BAC344 - Business Applications Using COBOL

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 11:56:01.81
Last review date 2018-07-20 11:56:13.183

Subject Title
Business Applications Using COBOL

Subject Description
Business applications will be developed in COBOL using Programmer Development Manager and CODE/400. This subject introduces the students to file processing, report writing, transaction validation and updating. Students will build on programming techniques used in previous subjects to solve problems related to maintenance/modification of structured programs for typical business applications. This subject will provide a basic understanding of the COBOL language.

Credit Status
1 Credit for CPD/CPA/CPAC Diploma Students

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Use the iSeries operating system to edit, compile, link and debug COBOL programs

2. Validate input data and perform error trapping programming techniques

3. Code and understand subprograms using standard parameter passing methods

4. Understand the differences between standard COBOL I/O and Embedded SQL

5. Develop test data and verify program reliability

6. Develop an ILE COBOL business application using Program Development Manager and Websphere

7. Design, code, debug and document structured COBOL programs in accordance with accepted COBOL programming standards

8. Understand different data types including one and two dimensional tables

9. Understand interactive transaction processing environment, the use of screens and direct cursor addressing

10. Implement various file organizations and access methods

11. Understand the design, coding and structure of a COBOL program

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


Topic Outline
Using iSeries tools to develop ILE COBOL applications - 5%

  • Program Development Manager 
  • Source Debugger
  • Code/400
  • Screen Design Aid
Introduction to COBOL - 5%
  • Arithmetic and logical expressions and operators
  • Data structures - constants, variables, tables
  • Data definitions - fields, records and files
  • Data editing using picture clauses
  • Data movement
Files (Organization and Access) - 5%
  • Organization - creating and updating sequential and indexed sequential files 
  • Sequential access - OPEN, CLOSE, READ, WRITE, AT .. END
  • Indexed sequential access - READ, WRITE, REWRITE, DELETE, INVALID .. KEY, START ... READ NEXT
Testing and Problem Solving - 5%
  • Designing test data and plans to test all functionality within a business application
  • Utilizing the job and compiled listings to track errors
Subprograms and Parameter Passing - 10%
  • Combining modules developed through the course into one final business application
Report Generation - 15% 
  • Headings, column headings, page overflow, detail lines, editing, subtotals, totals, record counting single and multi-level control breaks
  • Exception reporting
Tables - 15%
  • One and two dimensional tables
  • Subscripting and indexing
  • Table initialization (hard coding vs. loading)- COPY
  • Positional addressing
  • Searching - sequential vs. Binary
Online Programming (including ILE COBOL) - 30%
  • Transaction processing of indexed files
  • Screen design and menu construction
Embedded SQL - 10%
  • Use embedded SQL to retrieve summary data
  • Error handling with embedded SQL

Mode of Instruction
Classroom lectures and discussions are supplemented by lab sessions with the instructor, reinforced by assigned readings and assignments between classes.
It is the student's responsibility to save documents, articles and notes that the instructor has provided on BlackBoard or in class. Students will not be able to access BlackBoard as of the last day of the student’s class.

Prescribed Texts
Programming in Cobol AS/400,  2nd Edition
by James Cooper, John Wiley & Sons , ISBN # 978-0471418467

Reference Material
Mastering the AS/400,  3rd Edition
by Jerry Fottral,  29th Street Press, ISBN # 978- 1583040706

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation

  • Students must retain a duplicate of all assignments.
  • Computer assignments should be documented to the instructor's standards.
  • Assignments must be handed in on the scheduled due date. Late assignments are penalized.
  • For particulars, please obtain standards, dates, etc. from your instructor.

Absenteeism and Tests
  • Students should be aware that absenteeism will impact on their ability to achieve satisfactory grades.
  • If you miss a test, you must provide the reason in writing to the instructor prior to the next scheduled class. If your reason is accepted, you will be permitted to write a make-up test. Otherwise, you will be given a zero for the test. You must submit an original doctor’s certificate identifying the date, length of time of expected absence and the specific reason for your absence, or other appropriate documentation.
Term Work and Final Exam
  • Students must attain a combined grade of at least 50% on term work and the final exam. Students must pass the final exam in order to pass the subject.
  • For further information on evaluation and academic standing, see a copy of the Academic Policy available at Seneca registration offices.
Programming assignments are evaluated on the following basis: 
  • Does the program process all possible input properly?
  • Does the program contain concise and easily modified logic?
  • Are data elements and paragraphs effectively named?
  • Is the code properly commented and indented?
Documentation Flowchart and/or pseudocode as specified; program listing and annotated output; utility listing of test data? 

  • Assignment must be submitted on or before due date.
  • Two walk-through certificates.
  • Have computer resources and programmer's time been used efficiently?

Grading is based on the following marking scheme:

Tests (2) 35%
Assignments (minimum 2) 35%
Final Exam 30%

Approved by: Denis Gravelle