Introduction to COBOL Development in Visual Studio

Visual COBOL enables you to develop native COBOL applications as well as .NET COBOL code applications.

You use the Microsoft Visual Studio IDE to develop, build and debug your applications. You can then deploy and further debug the application under the run-time system provided by COBOL Server.

You use the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE) to develop, build and debug COBOL applications, whether they are built as native or .NET COBOL. The IDE provides all the functionality to manage projects and debug applications. It includes:

For native COBOL, programs compile to .exe, .dll, .int or .gnt and they execute under the COBOL Server.

.NET COBOL compiles to Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL), and they execute in conjunction with the CLR, just like programs in other .NET languages, such as C#. Applications written in .NET COBOL need the COBOL Server as it enables them to run in the .NET environment.

Both new and existing COBOL can be compiled as .NET COBOL code. This enables you to:

Both procedural and native OO COBOL are supported within the .NET. OO COBOL classes can inherit classes written in other Microsoft .NET languages and vice versa.

The COBOL syntax includes a number of extensions to support .NET features. For example, the TRY ... CATCH syntax is now included to enable exception handling in COBOL.

There are some programming techniques, COBOL syntax and functionality that are applicable to native COBOL only and not to .NET COBOL.