Pro*COBOL Precompiler Getting Started
Release 8.1.6 for Windows

Part Number A73024-01





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Introducing Pro*COBOL

This chapter describes the Oracle programmatic interface for the COBOL language running on Windows operating systems. Specific topics discussed are:

What is Pro*COBOL?

To access an Oracle database, you use a high-level query language called Structured Query Language (SQL). You often use SQL through an interactive interface, such as SQL*Plus.

Pro*COBOL is a programming tool that enables you to embed SQL statements in a COBOL program. The Pro*COBOL precompiler converts the SQL statements in the COBOL program into standard Oracle run-time library calls. The generated output file can then be compiled, linked, and run in the usual manner.

Use the Pro*COBOL precompiler when rapid development and compatibility with other systems are your priorities.

Release 1.8.51

Oracle Corporation expects that any application written for Pro*COBOL release 1.8.x should precompile successfully with Pro*COBOL release 8.1.6. However, some vendor extensions may not be accepted and the application may not precompile successfully when migrating from release 1.8.x to release 8.1.6.


To install Pro*COBOL release 1.8.51, you need to choose Custom Installation when installing the Oracle programmer products. 

If you simply want to migrate a release 1.8.x application to release 8.1.6 without using any of the new features of Pro*COBOL version 8, but the application does not precompile successfully, then do the following:

Supported Compilers

Pro*COBOL supports the following compilers:


Pro*COBOL supports the following:


Pro*COBOL does not support the following:

Directory Structure

When you install Pro*COBOL, Oracle Universal Installer creates a directory called \precomp in your oracle_base\oracle_home directory.


The \precomp directory can contain files for other products, such as Pro*C/C++. 

The \precomp directory contains the following directories:

Directory Name  Contents 


Configuration files 


Sample programs for Pro*COBOL 8.1.6 


Sample programs for Pro*COBOL 1.8.51 


SQL scripts for sample programs 


Readme files for Pro*COBOL 8.1.6 


Readme files for Pro*COBOL 1.8.51 


Library files 


Message files 


Header files 

Header Files

The oracle_base\oracle_home\precomp\public directory contains the Pro*COBOL header files.

Header File  Description 


Contains the Oracle Communications Area (ORACA), which helps you to diagnose runtime errors and to monitor your program's use of various Oracle resources. 


ORACA5 is the COMP-5 version of ORACA. 


Contains the SQL Communications Area (SQLCA), which helps you to diagnose runtime errors. The SQLCA is updated after every executable SQL statement. 


SQLCA5 is the COMP-5 version of SQLCA. 


Contains the SQL Descriptor Area (SQLDA), which is a data structure required for programs that use dynamic SQL Method 4. 


This is the COMP-5 version of SQLDA. 

Library File

The oracle_base\oracle_home \precomp\lib directory contains the library file that you use when linking Pro*COBOL applications. The library file is called orasql8.lib.

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