COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language) was one of the earliest high-level programming languages. In 2019 we celebrate its 60th anniversary.


In the late seventies, the company Micro Focus created Compact Interactive Standard COBOL (CIS COBOL) for 8-bit microcomputers. Due to the extreme memory limitations, the compiler produced intermediate code, which would then be executed by the COBOL run-time system. CIS COBOL was available for several CPU architectures, such as Z80 and the 6809. In some cases it was sold under a different name. These products are also CIS COBOL: DRI Cobol 80, Microware COBOL.

When 16-bit systems appeared, Micro Focus produced Level II COBOL, which introduced the concept of generated native code.

CIS COBOL has pretty much disappeared from history. This page attempts to collect the available resources.

CIS COBOL Language Reference Manual v. 4.2 (scanned)
CIS COBOL Language Reference Manual v. 4.5
CIS COBOL Language Reference Manual v. 4.5 (scanned)
CIS Cobol with Animator
Contains: CIS COBOL Operating Guide for CP/M, ANIMATOR Operating Guide, and FORMS-2 Utility Manual.
Microsoft COBOL-80 from 1978
Review of OS-9 CIS COBOL from 1985

Microsoft COBOL-80

Microsoft produced a COBOL compiler for CP/M. This product was also licensed to IBM as IBM Cobol Compiler.


Example COBOL programs

Sidst opdateret: 2019/06/16
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