COBOL programming: fundamentals course

At the end of this course, the participant:

  • knows the complete COBOL syntax;
  • is able to develop, debug and execute COBOL programs.

This course is also available as two separate modules: COBOL programming - part 1 and COBOL programming - part 2


No public sessions are currently scheduled. We will be pleased to set up an on-site course or to schedule an extra public session (in case of a sufficient number of candidates). Interested? Please let us know.

Intended for

Programmers who are going to write programs in COBOL.


Programming experience (Programming fundamentals). Some familiarity with an MVS/ISPF environment is desirable (ISPF/PDF basics). You can test yourself to see if you have enough ISPF background by filling out the online selftest.

Main topics

  • Basic structure of a COBOL program:
  • 4 divisions • sections, paragraphs and sentences.
  • compile • link-edit • execution.
  • Variables, computing and data editing:
  • detailed discussion on the declaration of variables.
  • special instructions on calculations.
  • data editing.
  • Conditional programming:
  • statements that might influence the flow of the program.
  • Treatment of files:
  • use of several kind of files in Cobol • error handling.
  • Table treatment:
  • single and multiple dimensional arrays • index • SEARCH.
  • External submodules:
  • description of the necessary requirements of main and submodules.
  • static and dynamic linking.
  • Advanced topics:
  • working with copybooks.
  • nesting of programs
  • pointers in COBOL
  • advanced use of files.

Training method

Classroom instruction. 70% of the time is spent on programming exercises.


5 days.

Course leader

Peter Vanroose.


4.4/5 (based on 79 evaluations; the most recent ones are shown below)

Just excellent.

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Zeer goed, cursus was goed georganiseerd.

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Le cours de COBOL est très bien organisé et le contenu est très bien pensé pour des débutants. Les formateurs sont formidables, souriant et partage leur joie de faire apprendre au autre le COBOL.

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J'ai beaucoup apprécié la formation qui offre un bon équilibre entre théorie et pratique. Le professeur est très compétent et gentil. Un tout grand merci à Peter qui nous a fait faire nos premiers pas en COBOL!

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I appreciated the way of teaching but the documentation could be better.

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