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COBOL - Program Structure

  • COBOL programs are made up of familiar constructs such as paragraphs, sentences, statements, and clauses.

  • These constructs, in turn contain elements such as words, names, verbs, and symbols.

  • The hierarchy of a COBOL program is shown in the following diagram.

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  • Division is a block of code, usually containing one or more sections:
    • It starts where the division name is encountered.

    • It ends with the beginning of the next division or with the end of the program text.

  • A COBOL program is structured to have four divisions at a high level:
    1. Identification Division

    2. Environment Division

    3. Data Division

    4. Procedure Division

  • Clauses and Statements

    Clauses: Written in Environment and Data Divisions: This specifies an attribute of an entry. A series of clauses, ending with period, is defined as an entry.

    Statements: Written in Procedure Division: Specify an action to be taken by the object program. A series of statements, ending with a period, is defined as a sentence.

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