COBOL Generated Files

Yes they still do exist in the new technological era – they contain a lot of the information that client server systems want! Whilst most versions of COBOL support the STRING verb, it’s rarely used in data migration (in my humble opinion) and most systems follow the sensible approach of using fixed field some with delimiters But we always have the following problems, what delimiter to use – well a radical answer – don’t use a delimiter keep it fixed format and map it using the cobol field definitions.

Saves all those unwelcome bytes of data between fields and the problems when someone sets up a name as c!o xyz corp #01234 456789 You’ve picked ! as the delimiter and suddenly you have an extra column in your data – same if you use # which will “never appear in the data”