The main functions of Object COBOL are presented to you through a menu displayed by the Object COBOL Development Environment. The menu is displayed at the bottom of the screen, and shows you which key to press to invoke the function you want.
Central to the system is the COBOL Editor. You enter this from the Object COBOL menu, and use it to create or change your program and save it in a source file.
Once you have created your source program, you can invoke the Compiler from within the COBOL Editor to check that the program is valid COBOL. When the Compiler finds a syntax error, you can return at once to the COBOL Editor. The cursor is automatically positioned at the line containing the error. You correct the error and invoke the Compiler again.
Once the program checks with no errors, you run it using Animator, which you can also invoke from within the COBOL Editor. This is called animating; it enables you to watch and control the working of your program, seen entirely as COBOL source, and therefore makes testing and debugging very efficient.
If you find an error while animating, you can return at once to the COBOL Editor. The cursor is automatically positioned at the line you were looking at when you found the error. You correct the error and invoke the Compiler and Animator again.
Alternatively, the Compiler and Animator can be entered directly from the Object COBOL menu after you have exited from the COBOL Editor.
When your program is working correctly, you can run it using the Run function on the main menu. Any subprograms and run-time support modules that it needs are automatically loaded as necessary.