Chapter 1: Introduction

This chapter introduces the facilities for object-oriented programming provided in your COBOL system, and explains how to use this book to begin OO programming with COBOL.

Object-oriented COBOL syntax

Your COBOL system enables you to do object-oriented (OO) programming in COBOL, while still retaining all the syntax and features previously available. Your COBOL system supports:

You can choose to just use ISO 2002 syntax, or you can use ISO 2002 and Micro Focus syntax, mixing them in the same program. However, we recommend that you use the ISO 2002 syntax if you want your programs to be portable to platforms that do not support Micro Focus COBOL.

The chapters in Parts 1, 2 and 3 of this book use the ISO 2002 syntax and related terminology. Micro Focus alternatives and extensions are generally mentioned when a new piece of syntax is introduced.

The chapters in Parts 4, 5 and 6 of this book use the Micro Focus syntax and related terminology. The main differences between ISO 2002 and Micro Focus OO COBOL are listed in the chapter Micro Focus OO COBOL Alternative Syntax, in Part 4.

Developing OO Programs

Development starts with the analysis of the problem and the design of a program or programs that solve the problem. Object-oriented design involves identifying the objects that you want to work with and what they need to do. Object-oriented analysis and design lie outide the scope of this book; for a reading list, see the section Object-Oriented Analysis and Design.

When you reach the design phase, you can make use of the Micro Focus class libraries, as long as you do not want to port your programs to platforms that do not support Micro Focus COBOL. A class library is a collection of ready-made objects that you can use in your programs. (For definitions of the terms class and object see the chapter OO Programming Concepts.) More information on the Micro Focus class libraries is available in the chapter Introduction to the Class Libraries.

ISO 2002 COBOL also provides a class library. However, it includes far fewer classes than the Micro Focus class libraries.

When you start coding your program you will be on familiar territory, using your usual development environment tools such as the Editor and Debugger.

Net Express provides features that help you specifically with OO development:

If you use both Net Express and Server Express, you can develop and debug your application on Net Express, and transfer the code to a Server Express platform for production. OO COBOL code is portable between Net Express and Server Express, except for code developed for:

What to Read Next

We advise you to start by reading the chapter OO Programming Concepts which provides an introduction to object-oriented programming concepts and terminology.

When you are ready to find out more about coding in object-oriented COBOL, move onto Parts 2 and Part 3. Part 2 contains more detailed information about object-oriented programming, specifically in COBOL, while Part 3 contains some tutorials. If you want to go straight to the tutorials, we recommend that you try only the tutorials described in the chapters Objects and Messages Tutorial and Simple Class Tutorial, before returning to Part 2, starting with the chapter Using Objects in Programs. All the chapters in Parts 2 and 3 use the ISO 2002 OO COBOL syntax and terminology.

The chapters in Parts 4, 5 and 6 all relate to features and facilities of Micro Focus COBOL and use the Micro Focus OO COBOL syntax and terminology. Part 4 describes Micro Focus syntax that provides alternatives and extensions to the ISO 2002 syntax. Part 5 is devoted to the Micro Focus class libraries; start with the chapter Introduction to the Class Libraries. Part 6 contains tutorials that use Micro Focus alternatives and extensions to the ISO 2002 syntax.

Object-oriented Analysis and Design

The documentation supplied with your COBOL system will help you to start programming in OO COBOL. However, if you are new to OO, learning about the principles of Object-Oriented Design and Analysis (OOD and OOA) will enable you to make the best use of this new technology.

The reading list below suggests some books dealing with object-oriented methodologies and technologies.

Booch, Grady. Object-Oriented Design. Benjamin/Cummings, 1994. ISBN: 0-8053-0091-0.

Jacobson , Ivor. Object-Oriented Software Engineering. Addison-Wesley, 1992. ISBN: 0-201-54435-0.

Rumbaugh. James. Object-Oriented Modeling and Design. Prentice Hall, 1991. ISBN: 0-13-629841-9.

Shlaer, Sally and Mellor, Steve. Object-Oriented Systems Analysis: Modeling the World in Data. Prentice Hall, 1988. ISBN: 0-13-629023-1 and Object Lifecycles: Modeling the World in States. Prentice Hall, 1992. ISBN: 0-13-629940-7

Taylor, David. Object Oriented Information Systems: Planning and Implementation. John Wiley, ISBN: 0-471-54364-0.

Wirfs-Brock, Rebecca. Designing Object-oriented Software . Prentice Hall, 1990. ISBN: 0-13-629825-7.

There are also several training organizations that run language-independent courses on OOD and OOA.

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