Debugging Without a Project

Having compiled your existing code into the required format, it is possible to debug your code using the debugger in the same way that you did with Net Express, even before you create a Visual COBOL project in the IDE and import the code into it (although with the lack of a project, elements of the program have no context and the scope of debugging is limited).

You can cause debugging to be triggered at a specific point in your code by using the CBL_DEBUGBREAK and CBL_DEBUG_START library routines. You can also use the debug_on_error runtime tunable to enable the debugger to start when your a running program terminates with a run-time system error.

Run your program. When the routines or tunable trigger debugging, Visual Studio starts, displaying the source file at the current line of code being executed. You can then make use of the debugging features of Visual COBOL which include:
  • Step into the next statement at the current line of code and suspend execution.
  • Step over the next statement at the currently executing line of code without entering it, and suspend execution. The method will be executed normally.
  • Return from a method or paragraph that has been stepped into, and suspend execution. The remainder of the code inside the method is executed normally.
  • Resume execution of the program from a suspended line of code.
  • Display values of all variables contained on the current execution line.