Before you can run a program, you have to compile the source code.
By default, the Compiler compiles your program without any intervention. You can configure the project to be built in a specific way, such as specifying types of target files to build, the target platform and so on.
You can configure the compilation using the following techniques:
You use directives to control the way the Compiler behaves. Normally, you need only a few directives. Most of the time, you use the default values. Note that setting some directives affects the default setting of other directives. For example, setting one directive might automatically unset another directive, and some directive settings are mutually exclusive.
On multi-CPU machines, you can enable faster, parallel compilation of multiple projects or, for native COBOL, of multiple files in your project. See Tips on Building COBOL for more details.
The Compiler records errors with severity levels ranging from information messages to fatal errors which stop the Compiler working.
If the source code to be compiled contains characters beyond the standard 7-bit ASCII character set (for example, accented characters or characters belonging to multi-byte character sets), you must ensure that the locale has been set correctly, to match the source encoding of these characters. On Windows, this means setting the system locale in the 'Region and Language' section of Control Panel.
When you compile as native code, the Compiler can produce executable code directly or object code. Object code is not executable, and has to be linked to the run-time system to create an executable file. If your project is set to build to .int and .gnt, by default the Compiler produces .int code during its syntax checking phase, and then it can produce .gnt code during the generating phase. You can modify this behavior from the project or the file properties.
Using the command line, you can compile without linking using the cobol command, or compile and link your program in one step using the cbllink utility.
You can either specify all the information required on the command line, or use the Compiler prompts.
See Command line reference for more information.