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Re: [open-cobol-list] newbie alert : cobol : 85 : data management : ques

From: john Culleton
Subject: Re: [open-cobol-list] newbie alert : cobol : 85 : data management : question
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2014 14:29:38 -0500

On Wed, 5 Nov 2014 09:19:45 +0530
Mayuresh Kathe <address@hidden> wrote:

> hello,
> how does cobol, and by virtue of it's standards
> adherence, open-cobol, manage data?
> as i'd mentioned in a previous email, i am
> working on a self-funded project to use modern
> computing systems for initiating and sustaining
> social change in rural india.
> i had been to one of the regions i intend to
> adopt for the pilot, and have found the
> following needs; 1. land record management,
> 2. population record management,
> 3. medical history management,
> 4. criminal record management,
> 5. produce transaction management.
> how would i be able to apply cobol-85 to bring
> this to fruition?
> i definitely do not wish to use an 'rdbms', and
> certainly cannot afford a mainframe.
> is there any mechanism within open-cobol which
> would facilitate record management using
> in-memory datasets, which i believe are more
> efficient than approaching the disk for every
> request.
> hope my questions are on target per the agenda
> of this list. else, i apologize for the
> deviation.
> best regards,
> ~mayuresh
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COBOL handles data files in several formats
including line sequential for text files. My
favorite however is indexed sequential, a
standard cobol format that goes back many
decades. It allows for one primary and
multiple secondary keys to each record. 

The Open Cobol manual is available for free
download. I suggest you read it for a better
understanding of the language. It is both a
technical manual and a tutorial.

If you wish to manipulate data completely in
memory then data tables can be used. But I don't
believe the gain in efficiency is worth using
that approach. Modern computers can handle data
swiftly. And the Cobol indexed sequential file
format allows access to a relatively small index
file which then points directly to the record
sought on hard disk. Speed of execution is
seldom an issue in today's world.

For an example of a commercial grade suite of
programs in Cobol I recommend the ACAS suite.
(Applewood Computers Accounting System).

There are plenty of Cobol tutorials on line
including one on Youtube by Simranjut Singh.
Please read or watch  a few if you haven't

John Culleton
Wexford Press
Free list of books for self-publishers:
PDF e-book: "Create Book Covers with Scribus"
available at

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