I just heard about these guys on the news. Amazing how a programming language can still be used today. I remember hearing about cobol back in the 80’s when I was in college. (And it’s still around!)

From the site (a kind of agency for cobol programmers):

  • COBOL supports close to 90% of Fortune 500 business systems today.
  • COBOL is 65% of active code used today; and runs 85% of all business transactions.
  • 200 billion lines of COBOL code are still in use today by various industries, according to IBM.
  • 71% of universities surveyed are convinced that companies will rely on COBOL for the next decade and more.

Perhaps COBOL shouldn’t be considered retro-computing just yet …

The big question is how much of the COBOL is NOT running on IBM. How much is this a testament to COBOL’s ubiquity and longevity over simply IBMs longevity.

While computer folks like nothing better than to reinvent the wheel, business folks hate paying money twice for the same thing. And many companies innovate in places other than their back end accounting systems. Retooling an assembly line or making a new product tends to have little impact on the financial workflow in the back office beyond perhaps adding some new General Ledger buckets.

CP/M has COBOL and ALGOL, so not every thing is IBM.