Glossary

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77 level-description-entry

A data description entry that describes a noncontiguous data item with the level-number 77.

78 level-description-entry

A data description entry that describes a constant-name with the level-number 78.

88 level-description-entry

A data description entry that describes a condition-name with the level-number 88.

A

abbreviated combined relation condition

The combined condition that results from the omission of a common subject or a common subject and common relational operator in a consecutive sequence of relation conditions.

abstract class

A class which does not act as a creator of instance objects. Abstract classes implement behavior for their subclasses.

access mode

The manner in which records are to be operated upon within a file.

activated runtime element

A function, method or program placed into the active state by a statement.

activating runtime element

A function, method or program that contains the activating statement.

activating statement

A statement that causes the execution of a function, method or program.

active state

The state of a function, method or program that has been activated but has not yet returned to the activating runtime element.

actual decimal point

The physical representation, using either of the decimal point characters "." (period) or "," (comma), of the decimal point position in a data item.

alphabet-name

A user-defined word in the Special-Names paragraph of the Environment Division that assigns a name to a specific character set and/or collating sequence.

alphabetic character

A character that belongs to the following set of letters: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z, a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y and z and the space.

alphanumeric character

Any letter or number in the computer's character set.

alphanumeric function

A function whose value is composed of a string of one or more characters from the computer's character set.

alternate record key

A key, other than the prime record key, whose contents identify a record within an indexed file.

argument

An operand specified in the activating statement of a function, a method or a program that specifies the data to be passed upon activation of the intrinsic function or runtime element.

arithmetic expression

An identifier or a numeric elementary item, a numeric literal, such identifiers and literals separated by arithmetic operators, two arithmetic expressions separated by an arithmetic operator, or an arithmetic expression enclosed in parentheses.

arithmetic operator

A single character, or a fixed two-character combination, that belongs to the following set:

Character Meaning
+ Addition
- Subtraction
* Multiplication
/ Division
** Exponentiation
ascending key

A key upon the values of which data is ordered starting with the lowest value of key up to the highest value of key in accordance with the rules for comparison of data items.

assumed decimal point

A decimal point position which does not involve the existence of an actual character in a data item. The assumed decimal point has logical meaning but no physical representation.

at end condition

A condition caused in one of three circumstances:

  1. During the execution of a READ statement for a sequentially accessed file.
  2. During the execution of a RETURN statement when no next logical record exists for the associated sort or merge file.
  3. During the execution of a SEARCH statement, when the search operation terminates without satisfying the condition specified in any of the associated WHEN phrases.
automatic data

The data described in the Local-Storage Section.

automatic data item

A data item that is described as part of an automatic data record.

automatic data record

A logical record that is described in the Local-Storage Section.

B

block

A physical unit of data that is normally composed of one or more logical records. For mass storage files, a block can contain a portion of a logical record. The size of a block has no direct relationship to the size of the file within which the block is contained or to the size of the logical record(s) that are either continued within the block or that overlap the block. The term is equivalent to physical record.

C

call prototype

A program with the EXTERNAL clause in the Program-ID paragraph. A call prototype is a program declaration that is not executed but is used by the compiler system to validate CALL statements in program definitions that appear in the same source file.

called program

A program that receives control as the result of the execution of a CALL statement.

calling runtime element

A function, method or program that transfers control to a program by execution of a CALL statement.

chained program

A program which is the object of a CHAIN statement.

chaining program

A program which executes a CHAIN to another program.

character

The basic indivisible unit of the language.

character boundary

The leftmost bit of an addressing boundary in the storage of the computer.

character position

The amount of physical storage required to store a single standard data format character described as USAGE IS DISPLAY.

character set

The complete COBOL language character set consists of all the characters listed below:

Character Meaning
0,1,...,9 Numeric digit
A,B,...,Z Upper-case alphabetic
a,b,...,z Lower-case alphabetic
  Space (blank)
+ Plus sign
- Minus sign
* Asterisk
/ Stroke (virgule, slant or slash)
= Equal sign
$ Currency sign
, Comma
; Semicolon
. Period (decimal point, full stop)
" Quotation mark
( Left parenthesis
) Right parenthesis
> Greater than symbol
< Less than symbol
: Colon
' Apostrophe
& Ampersand
Note: If the computer character set includes lower-case letters, they can be used in character strings and text words. Except when used in nonnumeric literals, each lower-case letter is equivalent to the corresponding upper-case letter.
character-string

A sequence of contiguous characters which form a COBOL word, a literal, a PICTURE character-string or a comment-entry.

class

The entity that defines common behavior and implementation for zero, one or more objects. Objects that share the same implementation are considered to be objects of the same class.

class condition

The proposition, for which a truth value can be determined, that an operand is wholly alphabetic or is wholly numeric, or alphabetic-lower, or alphabetic-upper, or contains only the characters in the set of characters specified by the CLASS clause as defined in the Special-Names paragraph of the Environment Division.

class definition

The source unit that defines a class.

class method

A method for a class object.

class-name (for object orientation)

A user-defined word that identifies a class.

class-name (for truth value proposition)

A user-defined word defined in the Special-Names paragraph of the Environment Division that assigns a name to the proposition for which a truth value can be determined, that the content of a data item consists exclusively of those characters listed in the definition of the class-name.

clause

An ordered set of consecutive COBOL character-strings whose purpose is to specify an attribute of an entry.

COBOL word

See word.

collating sequence

The sequence in which the characters that are acceptable in a computer are ordered for purposes of sorting, merging, comparing and for processing indexed files sequentially.

column

A character position within a print line or a screen line. The columns are numbered from one, by one, starting at the leftmost character position of the line and extending to the rightmost character position of the line.

combined condition

A condition that is the result of connecting two or more conditions with the "AND" or the "OR" logical operator.

comment entry

An entry in the Identification Division that can be any combination of characters from the computer's character set. A comment entry is for documentary purposes only, may extend over more than one line and is terminated upon encountering a division, section or paragraph name or encountering any character in area A of a line.

comment indicator

The two contiguous COBOL characters '*>', which indicate a comment line or an in-line comment.

comment line

A source line represented by an asterisk in the indicator area of the line and any characters from the computer's character set in area A and area B of that line. The comment line serves only for documentation . A special form of comment line is represented by a slash (/) in the indicator area of the line and any characters from the computer's character set in area A and area B of that line causes page ejection before the comment is printed.

common program

A program that is directly contained within another program, and can be called from any program directly or indirectly contained in that other program.

compilation group

A sequence of source units submitted for compilation together.

compilation unit

A source unit that is not nested within another source unit.

compile time

The time at which a compilation group is translated to a runtime module consisting of one or more executable runtime elements.

compiler-directing statement

A compiler directive or a source text manipulation statement.

compiler directive

An instruction to the COBOL Compiler to take specific action when compiling a compilation group.

compiler directive line

A line of source text beginning with the two contiguous COBOL characters >> followed by a compiler-directive word.

compiler-directive word

A COBOL word that is used in the syntax of a compiler directive.

complex condition

A condition in which one or more logical operators act upon one or more conditions. See negated simple condition, combined condition, negated combined condition.

computer-name

A system-name that identifies the computer upon which the compilation group is to be converted to object code, or the object code run.

condition

A status for which a truth value can be determined at execution time. Where the term "condition" (condition-1, condition-2, ...) appears in a general format or in rules that reference a general format, it is a conditional expression consisting of either a simple condition optionally parenthesized, or a combined condition consisting of a syntactically correct combination of simple conditions, logical operators, and parentheses for which a truth value can be determined.

condition-name

A user-defined word assigned to a specific value, set of values, or range of values, within the complete set of values that a conditional variable can possess; or the user-defined word assigned to a status of an implementor-defined switch or device.

condition-name condition

The proposition, for which a truth value can be determined, that the value of a conditional variable is a member of the set of values attributed to a condition-name associated with the conditional variable.

conditional expression

A simple condition or a complex condition specified in an IF, PERFORM, EVALUATE or SEARCH statement. See simple condition and complex condition.

conditional statement

A statement for which the truth value of a specified condition is evaluated and used to determine subsequent flow of control.

conditional variable

A data item, one or more values of which has a condition-name assigned to it.

Configuration Section

A section of the Environment Division that describes overall specifications of source and run computers.

conformance (for object orientation)

The property that allows an object with a given interface to be used where an object with a different interface is expected. Conformance ensures that any operation specified for the conformed interface is supported by the conforming interface.

constant-name

A user-defined word assigned as the name of a fixed value.

context-sensitive words

COBOL words that are specified in formats but are reserved only in the context in which they are specified.

contiguous items

Items that are described by consecutive entries in the Data Division and that bear a definite hierarchic relationship to one another.

counter

A data item used for storing numbers or number representations in a manner that permits these numbers to be increased or decreased by the value of another number, or to be changed or reset to zero or to an arbitrary positive or negative value.

CRT status

A conceptual entity whose value is set to indicate the status of a terminal input-output operation during the execution of an ACCEPT screen statement.

currency sign

The COBOL character '$', used as the default currency symbol in a picture character-string and as the default currency string that appears in the edited format of data items.

Note: Features exist for selection of other currency strings and currency symbols.
currency string

The set of characters to be placed into numeric-edited data items as a result of editing operations when the item includes a currency symbol in its picture character-string. See the topic The Special-Names Paragraph.

currency symbol

The character used in a picture character-string to represent the presence of a currency string. See the section The Special-Names Paragraph.

current record

In file processing, the record that is available in the record area associated with a file.

current volume pointer

A conceptual entity that points to the current volume of a sequential file.

cursor

A visible indicator on a character-addressable terminal screen that shows the position on the screen at which the next data character input at the keyboard will be displayed.

cursor control keys

Keys on the keyboard of a character-addressable terminal that control the positioning of the cursor on the screen. Typically these include keys that move the cursor up, down, left, right, to the next screen item, to the previous screen item.

D

data description entry

An entry in the Data Division that is composed of a level-number followed by a data-name, if required, and then followed by a set of data clauses as required.

data item

A unit of data defined by a data description entry or resulting from the evaluation of an identifier.

data keys

Keys on the keyboard of a character-addressable terminal that represent individual printable data characters.

data-name

A user-defined word that names a data item described in a data description entry in the Data Division. When used in the general formats, "data-name" represents a word which can neither be subscripted nor indexed unless specifically permitted by the rules for that format.

DBCS

See double-byte character set.

debugging Line

Any line with "D" or "d" in the indicator area of the line for fixed format source, or any line with "D" or "d" as the first character and space as the second character of the line for free format source.

Debugging Section

A section that contains a USE FOR DEBUGGING statement.

declaratives

A set of one or more special purpose sections written at the beginning of the Procedure Division, the first of which is preceded by the key word DECLARATIVES and the last of which is followed by the key words END DECLARATIVES. A declarative is composed of a section header, followed by a USE COBOL system-directing-sentence, followed by a set of associated paragraphs (zero or more).

declarative-sentence

A COBOL system-directing sentence consisting of a single USE statement terminated by the separator period (. ).

de-edit

The logical removal of all editing characters from a numeric-edited data item in order to determine that item's unedited numeric value.

delimited scope statement

Any statement that includes its explicit scope terminator.

delimiter

A character (or sequence of contiguous characters) that identifies the end of a string of characters, and separates that string of characters from the following string of characters. A delimiter is not part of the string of characters that it delimits.

descending key

A key upon the values of which data is ordered starting with the highest value of key down to the lowest value of key, in accordance with the rules for comparing data items.

digit position

The amount of physical storage required to store a single digit. This amount varies depending on the usage of the data item describing the digit position.

division

There are four divisions in a COBOL source element: Identification, Environment, Data and Procedure. Each division consists of zero or more sections or paragraphs.

division header

A combination of words followed by a period and a space that indicate the beginning of a division. The division headers are:



double-byte character set

A character set in which two bytes are used for each character.

dynamic access

An access mode in which specific logical records can be obtained from or placed into a disk file in a non-sequential manner (see random access) and obtained from a file in a sequential manner (see sequential access) during the scope of the same OPEN statement.

E

editing character

A single character or two-character combination that is specified in the PICTURE character-string and inserted into the data item when it is edited.

elementary item

A data item that is not logically subdivided.

end marker

A marker for the end of a source unit.

end of Procedure Division

The physical position in a COBOL source element after which no further procedures appear.

end program marker
A combination of words, followed by a separator period, that indicates the end of a COBOL source program. The end program header is:
 END PROGRAM program-name.
Enter key

A key on the keyboard of a character-addressable terminal that signals that the input of the screen item or the screen record is complete.

entry

Any descriptive set of consecutive clauses terminated by a separator period (. ) (except for a comment entry) and written in the Identification Division, Environment Division or Data Division.

entry-name

A user-defined word that identifies an alternative point at which to start executing a program from the default point which is the first non-declarative procedural statement in the source program.

execution time

The time at which a function, method or program is executed.

explicit attribute

Any attribute which has been explicitly defined.

explicit interface member implementation

An explicit interface member implementation is a method that may not be invoked explicitly. The method may be invoked implicitly when the corresponding method is invoked on an instance of this class which has been cast to the interface type.

explicit scope terminator

A reserved word that terminates the scope of a particular Procedure Division statement.

exponent

In floating-point representation, that power to which the radix of the representation is to be raised.

expression

An arithmetic or conditional expression.

extend mode

The state of a file connector after execution of an OPEN statement, with the EXTEND phrase specified, for that file connector and before the execution of a CLOSE statement without the REEL or UNIT phrase for that file connector.

external data

Data described as external data items and external file connectors.

external file connector

A file connector which is accessible to one or more runtime elements in the run unit.

external repository

See repository.

external switch

A hardware or software device, defined and named by the implementor, that is used to indicate that one of two alternate states exists.

F

factory definition

The source unit that defines a factory object.

factory method

A method for a factory object.

factory object

The single object of a class, defined by the factory definition of a class. There is one factory object for each class. The factory object is the creator of objects of the class.

factory (object) data

The data for a factory object, declared in the Data Division of a factory definition and common for all objects of the class.

field (of a screen)

A contiguous area of a terminal screen that represents an elementary screen item.

figurative constant

A value generated by your COBOL system which is referenced through the use of certain reserved words.

file

A physical collection of logical records.

file connector

A storage area which contains information about a file and is used as the linkage between a file-name and a physical file and between a file-name and its associated record area.

file control entry

A SELECT clause and subordinate clauses that declare the relevant physical attributes of a file.

file description entry

An entry in the File Section of the Data Division that is composed of the level indicator FD, followed by a file-name, and then followed by a set of file clauses as required.

file-name

A user-defined word that names a file connector described in a file description entry or a sort-merge file description entry within the File Section of the Data Division.

file organization

The permanent logical file structure established at the time that a file is created.

file position indicator

A conceptual entity that contains the value of the current key within the key of reference for an indexed file, or the record number of the current record for a sequential file, or the relative record number of the current record for a relative file, or indicates that no next logical record exists, or that the number of significant digits in the relative record number is larger than the size of the relative key data item, or that an optional input file is not present, or that the at end condition already exists, or that no valid next record has been established.

File Section

The section of the Data Division that contains file description entries and sort-merge file description entries together with their associated record descriptions.

file status

A conceptual entity that contains a two-character value indicting the status of an input-output operation.

file sharing

A cooperative environment that controls concurrent access to the same physical file.

fixed file attributes

Information about a file which is established when a file is created and cannot subsequently be changed during the existence of the file. These attributes include the organization of the file (sequential, relative, or indexed), the prime record key, the alternate record keys, the code set, the minimum and maximum record size, the record type (fixed or variable), the collating sequence of the keys for indexed files, the maximum and minimum physical record size, the padding character, and the record delimiter.

fixed format mode

The default manner in which data entry is made to numeric and numeric-edited screen fields. This mode formats and echoes the entered data and also moves the cursor in accordance with the requirements of the field's picture specification, as each keystroke is received. Characters other than " +", "-", and the decimal point character, are rejected; insertion characters in edited fields are skipped over as the cursor moves backwards and forwards; any sign indicator is modified in accordance with its normal specification; floating symbols move left and right in the field, and insertion symbols appear and disappear as digits are inserted or deleted.

fixed format source

A source format in which each COBOL source line consists of 80 characters which are divided into various fixed areas. There are restrictions on the syntax that can appear in each area. The alternative is free format source.

fixed-length record

A record associated with a file whose file description or sort-merge description entry requires that all records contain the same number of character positions.

fixed-point numeric item

A numeric data item using fixed-point representation.

fixed-point numeric literal

A quantity, in fixed-point representation, that has a radix of ten and is expressed as a literal composed of one or more numeric characters and optionally either a decimal point or an algebraic sign, or both.

fixed-point representation

A positional representation in which each number is represented by a single sequence of digits, the position of the radix point being fixed with respect to the rightmost end of the set according to the position of the implicit or explicit radix point.

floating-point literal

A quantity, in floating-point representation, that has a base of ten and is written as a signed fixed-point numeric literal that must have a decimal point in any character position (the significand), immediately followed by the letter "E", which is, in turn, immediately followed by a signed fixed-point numeric literal that does not contain a decimal point (the exponent).

floating-point representation

A number representation in which a number is represented by two sequences of digits, the significand and the exponent.

footing area

The position of the page body adjacent to the bottom margin of the printed page.

format

A specific arrangement of a set of data.

format parameter

A data-name specified in the USING phrase of the PROCEDURE DIVISION header or ENTRY statement that gives the name used in the function, method or program for a parameter.

free format mode

An alternative manner in which data entry can be made to numeric and numeric-edited screen fields. The default mode is fixed format mode. This configurable mode allows data to be keyed into a PIC X field of appropriate length, and it is only when the operator leaves the field that the data is reformatted to comply with the picture specification. Once the operator moves the cursor from the field, your COBOL system disregards all characters other than digits and the sign and decimal point symbols. It then extracts, stores, or reformats the numeric value in accordance with the normal COBOL rules for a MOVE to an item with the same picture as the screen or working-storage item. The numeric value is then usually echoed to the screen.

free format source

A source format in which each COBOL source line can consist of up to 250 bytes of characters. There is no restriction on where syntax may appear on the line. The alternative is fixed format source.

function

A temporary data item whose value is determined at the time an intrinsic or a user-defined function is referenced during the execution of a statement.

function-identifier

An identifier that references an intrinsic-function-name, a user-defined-name, or a function-prototype-name. The data item represented by a function is uniquely identified by a function-name with its arguments, if any. A function-identifier can include a reference-modifier. A function-identifier that references an alphanumeric function can be specified anywhere in the general formats that an identifier can be specified, subject to certain restrictions. A function-identifier that references an integer or numeric function can be referenced anywhere in the general formats that an arithmetic expression can be specified.

function key

A key on the keyboard of a character addressable terminal that, when enabled and pressed, signals that input of the screen record is complete and a function is requested.

function-name

A word that names a mechanism provided by the implementor to determine the value of a function.

function prototype definition

A definition that specifies the rules governing the arguments needed for the evaluation of a particular function, the data item resulting from the evaluation of the function, and all other requirements needed for the evaluation of that function.

G

global name

A name declared in only one program that may be referenced from that program and from any program contained within that program.

group item

A named contiguous set of elementary items.

H

high order end

The leftmost character of a string of characters.

I

I-O-Control

The name of an Environment Division paragraph in which requirements for specific input/output techniques, rerun points, sharing of same areas by several data files, and multiple file storage on a single input/output device are specified.

I-O mode

The state of a file connector after execution of an OPEN statement with the I-O phrase specified, for that file connector and before the execution of a CLOSE statement without the REEL or UNIT phrase for that file connector.

identifier

A sequence of character-strings and separators that uniquely references a unit of data.

imperative statement

A statement that specifies an unconditional action to be taken or a conditional statement that is delimited by its explicit scope terminator (delimited scope statement). An imperative statement can consist of a sequence of imperative statements.

implicit attribute

Any attribute which has not been explicitly specified.

implicit scope terminator

A separator period that terminates the scope of any preceding unterminated statement, or a phrase of a statement which by its occurrence indicates the end of the scope of any statement contained within the preceding phrase.

implicit segment

A segment created by your COBOL system to control the size of code segments.

index

A computer storage area or register, the contents of which represent the identification of a particular element in a table.

index data item

A data item in which the value associated with an index-name can be stored.

index-name

A user-defined word that names an index associated with a specific table.

indexed data-name

An identifier that is composed of a data-name, followed by one or more index-names enclosed in parentheses.

indexed file

A file with indexed organization.

indexed organization

The permanent logical file structure in which each record is identified by the value of one or more keys within that record.

indicator area

The leftmost position of a COBOL source record that indicates the use of the record.

inheritance (for classes)

A mechanism for using the interface and implementation of one or more classes as the basis for another class. A subclass inherits from one or more superclasses. The interface of an inheriting class conforms to the interface of the inherited classes.

inheritance (for interfaces)

A mechanism for using the specification of one or more interfaces as the basis for another interface. An inheriting interface conforms to the inherited interface.

initial data

The data described in the Working-Storage or File Section of an initial program.

initial data item

A data item that is described as part of an initial data record.

initial data record

A logical record that is described in the Working-Storage or File Section of an initial program and is initialized on every call to the program.

initial file connector

A file connector that is described in an initial program and is not in an open mode on any call to the program.

initial program

A program that is placed into an initial state every time the program is called in a run unit.

initial state

The state of a function, method or program when it is first activated in a run unit.

in-line comment

A comment preceded on a source line by one or more COBOL words or character-strings.

input field

A screen item whose description contains a TO phrase.

input file

A file that is opened in the input mode.

input mode

The state of a file connector after execution of an OPEN statement with the INPUT phrase specified, for that file connector and before the execution of a CLOSE statement without the REEL or UNIT phrase for that file connector.

input-output control system (IOCS)

A system provided by the implementor that directs, or controls, the processing of files.

input-output file

A file that is opened in the I-O mode.

Input-Output Section

The section of the Environment Division that names the files and the external media used and which provides information required for transmission and handling of data during execution .

input-output statement

A statement that causes files to be processed by performing operations upon individual records or upon the file as a unit. The input-output statements are: CLOSE, DELETE, OPEN, READ, REWRITE, START and WRITE.

input procedure

A set of statements to which control is given during the execution of a SORT statement, for the purpose of controlling the release of specified records to be sorted..

instance method

A method of an instance object (as opposed to a class method).

instance-of condition

The proposition, for which a truth value can be determined, that an object reference is an instance of a particular class or interface.

integer

A numeric literal or a numeric data item that does not include any digit positions to the right of the decimal point.

integer function

A function whose category is numeric and whose definition provides that all digits to the right of the decimal point are zero in the returned value for any possible evaluation of the function.

interface (for a method)

The information needed to invoke a method correctly.

interface (the language construct)

A grouping of method prototypes.

interface definition

The source unit that defines an interface.

internal data

The data described in a source unit excluding all external data items and external file connectors. Items described in the Linkage Section are treated as internal data.

internal file connector

A file connector which is accessible to only one runtime module in a run unit.

intrinsic-function-name

A word that names a mechanism provided by the implementor to determine the value of a function.

invalid key condition

A condition occurring at execution time when a specific value of the key associated with an indexed or relative file is determined to be invalid.

invocation

See method invocation.

IOCS

See input-output control system.

K

key

A data item which identifies the location of a record, or a set of data items which serve to identify the ordering of data.

key of reference

The key, either prime or alternate, currently being used by a file connector to access records within an indexed file.

key word

A reserved word or intrinsic-function-name whose presence is required when the general format in which the word appears is used.

L

language-name

A system-name that specifies a particular programming language.

level indicator

Two alphabetic characters that identify a specific type of file. The level indicators in the Data Division are: FD, RD and SD.

level-number

A user-defined word which indicates the position of a data item in the hierarchical structure of a logical record or which indicates special properties of a data description entry. A level-number is expressed as a one- or two-digit number.

Level-numbers in the range 1 through 49 indicate the position of a data item in the hierarchical structure of a logical record. Level-numbers in the range 1 through 9 can be written either as a single digit or as a zero followed by a significant digit.

Level-numbers 66, 77, 78 and 88 identify special properties of a data description entry.

library-name

A user-defined word that names a COBOL library source file that is to be used by your COBOL system during creation of the object code.

library-text

Text that resides in a COBOL library for the purpose of being introduced into the source text at compile time by a COPY statement.

line sequential file organization

A type of sequential file containing variable length records in the format of text files produced by the host operating system.

Linkage Section

The section in the Data Division of the activated element that describes data items available from the activating element. These data items can be referenced by both the activating and the activated elements.

literal

A character-string whose value is derived from the ordered set of characters in the string.

literal field

An elementary screen item whose description contains no PICTURE clause.

lock mode

The state of an open file connector when record locking is in effect that indicates whether record locking is manual or automatic.

logical operator

One of the reserved words AND, OR and NOT. In the formation of a condition, both or either of AND and OR can be used as logical connections. NOT can be used for logical negation.

logical page

A conceptual entity consisting of the top margin, the page body and the bottom margin.

logical record

The most inclusive data item. The level-number for a record is 01.

low order end

The rightmost character of a string of characters.

M

mass storage

A storage medium in which data may be organized and maintained in both a sequential and nonsequential manner.

mass storage file

A collection of records that is assigned to mass storage.

merge file

A collection of records to be merged by a MERGE statement. The merge file is created and can be used only by the merge function.

method

Procedural code that is declared in the Procedure Division of a method definition and is executed by a method invocation on that object.

method definition

The source unit that defines a method.

method invocation

The request to execute a named method on a given object. A method invocation identifies an object, a method name, and the parameters required by the method definition.

method-name

A user-defined word that identifiers a method.

method prototype

The method-name and parameter types (including a returning item if specified) for a method. It is specified by a method definition in an interface.

mixed literal

A nonnumeric literal that includes DBCS characters.

mnemonic-name

A user-defined word that is associated in the Environment Division with a specified implementor-name.

N

native character set

The implementor-defined character set associated with the computer specified in the Object-Computer paragraph.

native collating sequence

The default collating sequence associated with the computer specified in the Object-Computer paragraph.

negated combined condition

The "NOT" logical operator immediately followed by a parenthesized combined condition.

negated simple condition

The "NOT" logical operator immediately followed by a simple condition.

next executable sentence

The next sentence to which control will be transferred after execution of the current statement is complete.

next executable statement

The next statement to which control will be transferred after execution of the current statement is complete.

next record

The record which logically follows the current record of a file.

noncontiguous items

Elementary data items, in the Working-Storage, Local-Storage and Linkage Sections, which bear no hierarchic relationship to other data items.

nonnumeric item (alphanumeric item)

A data item whose description permits its contents to be composed of any combination of characters taken from the computer's character set. Certain categories of nonnumeric items can be formed from more restricted character sets.

nonnumeric literal (alphanumeric literal)

A character-string bounded by quotation marks. The string of characters can include any character in the computer's character set. To represent a single quotation mark character within a nonnumeric literal, two contiguous quotation marks must be used.

null
  1. The state of a pointer that guarantees no storage is addressed by that data item - indicated by the predefined null data address value.
  2. The state of a procedure-pointer that guarantees no program is addressed by that data item - indicated by the predefined null program address value.
  3. The state of an object reference that guarantees no object is referenced by that data item - indicated by the value of the predefined object reference NULL.
numeric character

A character that belongs to the following set of digits: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

numeric function

A function whose class and category are numeric but which for some possible evaluation does not satisfy the requirements of an integer function.

numeric item

A data item whose description restricts its contents to a value represented by characters chosen from the digits 0 through 9; if signed, the item can also contain a "+", "-" , or other representation of an operational sign.

numeric literal

See fixed-point numeric literal and floating-point numeric literal.

O

object (instance)

A unit consisting of data and the methods that can act upon that data.

object data

Data described in the Data Division of an object definition, excluding data described in its methods.

object definition

The source unit that defines an object.

object method

A method of an object (as opposed to a factory method, which is a method of factory object).

object property

A name that may be used to qualify an object reference to get a value from or pass a value to an object.

object reference

An explicitly or implicitly defined data item that contains a reference to an object.

object view

Syntax that causes an object reference to be treated at complie time as though it had the specified description. At run time a conformance check for this description is performed on the object.

obsolete element

A language element in Standard COBOL that is to be deleted from the next edition of Standard COBOL.

open mode

The state of a file after execution of an OPEN statement for that file and before the execution of a CLOSE statement without the REEL or UNIT phrase for that file. The particular open mode is specified in the OPEN statement as either INPUT, OUTPUT, I-O or EXTEND.

operand

Any lower-case word (or words) that appears in a statement or entry format can be considered to be an operand and, as such, is an implied reference to the data indicated by the operand.

operational sign

An algebraic sign, associated with a numeric data item or a numeric literal, that indicates whether its value is positive or negative.

optional file

A file declared as being not necessarily present each time the runtime module is executed.

optional word

A reserved word that is included in a specific format only to improve the readability of the language.

output field

A screen item whose description contains a FROM phrase.

output file

A file that is opened in either the output mode or extend mode.

output mode

The state of a file connector after execution of an OPEN statement with the OUTPUT phrase specified, for that file connector and before the execution of a CLOSE statement without the REEL or UNIT phrase for that file connector.

output procedure

A set of statements to which control is given during execution of a SORT statement after the sort function is completed, or during execution of a MERGE statement after the merge function reaches a point at which it can select the next record in merged order when requested.

P

paragraph

In the Identification and Environment Divisions, a paragraph header followed by zero, one, or more entries. In the Procedure Division, a paragraph-name followed by a period and a space and optionally by one or more sentences.

paragraph header

A reserved word, followed by a period and a space that indicates the beginning of a paragraph in the Identification and Environment Divisions.

paragraph-name

A user-defined word that identifies and begins a paragraph in the Procedure Division.

parameterized class

A class where the full details of one or more dependent classes or interfaces are not specified in the class definition. The full details of these dependent classes or interfaces are specified by parameters before the parameterized class is used.

parameterized interface

An interface where the full details of one or more dependent classes or interfaces are not specified in the interface definition. The full details of these dependent classes or interfaces are specified by parameters before the parameterized interface is used.

phrase

An ordered set of COBOL character-strings that specifies an attribute of an entry or a statement and is a subset of a clause or paragraph in all divisions except the Procedure Division, and a subset of a statement in the Procedure Division.

physical page

A device-dependent concept defined by the implementor.

physical record

See block.

pointer data item

A data item in which the address of a data item may be stored.

predefined object reference

An implicitly generated data item referenced by one of the identifiers NULL, SELF, SELFCLASS or SUPER.

prime record key

A key whose contents uniquely identify a record within an indexed file.

procedure

A paragraph or group of logically successive paragraphs, or a section or group of logically successive sections, within the Procedure Division.

procedure branching statement

A statement that causes the explicit transfer of control to a statement other than the next executable statement in the sequence in which the statements are written. The procedure branching statements are: CALL, EXIT, EXIT METHOD, EXIT PROGRAM, GO TO, GOBACK, INVOKE, MERGE (with the OUTPUT PROCEDURE phrase), PERFORM, and SORT (with the INPUT PROCEDURE or OUTPUT PROCEDURE phrase).

procedure-name

A user-defined word that names a paragraph or section in the Procedure Division.

procedure-pointer data item

A data item in which the address of a program may be stored.

program declaration

A source program that merely declares how the program is to be called, a call prototype. Unlike a program definition, it does not include any executable procedures. See call prototype.

program definition

A source program that defines how a program is to execute by procedures specified in a Procedure Division. A traditional COBOL program, as distinct from a program declaration.

program-name

A user-defined word that identifies a COBOL source program.

program prototype definition

A definition that specifies the rules governing the class of the parameters expected to be received by a particular subprogram, and any other requirements needed to transfer control to and get control and return information from that subprogram.

prompt character

The character used to mark empty character positions in a screen item.

property

See object property.

pseudo-text

A sequence of text-words, comment lines, or the separator space in a source text or a COBOL library bounded by, but not including, pseudo-text delimiters.

pseudo-text delimiter

Two contiguous equal sign (=) characters used to delimit pseudo-text.

punctuation character

A character that belongs to the following set:

Character Meaning
, Comma
; Semicolon
. Period
" Quotation mark
( Left parenthesis
) Right parenthesis
  Space
= Equal sign in pseudo-text delimiters
' Apostrophe
: Colon
& Ampersand

Q

qualified data-name

An identifier that is composed of a data-name followed by one or more sets of either of the connectives OF and IN, followed by a data-name qualifier.

qualifier
  1. A data-name or name associated with a level indicator that is used in a reference either together with a data-name of an item that is subordinate to the qualifier or together with a condition-name.
  2. A section-name which is used in a reference together with a paragraph-name specified in that section.
  3. A library-name which is used in a reference together with a text-name associated with that library.

R

radix

In positional representation of numeric values, that positive integer by which the significance of a digit place must be multiplied to give the significance of the next higher digit position.

random access

An access mode in which the programmer-specified value of a key data item identifies the logical record that is obtained from, deleted from or placed into a relative or indexed file.

receiving item

A data item referenced in a TO or USING phrase in a PICTURE clause in the Screen Section.

record

See logical record.

record area

A storage area allocated for the purpose of processing the record described in a record description entry in the File Section.

record description entry

The total set of data description entries associated with a particular record.

record key

A key, either the prime record key or an alternate record key, whose contents identify a record within an indexed file.

record lock

An indicator that is associated with a specific record in a file and is set and released by the locking facility. It is used to determine whether multiple file connectors may access the record concurrently.

record locking

The controlling of record access for shared files in which a record lock prevents access to the associated record from other file connectors.

record-name

A user-defined word that names a record described in a record description entry in the Data Division.

record number

The ordinal number of a record in a file whose organization is sequential.

reel (unit, volume)

A discrete portion of a storage medium that contains part of a file, all of a file, or any number of files.

reference-format

A format that provides a standard method for describing source text and library text.

reference modification

A definition of a data item by specifying a leftmost character and length for the data item.

reference-modifier

An identifier that references a unique data item created by specifying an identifier, a starting position and a length.

relation

See relational operator.

relation character

A character that belongs to the following set:

Character Meaning
> Greater than
< Less than
= Equal to
>= Greater than or equal to
<= Less than or equal to
< > Unequal to
relation condition

A proposition, for which a truth value can be determined, that the value of an arithmetic expression, data item, literal or index has a specific relationship to the value of another arithmetic expression, data item, literal or index.

relational operator

A reserved word, a relation character, a group of consecutive reserved words, or a group of consecutive reserved words and relation characters used in the construction of a relation condition. The permissible operators and their meanings are:

Relational Operator Meaning
IS [NOT] GREATER THAN IS [NOT] > Greater than or not greater than
IS [NOT] LESS THAN IS [NOT] < Less than or not less than
IS [NOT] EQUAL TO IS [NOT] = Equal to or not equal to
IS GREATER THAN OR EQUAL TO IS >= Greater than or equal to
IS LESS THAN OR EQUAL TO IS <= Less than or equal to
IS UNEQUAL TO IS < > Not equal to
EQUALS Equal to
EXCEEDS Greater than
relative file

A file with relative organization.

relative key

A key whose contents identify a logical record in a relative file.

relative organization

The permanent logical file structure in which each record is uniquely identified by an integer value greater than zero, which specifies the record's logical ordinal position in the file.

relative record number

The ordinal number of a record in a file whose organization is relative.

repository

Implementor-provided storage for information relating to class names, method names, method parameters, and any other information that the implementor requires.

Repository paragraph

A paragraph in the Configuration Section of the Environment Divisison that allows specification of program prototype names, function prototype names, property-names, class names, and interface names that may be used within the scope of that Environment Division. It also allows declaration of intrinsic-function-names that may be used without specifying the word FUNCTION.

reserved word

A COBOL word specified in the list of words which can be used in COBOL, but which must not appear as a user-defined word or a system-name.

resultant identifier

A user-defined data item that is to contain the result of an arithmetic operation.

root class

A class with no superclass.

routine-name

A user-defined word that identifies a procedure written in a language other than COBOL.

run time

The time at which the code produced by your COBOL system is executed.

runtime system (RTS)

The software that interprets the code produced by your COBOL system and enables it to be executed by providing interfaces to the operating system.

run unit

One or more runtime modules that interact with one another and that function, at execution time, as an entity to provide problem solutions.

runtime element

The executable unit resulting from compiling a source element, which may be a function, method or a program.

runtime module

The result of compiling a compilation unit.

S

screen description entry

An entry in the Screen Section of the Data Division that is composed of a level number, followed by an optional screen-name, and then by a set of screen clauses as required. This entry is very similar in structure to a data description entry, but while a data description entry declares areas in memory, a screen description entry declares areas on the screen.

screen item

A field on the screen to which the screen description entry assigns properties.

screen-name

A user-defined word that names a screen item described in a screen description entry.

screen record

A screen description entry with a level-number of 1.

Screen Section

A section in the Data Division in which the layouts of the screen areas accessed in Format 4 of the ACCEPT and Format 2 of the DISPLAY statements are defined.

section

A set of zero, one, or more paragraphs or entries, called a section body, the first of which is preceded by a section header. Each section consists of the section header and the related section body.

section header

A combination of words followed by a period and a space that indicates the beginning of a section in the Environment, Data and Procedure Divisions.

section-name

A user-defined word which names a section in the Procedure Division.

segment-number

A user-defined word which classifies sections in the Procedure Division for purposes of segmentation. Segment-numbers can contain only the characters "0" through "9". A segment-number can be expressed either as a one- or two-digit number.

sending item

A data item referenced in a FROM or USING phrase in a PICTURE clause in the Screen Section.

sentence

A sequence of one or more statements, the last of which is terminated by a period followed by a space.

separate program

A program, together with its contained programs, that is not contained in another program.

separator

A character or two contiguous characters used to delimit character-strings.

sequential access

An access mode in which logical records are obtained from or placed into a file in a consecutive predecessor-to-successor logical record sequence determined by the order of records in the file.

sequential file

A file with sequential organization.

sequential organization

The permanent logical file structure in which a record is identified by a predecessor-successor relationship established when the record is placed into the file.

shared file

A file for which file sharing has been specified.

sharing mode

The state of an open file connector that indicates the mode of file sharing. The sharing modes are: sharing with all other, sharing with no other, and sharing with read only.

sign condition

The proposition, for which a truth value can be determined, that the algebraic value of a data item or an arithmetic expression is less than, greater than, or equal to zero.

signature

The information stored about a source unit in the external repository.

significand

In floating-point representation, the fixed-point numeral that represents the significant digits of the number.

simple condition

Any of the following:

relation condition class condition switch-status condition condition-name condition sign condition (simple-condition)

sort file

A collection of records to be sorted by a SORT statement. The sort file is created and can be used by the sort function only.

sort-merge file description entry

A Data Division entry that specifies the characteristics of a sort or merge file.

source element

A source unit excluding any nested source units.

source text manipulation statement

A statement beginning with the word COPY or the word REPLACE that provides the capability to insert and replace source text during compilation.

source unit

A sequence of statements beginning with an Identification Division and finishing with an end marker or the end of the compilation group, including any contained source units.

special character

A character that belongs to the following set:

Character Meaning
+ Plus sign
- Minus sign
* Asterisk
/ Slash (virgule, stroke)
= Equal sign
$ Currency sign
, Comma (decimal point)
; Semicolon
. Period (decimal point)
' Quotation mark
( Left parenthesis
) Right parenthesis
> Greater than symbol
< Less than symbol
' Apostrophe
: Colon
& Ampersand
special-character word

A reserved word that is composed entirely of special characters.

Special-Names

The name of an Environment Division paragraph in which implementor-names are related to user-specified mnemonic-names.

special registers

Storage areas created by your COBOL system whose primary use is to store information produced in conjunction with the use of specific COBOL features.

split key

A concatenation of one or more data items within a record associated with that file-name. It can be referenced only in START and READ statements. See the chapter Examples for an example of Split Key.

standard data format

A concept used to describe data in a COBOL Data Division whereby the characteristics or properties of the data are expressed in terms of the appearance of graphic characters on a printed page, rather than the manner in which the data is stored internally in the computer or on a particular external medium.

statement

A syntactically valid combination of words and symbols written in the Procedure Division beginning with a verb.

static data

The data described in the File or Working-Storage Section of a source element that is not an initial program.

static data item

A data item that is described as part of a static data record.

static data record

A logical record described in the File or Working-Storage Section of a source element that is not an initial program.

subclass

A class that inherits from another class. When two classes in an inheritance relationship are considered together, the subclass is the inheritor or inheriting class; the superclass is the inheritee or inherited class.

In the industry literature, the term derived class is also often used as an alternative to the term subclass. These terms are equivalent

subject of entry

The data item that is being defined by a data description entry.

subprogram

See called program.

subscript

An occurrence number represented by either an integer, a data-name optionally followed by an integer with the operator + or -, or an index-name optionally followed by an integer with the operator + or -, that identifies a particular element in a table. A subscript can be the word ALL when the subscripted identifier is used as a function argument.

subscripted data-name

An identifier that is composed of a data-name followed by one or more subscripts enclosed in parentheses.

superclass

A class that is inherited by another class. See also subclass.

switch-status condition

The proposition, for which a truth value can be determined, that an implementor-defined switch, capable of being set to an "on" or "off" status, has been set to a specified status.

symbolic-character

A user-defined word that specifies a user-defined figurative constant.

syntax

The order in which elements must be put together to form a compilation group.

system-directing statement

A statement, beginning with a directing verb, that causes your COBOL system to take a specific action during creation of the intermediate code.

system-name

A COBOL word which is used to communicate with the operating environment.

T

table

A set of logically consecutive items of data that are defined in the Data Division by means of the OCCURS clause.

table element

A data item that belongs to the set of items in a table.

terminal

A character-addressable device that includes a display and a keyboard.

termination key

Any function key or the enter key of a terminal.

text-name

A user-defined word which identifies library text.

text-word

A character or a sequence of contiguous characters between margin A and margin R in a COBOL library, source text, or in pseudo-text which is:

  1. A separator, except for: space; a pseudo text delimiter; and the opening and closing delimiters for nonnumeric literals. The right-parenthesis and left-parenthesis characters, regardless of context within the library, source text, or pseudo-text, are always considered text-words.
  2. A literal including, in the case of nonnumeric literals, the opening quotation mark and the closing quotation mark which bound the literal.
  3. Any other sequence of contiguous COBOL characters except comment lines and the word "COPY", bounded by separators, which is neither a separator nor a literal. One or both of the bounding separators can be a pseudo-text delimiter.
truth value

The representation of the result of the evaluation of a condition in terms of one of two values:

true false

typedef-name

A user-defined word which identifies a type definition.

type definition

A programmer-defined type or USAGE that may be used to define data items of that type. A type definition is defined in a data description entry that includes the TYPEDEF clause. The type contains all the characteristics of a data item and its subordinates.

U

unit

See reel.

universal object reference

An object reference that is not restricted to a specific class or interface.

unsuccessful execution

The attempted execution of a statement that does not result in the execution of all the operations specified by that statement.

update field

A screen item whose description contains a USING phrase.

user-defined word

A COBOL word supplied by the user to satisfy the format of a clause or statement.

V

variable

A data item whose value can be changed at run time.

variable-length record

A record associated with a file whose file description or sort-merge description entry permits records to contain a varying number of character positions.

variable-occurrence data item

A table element that is repeated a variable number of times. Such an item contains an OCCURS clause with the DEPENDING phrase in its data description entry or is subordinate to such an item.

verb

A word that expresses an action to be taken during creation of native code or at run time.

volume

See reel..

W

word

A character-string of not more than 30 characters which forms a user-defined word, a system-name, a reserved word, or an intrinsic-function-name.

Working-Storage Section

The section of the Data Division that describes working storage data items, composed either of noncontiguous items or of working storage records, or of both.

Z

zero-length group item

An item whose minimum length is zero and whose length at execution time is zero. A zero-length group item can result from one of the following:

  • A group data item containing only a variable-occurrence data item in which the minimum number of occurrences is zero.
  • A group data item containing only a subordinate zero-length group item.
  • A record that has been specified using format 2 or format 3 of the RECORD clause in which the minimum number of character positions is zero.
  • A function that returns a zero-length item.