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IDG: The persistence of COBOL: why a 60-year old language is still in demand

By | July 30, 2020

Published on July 29 2020, by IDG

Within the realm of technology, one thing that could generally considered a static rule of thumb is that things are constantly changing. Innovation, especially in the cloud era, is constantly occurring and hard to keep track of, as one trend displaces the last in an ever-quickening game of technological leapfrog. This is equally true when it comes to software development, as cloud native organisations chase seamless CI/CD pipelines, DevOps, and agile development practices.

Bucking this trend, though, is the COBOL programming language, which — despite being developed in the late 1950s — still fulfills a fundamental role for many organisations running transaction-based legacy business applications. The aging language is still remarkably pervasive, to the point where news reports surface every few years denouncing its existence within business-critical systems while highlighting the various issues that COBOL code presents to organisations and developers.

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