COBOL, the 63-year-old programming language, still plays an important role in managing the global economy, but its popularity remained uncertain until recently.

According to research by the Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL) working group, there are currently as many as 850 billion lines of code, up from a previous approximation of 200-300 billion.

Looking ahead, about half of those surveyed agreed that they expect their organization's COBOL applications to be around for at least the next 10 years and that they plan to increase the amount of COBOL used in the future over the next year, but COBOL wants to know more.

A new project has been announced in partnership with The Linux Foundation Research and The Linux Foundation Training and Certification with the goal of understanding the reality of modern COBOL usage and sentiments regarding future investment.

The news follows an earlier study by Micro Focus (opens in a new tab) which indicated that more than nine in ten respondents (92%) considered COBOL to be a strategic technology.

"This sheer volume of COBOL application code on the market represents tremendous value to organizations and requires continued investment as part of a broader modernization strategy," said Ed Airey, director of COBOL product marketing at Micro Focus.

New research summarized in the TIOBE Index casts doubt on the validity of some of these claims, ranking COBOL 27th with a score of 0,41% determined "over the number of qualified engineers in the world, courts and third parties" . sellers” and not market share. By contrast, Python ranks first at 16,66%, with C only a few decimal places behind.

As we look to the future, Director of Program Management for the Open Mainframe Project, John Mertic, addressed a blog post (opens in a new tab) asking for support and investment, saying that "contributing sponsors to [the] the research will be an important step in understanding and shaping the future of COBOL and the applications that drive the global economy.

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