value type to expose the items in the group.
- For occurs types, you could use a .NET System.Collections.ArrayList, or java.util.ArrayList.
- For other complex structures
, you could use COBOL classes and value types with properties.
- For object pointers, you could use a proxy class.
For example, a program might invoke COBOL and want to pass an object pointer, where the object has properties containing the
data to be passed. The called COBOL method has to extract the data required from the object properties and convert it into
COBOL types, such as a group item containing PIC X fields. You could use a proxy class with properties to do this. The original
COBOL can then handle the data in its traditional form.