access stream: A serial sequence of I-O operations on
records in a sequential, relative, or indexed file. Successful OPEN
statement execution creates an access stream. A successful explicit or
implicit CLOSE statement terminates an access stream.
actual decimal point: The physical representation of
the decimal point position in a data item. The comma (,) or period (.)
characters represent the decimal point.
allow mode: Specifies the access that the current
record stream permits to other record streams in a file-sharing
alphabetic character: A character that belongs to the
set that includes the uppercase letters (A to Z) and the space. For the
contents of data items, the set also includes the lowercase letters (a
alphanumeric character: Any character in the
computer's character set.
alphanumeric function: An intrinsic function whose
value is composed of a string of one or more characters from the
computer character set.
alternate record key: A key, other than the prime
record key, whose contents identify a record in an indexed file.
application program: A sequence of instructions and
routines, not part of the basic operating system, designed to serve the
specific needs of a user. Compare with run unit.
argument: An identifier, a literal, a table, or an
arithmetic expression that specifies a value to be used in the
evaluation of an intrinsic function, or the execution of a statement,
or a parameter to be passed in a CALL statement. Most of the intrinsic
functions require one or more arguments.
arithmetic operation: The process that results in a mathematically correct solution during:
ascending key: A key whose values determine the
ordering of data. Ascending order starts with the lowest key value and
ends with the highest, according to the rules for comparing data items.
assumed decimal point: A decimal point position in a
data item. The assumed decimal point has logical meaning but no
physical representation. It does not occupy a character position in the
binary floating-point : A floating-point data type
with a base of 2 and a fraction representing a fixed number of bits.
bit: The smallest unit in the computer's storage
structure. A bit can express two distinct alternatives.
body group: The generic name for a report group of
type DETAIL, CONTROL HEADING, or CONTROL FOOTING.
bottom margin: An empty area that follows the page
byte: An eight-bit unit of physical storage. In
Compaq COBOL, a byte stores one character position.
called program: A program that is the object of a CALL
statement. A called program is linked with the calling program to
produce an executable image, or run unit.
calling program: A program that executes a CALL to
CDD/Repository (OpenVMS only): See Oracle CDD/Repository.
character: The basic, indivisible unit of the
character data item: A data item that consists
entirely of Standard Data Format characters.
character position: The amount of physical storage
needed to store one Standard Data Format character whose usage is
DISPLAY. In Compaq COBOL, a character position requires one byte of
clause: A subdivision of a COBOL sentence; an
ordered set of consecutive COBOL character-strings that
specifies an attribute of an entry.
collating sequence: The character-ordering sequence
for sorting, merging, and comparing.
column: A character position within a line on a video
terminal screen or within a print line. The columns are numbered from
1, by 1, starting at the leftmost character position of the line and
extending to the rightmost position of the line.
comment line: A source program line with an asterisk
in the indicator area. Both Area A and Area B can contain any
characters from the computer character set. The comment line is for
documentation only. A special form of comment line contains a slash (/)
in the indicator area instead of an asterisk (*). It causes the display
device to advance to the top of the next page before printing the
comment on the source listing.
common program: A program that, despite being directly
contained within another program, may be called from any program
directly or indirectly contained in that other program, except the
common program and any programs it directly or indirectly contains.
compile time: When the compiler translates a
COBOL source program to an object program.
computer character set: The set of characters
available on the computer. Most elements of a COBOL program
can contain characters only from a subset of the computer character
set. However, comment lines, comment-entries, and nonnumeric literals
can contain characters from the full computer character set.
computer-name: A system-name that identifies the
computer on which the program will be compiled or run.
concurrency: The simultaneous use of a sequential,
relative, or indexed file by more than one user.
concurrent run unit: A run unit that executes at the
same time as the current run unit.
condition: The status of an executing program for which a truth value can be determined. When condition refers to language specifications or general formats, it is a conditional expression that consists of:
conditional compilation line: In ANSI format, a line
with uppercase or lowercase characters (A to Z, a to z) in its
Indicator Area. In terminal format, a line with a backslash (\) and an
uppercase or lowercase character (A to Z, a to z) in its Indicator Area.
connective: A reserved word used to:
See also logical operator.
contained program: A contained program is a
COBOL source program that is directly or indirectly contained
in another COBOL source program.
control break: A change in the value of a data item
that is referenced in the CONTROL clause. More generally, a change in
the value of a data item that is used to control the hierarchical
structure of a report.
control break level: The relative position within a
control hierarchy at which the most major control break occurred.
control data item: A data item, a change in whose
contents may produce a control break.
control data-name: A data-name that appears in a
CONTROL clause and refers to a control data item.
control footing: A report group that is presented at
the end of the control group of which it is a member.
control group: A set of body groups that is presented
for a given value of a control data item or of a FINAL clause. Each
control group may begin with a CONTROL HEADING, end with a CONTROL
FOOTING, and contain DETAIL report groups.
control heading: A report group that is presented at
the beginning of the control group of which it is a member.
control hierarchy: A designated sequence of report
subdivisions defined by the positional order of FINAL and the
data-names within a CONTROL clause.
counter: A data item used for storing numbers or
number representations, permitting them to be: (1) increased or
decreased by another number, or (2) changed or reset to zero or an
arbitrary positive or negative value.
currency sign: The character $ of the COBOL
currency symbol: The character defined by the CURRENCY
SIGN clause in the SPECIAL-NAMES paragraph. If there is no CURRENCY
SIGN clause, the currency symbol is identical to the currency sign,
(on OpenVMS) a different symbol is specified as the definition of the
DCL logical name SYS$CURRENCY.
current record: In sequential, relative, or indexed
file processing, the record that is available in the file's record area.
data clause: A clause in a data description entry that
describes an attribute of a data item.
data item: A unit of data (excluding literals) defined
in a COBOL program or by the rules for function evaluation.
decimal floating-point : A floating-point data type
with a base of 10 and a fraction representing a fixed number of decimal
declarative sentence: A compiler-directing sentence
consisting of a single USE statement.
de-edit: The logical removal of all editing characters
from a numeric edited data item to determine that item's unedited
delimiter: A character or sequence of contiguous
characters that mark the end of a string of characters. A delimiter
separates a string of characters from the following string. A delimiter
is not part of the string of characters that it delimits.
descending key: A key whose values determine the
ordering of data. Descending order starts with the highest key value
and ends with the lowest, according to the rules for comparing data
Dictionary (OpenVMS Only): See Oracle CDD/Repository.
Dictionary Management Utility (DMU) (OpenVMS Only): A
special dictionary management utility of Oracle CDD/Repository that provides
facilities for examining and maintaining the Oracle CDD/Repository contents.
digit position: The amount of physical storage needed
to store one digit. This amount can vary depending on the usage
specified in the data description entry that defines the data item.
When the data description entry specifies that usage is DISPLAY, a
digit position equals one character position.
dynamic access: An access mode in which a program can
randomly or sequentially obtain records from, or randomly place records
into, a mass storage file. A program can use both types of access
during the scope of the same OPEN statement.
editing character: A PICTURE clause character used to format data for output. Editing characters can be any of the following set of single characters or fixed two-character combinations:
|,||comma (decimal point)|
|.||period (decimal point)|
end of Procedure Division: The physical position in a
source program after which no further procedures appear.
END PROGRAM header: A combination of words, followed
by a separator period, that indicates the end of a source program. The
End Program header is: END PROGRAM program-name.
entry: Any descriptive set of consecutive clauses,
terminated by a separator period, in the Identification, Environment,
or Data Division.
environment clause: A clause that is part of an
Environment Division entry.
executable image: An image that is capable of being
run in a process. When run, an executable image is read from a file for
execution in a process.
execution time: When a program runs.
explicit scope terminator: A reserved word that
terminates the scope of a particular conditional statement.
expression: An arithmetic or conditional expression.
extend mode: The state of a file after a program opens
it with the EXTEND phrase and before the program closes it without the
REEL or UNIT phrase.
external data item: A data item described as part of
an external record in one or more programs of a run unit. An external
data item can be referenced from any program in which it is described.
external data record: A record described in one or
more programs of a run unit. Its data items can be referenced from any
program in which they are described.
external file connector: A file connector that is
accessible to one or more object programs in the run unit.
external switch: A software device that indicates that
one of two alternate states exists. On Tru64 UNIX and
Windows NT systems, the environment variable COBOL_SWITCHES
represents external switches. On OpenVMS Alpha systems, the logical
name COB$SWITCHES represents external switches.
file: A collection of logical records stored as a unit.
file clause: A clause that is part of a file
description (FD) or sort-merge file description (SD).
file description entry: An entry in the File Section
of the Data Division that starts with the level indicator FD. The level
indicator is followed, in order, by: (1) a file-name, and (2) a set of
file clauses, as required.
file organization: The permanent logical file
structure defined when a file is created.
File Position Indicator: A conceptual entity for
sequential, relative, and indexed files that points to the next logical
record. The File Position Indicator can also indicate that: (1) no next
logical record exists or has been established, or (2) an optional file
is not present.
FILE SECTION: A Data Division section. The File
Section contains file description, report file description, and
sort-merge file description entries and their associated record
fixed-length record: A record of a file whose file
description or sort-merge description entry requires that all records
contain the same number of character positions.
floating-point : The floating-point data types represent approximations to quantities using a sign, a fraction, and an exponent. Such a representation describes a value that is the product of the fraction and the quantity derived by raising a base to the power of the exponent.
A floating-point data item has one of these usages: COMP-1, COMP-2,
FLOAT-SHORT, FLOAT-LONG, or FLOAT-EXTENDED.
footing area: The position of the page body adjacent
to the bottom margin.
format: A specific arrangement of a set of data.
function: An intrinsic function: a temporary
elementary data item that represents a value to be determined at the
time the function is referenced during the execution of a statement.
The value can be alphanumeric, numeric, or integer, depending on the
function-identifier: A syntactically correct
combination of character strings and separators that references an
intrinsic function. The data item represented by a function is uniquely
identified by the word FUNCTION, a function-name, and arguments, if
any. A function-identifier may include a reference-modifier. A
function-identifier that references an alphanumeric function may be
specified anywhere in the general formats that an identifier may be
specified, subject to certain restrictions. A function-identifier that
references an integer or numeric function may be referenced anywhere in
the general formats that an arithmetic expression may be specified,
subject to certain restrictions.
function-name: A COBOL word that is one of a list of
words (see Table 7-1) that may be used in COBOL source programs to
name a mechanism to determine the value of an intrinsic function. The
same word, in a different context, may appear in a program as a
user-defined word or a system-name (or, in the case of LENGTH, RANDOM,
or SUM, as a reserved word).
high-order end: The leftmost character of a string of
identifier: A syntactically correct combination of
character strings and separators that names a data item: either (1) a
data-name, together with any qualifiers, reference modifier,
subscripts, and indexes required for uniqueness of reference, or (2) a
function-identifier. However, the rules for an identifier associated
with a general format may specifically prohibit reference modification,
qualification, subscripting, indexing, or reference to functions.
I-O mode: The state of a file after a program opens it
with the I-O phrase, and before the program closes it without the REEL
or UNIT phrase.
image: An image consists of procedures and data bound
together by the linker. There are three types of images: executable,
shareable, and system. See also run unit.
implementor-name: A system-name that refers to a
feature available in Compaq COBOL.
implicit scope terminator: An implicit scope terminator can be either of the following:
index: A computer storage area or register whose
contents represent the identification of an element in a table.
index data item: A data item in which a program can
store the values associated with an index-name. The USAGE IS INDEX
clause defines an index data item.
indexed data-name: An identifier that consists of a
data-name followed by one or more index-names in parentheses.
indexed file: A file with indexed organization.
indexed organization: The permanent logical file
structure in which each record contains one or more keys whose values
initial program: A program that is in its initial
state whenever it is called. The initialization process sets all local
data items whose description includes a VALUE clause to their defined
values. Data items without a VALUE clause assume their default values.
input file: A file opened in input mode.
input mode: The state of a file after a program opens
it with the INPUT phrase, and before the program closes it without the
REEL or UNIT phrase.
input procedure: A set of statements that receives
control during SORT statement execution. An input procedure controls
the release of records to the sort.
input-output file: A file opened in I-O mode.
integer: (1) A numeric literal that does not include any digit positions to the right of the decimal point. (2) A numeric data item defined in the Data Division that does not include any digit positions to the right of the decimal point. (3) A numeric function whose definition provides that all digits to the right of the decimal point are zero in the returned value for any possible evaluation of the function.
When the term integer appears in a general format, or in its
associated rules, integer must be a numeric literal that is an integer,
and it cannot be signed or zero unless explicitly allowed by the rules
of the format.
integer function: An intrinsic function whose category
is numeric and whose definition provides that all digits to the right
of the decimal point are zero in the returned value for any possible
evaluation of the function.
internal data: All data described in a program, except
for external data items and external file connectors. Items described
in the Linkage Section of a program are treated as internal data.
internal data item: A data item described in one
program in a run unit. An internal data item may have a global name.
internal file connector: A file connector that is
accessible to only one object program in the run unit.
intrarecord data structure: The entire collection of
group and elementary data items from a logical record. The collection
is defined by a subset of contiguous data description entries that
describe that record. These data description entries include all
entries with level-numbers greater than that of the first data
description entry for the intrarecord data structure.
intrinsic function: An intrinsic function is treated
as an elementary data item that represents a temporary data value to be
derived automatically at the time of reference. Compaq COBOL has
intrinsic functions for scientific/mathematical use, date manipulation,
relational use, statistical/accounting, and other purposes.
invalid key condition: At run time, a condition caused
when the value of the key associated with an indexed or relative file
is determined to be invalid.
key: (1) A data item that identifies a record's
location, (2) a segmented key, or (3) a set of data items that
identifies the ordering of data.
Key of Reference: The key, either prime or alternate,
currently being used to access records in an indexed file.
key word: A reserved word or function-name whose
presence is required when the format in which the word appears is used
in a source program.
level indicator: Two alphabetic characters that
identify a specific type of file.
library text: A sequence of text words, comment lines,
or the separator spaces and the pseudo-text delimiters in a
line: See report line.
line number: An integer that denotes the vertical
position of a line on a video terminal screen, or on a page within a
LINKAGE SECTION: The section in the Data Division of a
called program that describes data items available from the calling
program. Both the calling and the called programs can refer to these
local name: A user-defined name that is declared in
only one program and may be referenced only from that program.
locking: The Compaq COBOL facilities that allow
concurrent use of a sequential, relative, or indexed file without
corrupting its records. The Compaq COBOL I/O system maintains locks
on a file, individual records, or both.
logical operator: One of the reserved words AND, OR,
or NOT. In the formation of a condition, either AND or OR, or both, can
be used as logical connectives. NOT indicates logical negation.
logical page: A conceptual entity consisting of the
top margin, page body, and bottom margin.
logical record: The most inclusive data item. The
level-number for a logical record is 01 or 77. A record can be either
an elementary or group item. See Report Writer logical record,
record occurrence, and record type.
low-order end: The rightmost character of a string of
mass storage: A storage medium in which data can be
organized and maintained both sequentially and nonsequentially.
Mass Storage Control System (MSCS): An input-output
control system that directs or controls the processing of mass storage
mass storage file: A collection of records assigned to
a mass storage medium.
merge file: A collection of records to be merged by a
MERGE statement. The merge file is created and can be used only by the
native arithmetic: A mode of arithmetic in which the
techniques used in handling arithmetic are specified by the implementor.
native character set: The 256-character set that
starts with the 128 characters of the ASCII character set.
native collating sequence: The collating sequence of
the ASCII character set.
next executable sentence: The next sentence to which
control transfers after execution of the current statement is complete.
next record: The record that logically follows the
current record of a file.
nonnumeric item: A data item whose description permits
it to contain any combination of characters from the computer character
set. Certain categories of nonnumeric items can contain only more
restricted character sets.
nullity condition: The proposition, for which a truth
value can be determined, that a specified data item is null.
null state: The state of a data item that has no value.
numeric character: A character that belongs to the set
of digits 0 to 9.
numeric function: An intrinsic function whose class
and category are numeric but which for some possible evaluation does
not satisfy the requirements of an integer function.
numeric item: A data item whose description allows it
to contain only digits. A signed numeric item can also contain a plus
sign (+), minus sign (-), or other representation of an operational
object of entry: A set of operands and reserved words
in a Data Division entry that immediately follows the subject of the
object program: A set of executable machine-language
instructions and other material designed to interact with data to solve
problems. Where there is no danger of ambiguity, program means object
open mode: The state of a file after a program opens
it and before the program closes it without the REEL or UNIT phrase.
The OPEN statement specifies the open mode as INPUT, OUTPUT, I-O, or
operand: A component that is operated on. Any
lowercase word in a statement or entry format can be considered: (1) an
operand and (2) an implied reference to the data indicated by the
operational sign: An algebraic sign associated with a
numeric data item or numeric literal to indicate whether its value is
positive or negative.
optional file: A file opened in INPUT, I-O, EXTEND, or
OUTPUT mode whose presence is not necessary each time the program
executes. The program checks for the presence or absence of the file.
Oracle CDD/Repository (OpenVMS Only): The central repository
of information about data elements, data structures, and relationships
between data structures for languages such as DEC DATATRIEVE,
Compaq COBOL for OpenVMS VAX, and Compaq COBOL (and more). It does not contain
actual data files. Rather, it contains record definitions.
Oracle CDD/Repository is available under a separate license from a third party.