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COBOL - Intrinsic Function

Intrinsic function is a function that performs a mathematical, character, or logical operation, and thereby allows you to make reference to a data item whose value is derived automatically during execution.

The functions can be grouped into six categories, based on the type of service performed:
  1. Mathematical

  2. Statistical

  3. Date/time

  4. Financial

  5. Character-handling

  6. General

You can reference a function by specifying its name, along with any required arguments, in a procedure division statement.

Functions are elementary data items, and return alphanumeric character, national character, numeric, or integer values. Functions cannot serve as receiving operands.

The general format of a function

FUNCTION function-name (argument)


function-name - It must be one of the intrinsic function names.

argument - It must be an identifier, a literal (other than a figurative constant), or an arithmetic expression that satisfies the argument requirements for the specified function.

Let us see some of the important intrinsic functions in next chapter...

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