Tutorial: OpenESQL Assistant

Guides you through the process of using the OpenESQL Assistant to generate SQL queries and a COBOL application to contain them.

In this tutorial, you create an application using OpenESQL Assistant to generate a skeleton COBOL program, an SQL query to embed into that program, and to generate and embed an INCLUDE statement for a generated copybook that defines host variables. It also takes you through the process of customizing the program code, and debugging the resulting application.


This tutorial is written from the perspective that all of the following is true. Specific instructions for setting up your environment to adhere to these assumptions is found in the Before you begin this tutorial section that follows:

  • Windows File Explorer is set to show file names and extensions.
  • You are running the latest version of Micro Focus Visual COBOL, which has been installed on your local machine using default installation settings.
  • You have installed and can access a supported version of Microsoft SQL Server.
  • Visual COBOL is started on your local machine.
  • Your parent project directory is c:\tutorials\SQL. If you choose to use an alternative parent project directory, adjust the instructions accordingly.
  • You have addressed all of the items in the Before you begin this tutorial section below.

Before you begin this tutorial

Install Microsoft SQL Server
To complete this tutorial, you must have Microsoft SQL Server, including the SQL Server Management Studio, installed and configured on your machine. For information on current supported versions, see the OpenESQL section of the Database Management Systems (DBMSs) topic.
Create a working directory to serve as a parent directory for SQL projects
Create a working directory in which to store the projects and other files created or required for this series of tutorials. This tutorial cites a working directory of c:\tutorials\SQL.
Set Windows File Explorer options
These tutorials assume that your Windows File Explorer options are set to use the Details layout, and to show file name extensions. See your Windows documentation for more information.
Start Visual Studio
If you need instructions to get Visual Studio started on your local machine, see To start Visual Studio.
Note: If Visual Studio prompts you on startup to select an initial action, click Continue without code.


To complete this tutorial, progress through these topics in the order presented here. The bottom of each topic provides Next topic and Previous topic navigational links to help you proceed in the proper sequence: