Basics: COBOL began in the 1960s as part of the Conference on Data Systems Languages. The language provides programmers with a tool to create programs for businesses using a file-oriented approach. The standards for the language are published by the American National Standards Institute, or ANSI, first in 1968, then 1974 and 1985. ANSI published an object-oriented standard in 2002, which requires additional training and certification.
COBOL Uses: COBOL operates as a programming language for businesses, creating processes and applications for business users. It sits on top of the operating system and requires a compiler. The operating system and compiler use their own operating language. To understand how best to use COBOL in different combinations of operating systems, for example, certification helps. It outlines the efficiencies and nuances available in the language based on how you’re using the programming language.