Basics of Running COBOL and JCL

COBOL and JCL are two essential programming languages used primarily in mainframe computers for batch processing.

COBOL stands for Common Business Oriented Language, and it is designed to handle large data sets and perform business-related operations. COBOL is used to create programs that run on mainframe computers, and it is particularly useful for handling transaction processing on large-scale systems.

JCL, on the other hand, stands for Job Control Language, and it is used to control the execution of batches of COBOL programs. In essence, JCL is a set of instructions that define the input, output, and processing requirements for a specific batch job.


Running COBOL and JCL programs require an understanding of their basics. For COBOL, you need to write a program in the COBOL language, compile it, and execute it. The compilation process translates the COBOL code into machine language, which the computer can understand. Once compiled, the program can be executed by providing the necessary input data and running it.

To run a JCL job, you need to create a JCL file that contains information about the job’s requirements, including the input and output data sets, the program to be executed, and any other processing instructions. The JCL job is then submitted to the mainframe’s operating system, which processes it and executes the COBOL programs defined in the file.

COBOL (Common Business-Oriented Language) and JCL (Job control language) are a double edge tool for fine tuning and executing tasks on Mainframes.

Basics of Runing COBOL / JCL

Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL) is a compiled English-like computer programming language designed for business use. It is imperative, procedural and, since 2002, object-oriented. It is primarily used in business, finance, and administrative systems for companies and governments. It is still widely used in legacy applications deployed on mainframe computers, such as large-scale batch and transaction processing jobs.

Job Control Language (JCL) is the command language of the Mainframe. It identifies the program to be executed, the inputs that are required and location of the input/output and informs the Operating System through Job control statements. In short, you use JCL to execute your COBOL program.

Understanding the basics of running COBOL and JCL programs is essential for those seeking to work in mainframe environments. It involves creating and compiling COBOL code and creating JCL files that define the batch processing requirements for the COBOL programs. Mastery of these programming languages and their associated tools will undoubtedly provide a significant advantage in mainframe computing environments.

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