IBM COBOL for AIX, V2.0 provides a powerful development environment for building COBOL applications

IBM United States Software Announcement 204-128
June 22, 2004

 ENUS204-128.PDF (33KB)

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At a glance Publications
Overview Technical information
Key prerequisites Ordering information
Planned availability date Terms and conditions
Description Prices
Offering information Order now
Printable version

At a glance

IBM COBOL for AIX, V2.0 provides:

  • Object-oriented COBOL syntax for Java™ interoperability
  • Extensible Markup Language (XML) support
  • Support for DB2 Universal Database®, V8
  • Unicode support
  • Enhanced 31-digit decimal data support
  • Improved performance for Encina® structured file server (SFS) files
  • An enhanced level of the distributed debugger

For ordering, contact:

Your IBM representative, an IBM Business Partner, or IBM Americas Call Centers at 800-IBM-CALL (Reference: RE001).
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IBM COBOL for AIX®, V2.0 is a productive and powerful development environment for building COBOL applications. It includes a COBOL compiler, a COBOL library, and a distributed debugger for the AIX operating system. The debugger shipped with the product allows you to visually debug programs running locally, remotely, or in a client-server environment.

With IBM COBOL for AIX, you can use your existing COBOL code to upgrade your applications with the newest technologies. The goal of COBOL for AIX is to enable developers to leverage 30 years' worth of applications in new endeavors. It delivers needed COBOL function to continue integration of COBOL and Web-oriented business processes.
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Key prerequisites
  • IBM AIX V5.1, or later, is required.
  • Depending on the function used, certain levels of other programs may be required. Refer to the Software requirements section for details.

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Planned availability date

June 25, 2004:

  • Electronic software delivery
  • Media and documentation

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Object-oriented COBOL syntax for Java interoperability

COBOL for AIX provides object-oriented syntax to facilitate the interoperation of COBOL and Java programs. Support is based upon the facilities of the Java Native Interface, which is the primary means provided by Java for interoperation with non-Java programs. However, the Java Native Interface is designed for use with C and C++, and is difficult to use directly from COBOL.

The object-oriented COBOL syntax is designed to enable COBOL programmers to easily write COBOL code that:

  • Creates object instances of classes that are written in Java or COBOL
  • Invokes methods on Java or COBOL objects
  • Defines classes with methods written in COBOL

Object instances of COBOL classes may be created from Java or COBOL. Methods of these classes can be invoked from Java or COBOL. COBOL classes may inherit from Java classes or other COBOL classes; Java classes may extend COBOL classes. COBOL may define and invoke overloaded methods.

COBOL methods may use COBOL CALL statements to interface with procedural COBOL programs. Thus COBOL class definition syntax may be especially useful for writing "wrapper" classes for traditional COBOL logic, enabling existing COBOL code to be accessed from Java.

Basic Java-oriented object capabilities are available directly through the COBOL language. Additional Java-oriented capabilities are available to the COBOL programmer by using calls to the services provided by the Java Native Interface. The Java interoperability capabilities of IBM COBOL leverage other new support introduced in this and earlier releases:

  • Java programs can be multithreaded. Java interoperation requires toleration of asynchronous signals. To mix COBOL with these Java programs requires the thread enablement provided with the THREAD compiler option.
  • Java String data is represented at run time in Unicode. The Unicode support provided with the new COBOL national data type enables COBOL programs to exchange string data with Java programs.

Object-oriented COBOL class definitions may define a "main" method, and can be directly executed using the Java command.

A new environment variable, COBJVMINITOPTIONS, is provided, enabling the user to specify options that will be used when COBOL initializes a Java virtual machine (JVM).

XML support

This version is designed to introduce basic XML capability to COBOL. The support includes a new XML PARSE verb, a high-speed XML parser, and an XML GENERATE verb.

The XML PARSE capability allows programs to:

  • Consume inbound XML messages
  • Check them for being well-formed
  • Transform their contents to COBOL data structures

The XML support has no special environmental requirements. It executes in all the principal run-time environments, including CICS® and MQSeries®.

The XML GENERATE statement is a powerful method for producing output XML messages. This single statement allows you to transform an entire COBOL data structure to XML format.

Support for DB2 Universal Database, V8

COBOL for AIX has been enhanced to exploit the new features of DB2® Universal Database, Versions 7 and 8. Using the DB2 coprocessor support (SQL compiler option), developers can now use new DB2 SQL features such as:

  • Stand-alone SQLCODE and SQLSTATE variables
  • Raised limits on SQL literals, database name, user ID, password, package name, and bind file name
  • Support for SQL BIGINT data type

Unicode support

A new national data type, national literals, intrinsic functions, and a compiler option provide basic support for Unicode. COBOL source programs can be encoded in an ASCII or EUC code page, or in UTF-8. COBOL for AIX supports Unicode data at run time using UTF-16 or UTF-8. The semantics of most COBOL language elements with implicit or explicit conversion, collation, or casing operations may be locale sensitive, depending on compiler options specified.

COBOL Unicode enhancements provide basic support for the new Chinese character standard GB18030. GB18030 characters are encoded via the existing Chinese EBCDIC code page, CCSID 01388 (expanded to include GB18030 characters not requiring UTF-16 surrogate values). This character data may be converted to Unicode, processed in Unicode, and converted back to the EBCDIC code page.

Enhanced 31-digit decimal data support

Support for decimal data is enhanced by raising the maximum precision from 18 to 31 digits and providing an extended-precision mode for intermediate result calculations in arithmetic statements. The new support is controlled by a new compiler option, ARITH.

Improved performance for Encina structured file server (SFS) files

COBOL for AIX offers improved performance for applications that access SFS files by providing environment variables that enable client-side caching and reduce the frequency of saving changes to SFS files. Using these environment variables can reduce the number of remote procedure calls (RPCs), thus causing the application to run faster.

Distributed debugger

The distributed debugger, included with COBOL for AIX, V2.0, allows the programmer to find problems in a program easily and efficiently. It can also be used as a tool to understand a program. Because the programmer can control the program being debugged, a trace can be initiated through the flow of program execution and, at any desired point, it can be stopped and the program's internal state can be examined. The values of variables and expressions can be examined using the monitors available in the debugger. The call stack for each thread in a program can also be examined. The distributed debugger component provides support for the following languages:

  • C/C++
  • PL/I


AIX, DB2 Universal Database, Encina, CICS, MQSeries, and DB2 are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Other company, product, and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

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Offering information

Product information is available via the Offering Information Web site

Also, visit the Passport Advantage® Web site

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No publications are shipped with this product.

The IBM Publications Center

The Publications Center is a worldwide central repository for IBM product publications and marketing material with a catalog of 70,000 items. Extensive search facilities are provided. Payment options for orders are via credit card (in the U.S.) or customer number for 50 countries. A large number of publications are available online in various file formats, and they can all be downloaded by all countries free of charge.

The IBM Publications Notification System (PNS)

PNS enables subscribers to set up profiles of interest by order number or product number. PNS subscribers automatically receive e-mail notifications of all new publications defined in their profiles. These may then be ordered or downloaded from the Publications Center.

The PNS site is available in English and Canadian French.
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Technical information

Specified operating environment

Hardware requirements

  • COBOL for AIX®, V2.0.0 and its generated object programs run on any processors that are supported by IBM AIX Version 5.1 or later. These processors must be configured with at least one keyboard and mouse.
  • An SVGA 800 x 600 display is required (1024 x 764 recommended).
  • A CD-ROM drive is required.
  • 96 MB of memory is required (128 MB, or higher, recommended).
  • 120 MB of disk space is required for the COBOL compiler, tools, and documentation.

Software requirements

Required programs: COBOL for AIX, V2 and its generated object programs run under the following system environment (or subsequent releases):

  • IBM AIX Version 5.1, including X11 and Java™ support
  • A Mozilla or Netscape browser to access the F1 help
  • Mozilla-based browsers Version 1.x or higher to access the Information Center
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 to view and print PDF documentation

Optional programs: To use COBOL for AIX with optional programs, additional products are required:

  • With DB2 preprocessor support: DB2 Universal Database®, V7 or V8
  • With DB2 coprocessor support: DB2 Universal Database, V7.2 Fixpack 11 or DB2 Universal Database, V8.1 Fixpack 4
  • With CICS®: TXSeries™ for Multiplatforms, V5.0 or later

Compatibility: The following components that were provided in COBOL Set for AIX, V1 are withdrawn in COBOL for AIX, V2:

  • XLDB debugger (replaced with the distributed debugger)
  • Software Development Environment (SDE) and the following related tools:
    • Program Builder
    • LPEX editor
  • SMARTsort
  • API support for SMARTdata UTILITIES (SdU):
    • The header files and documentation for SdU for VSAM in a Distributed Environment
    • The header files and documentation for SdU for Data Description and Conversion
  • The distributed file manager support provided by SdU
  • Remote MVS™ dataset access through SdU
  • IBM Information Presentation Facility (IPF/X)

Planning information

Software Maintenance, previously referred to as Software Subscription and Technical Support, is included in the Passport Advantage Agreement. Installation and technical support is provided by the Software Maintenance offering of the IBM International Passport Advantage Agreement. This fee service enhances customer productivity, with voice and electronic access into IBM support organizations.

Packaging: The IBM COBOL for AIX, V2.0 CD-ROM is contained in the media pack.

Security, auditability, and control

COBOL for AIX uses the security and auditability features of the host operating system software.

The customer is responsible for evaluation, selection, and implementation of security features, administrative procedures, and appropriate controls in application systems and communication facilities.
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Ordering information

Product information

Licensed                                               Product
function title              Product group              category
VisualAge(R)                IBM VisualAge              VisualAge
 COBOL                                                  COBOL

Passport Advantage program licenses

Part description                                         number
VisualAge COBOL
COBOL for AIX Users License & SW                         D5A1VLL
 Maintenance 12 Months
COBOL for AIX Users SW Maintenance                       D5A1YLL
 Reinstatement 12 Months
COBOL for AIX Users SW                                   E1A1XLL
 Maintenance Annual Renewal

Passport Advantage supply

Program name/description                                 number
COBOL for AIX, V2.0.0
Media Pack English US AIX V5.x CD-ROM                    BA0CINA
 Digital Disk -- ISO 9660 Standard V2.0.0

Passport Advantage customer: Media pack entitlement details

Customers with active maintenance or subscription for the products listed are entitled to receive the corresponding media pack.

COBOL for AIX, V2.0.0

offerings               Media packs                      Part
description             description                      number
IBM COBOL SET           COBOL for AIX English            BA0CINA
                         U.S. AIX V5.x CD-ROM
                         Digital Disk -- ISO
                         9660 Standard

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Terms and conditions

This product is available only via Passport Advantage. It is not available as shrinkwrap.

Licensing: IBM International Program License Agreement. Proofs of Entitlement (PoE) are required for all authorized use.

Part number products only, offered outside of Passport Advantage, where applicable, are license only and do not include Software Maintenance.

License information form number

Program name                number                 Form number
COBOL for AIX               5724-H44               L-JDEE-5WNT5W

Limited warranty applies: Yes

Money-back guarantee: If for any reason you are dissatisfied with the program, return it within 30 days from the invoice date to the party (either IBM or its reseller) from whom you acquired it for a refund. This applies only to your first acquisition of the program.

Copy and use on home/portable computer

                               Copy and use on
Product name                   computer?
COBOL for AIX                  No

Volume orders (IVO): No

Passport Advantage applies: Yes, and through the Passport Advantage Web site at

Usage restriction: Yes

Charge unit: IBM COBOL for AIX, V2.0 is licensed based on a charge unit of one authorized user. The program may be stored on more than one machine, provided that the program is not in active use on more than one machine at the same time.

An authorized user is an individual or specific named user authorized to have access to the program or any portion of the program. The Proof of Entitlement for this program is evidence of your authorization. Each individual or specific named user must obtain a Proof of Entitlement.

Redistribution information: If you have developed an application that is dependent upon the files or modules listed below or located in the directory named below, you may distribute these files or modules, subject to the following terms:

  • The files or modules must be in object code.
  • You will indemnify IBM or third parties that provide IBM products ("Third Parties") from and against any third-party claim arising out of the use or distribution of your application.
  • You may not use the same path name as the original files/modules.
  • You may not use IBM's or Third Parties' names or trademarks in connection with the marketing of your applications without IBM's or Third Parties' prior written consent.
  • IBM or Third Parties provide copies of these files or modules "AS IS," that is, you are responsible for all technical assistance for your application.
  • In your license agreement with the recipient, you will notify the recipient that these files or modules may not be (1) used for any purpose other than to enable the application, (2) copied (except for backup purposes), (3) further distributed, or (4) reverse assembled, reverse compiled, or otherwise translated.
  • Your application containing a copy of the above referenced files/modules must be labeled as follows:

      Contains Runtime Modules of IBM COBOL for AIX, V2.0
      Copyright IBM Corporation 1995,2004 All Rights Reserved

The COBOL library filesets that may be redistributed and installed along with a developed application are:

  • cobol.rte
  • cobol.msg.Ja_JP
  • cobol.msg.ja_JP
  • cobol.msg.en_US
  • SdU.vsam
  • SdU.sfs

Software maintenance applies: Yes

Software Maintenance, previously referred to as Subscription and Technical Support, is now included in the Passport Advantage Agreement. Installation and technical support for the product announced in this letter is provided by the Software Maintenance offering of the IBM International Passport Advantage Agreement. This fee service enhances customer productivity by providing voice and/or electronic access into the IBM support organizations.

IBM includes one year of Software Maintenance with the initial license acquisition of each program acquired. The initial period of Software Maintenance can be extended by the purchase of a renewal option that is available.

While your Software Maintenance is in effect, IBM provides you assistance for your (1) routine, short duration installation and usage (how-to) questions; and (2) code-related questions. IBM provides assistance via telephone and, if available, electronic access, only to your information systems (IS) technical support personnel during the normal business hours (published prime shift hours) of your IBM support center. (This assistance is not available to your end users.) IBM provides Severity 1 assistance 24 hours a day, every day of the year. For additional details, consult your IBM Software Support Guide at:

Software Maintenance does not include assistance for (1) the design and development of applications, (2) your use of programs in other than their specified operating environment, or (3) failures caused by products for which IBM is not responsible under this agreement.

For more information about the Passport Advantage Agreement, refer to the IBM International Passport Advantage Agreement Software Announcement 201-202 , dated July 10, 2001, or visit the Passport Advantage Web site at:

IBM Operational Support Services — Support Line: No

iSeries™ Software Subscription applies: No

Educational allowance available: Not applicable
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Passport Advantage

For Passport Advantage information and charges, contact your IBM representative or authorized IBM Business Partner. Additional information is also available at

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Order now

To order, contact the Americas Call Centers, your local IBM representative, or your IBM Business Partner.

To identify your local IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, call 800-IBM-4YOU (426-4968).

 Phone:     800-IBM-CALL (426-2255)
 Fax:       800-2IBM-FAX (242-6329)
 Mail:      IBM Americas Call Centers
            Dept:  IBM CALL, 11th Floor
            105 Moatfield Drive
            North York, Ontario
            Canada M3B 3R1
 Reference: RE001

The Americas Call Centers, our national direct marketing organization, can add your name to the mailing list for catalogs of IBM products.

Note: Shipments will begin after the planned availability date.


TXSeries, MVS, and iSeries are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
Passport Advantage, AIX, DB2 Universal Database, CICS, and VisualAge are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Other company, product, and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

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