Key to Syntax Checking Error Messages

Syntax checking error messages have the following format:

ErrorCode Description : Location

where the parameters are:

ErrorCode A code containing the following information:
  • The component that the error occurred in.
  • The operation that was taking place when the error occurred.
  • The error message number.
  • The severity of the error.
Description A description of the cause of the error.
Location The location of the error in the source code.

The severity returned in ErrorCode can take one of the following values:

U Unrecoverable. An unrecoverable error stops the COBOL system. These messages are produced by the run-time system. See also Run-time System Error Messages
S Severe. You must correct the syntax error or inconsistency in your program. Otherwise the compiler cannot generate code.
E Error. The compiler will make an assumption about what you meant. You might want to correct your program in case the compiler's assumption is not what you intended.
W Warning. This means there might be an error, although the program is syntactically correct.
I Information. This draws your attention to something in the source code that you might need to be aware of. It does not mean there is an error.

You can disable reporting of errors of E-, W-, and I-level, using the WARNING directive.

When the Compiler has finished, the total number of errors in each category is also output.

You can disregard some levels of errors and continue working. You can:

The error messages can contain variable information. This information is indicated as an item in italics. For example:

0005 User-name user-name not unique

will have the name of the item that is not unique in place of the text user-name.