Skip Headers

Pro*COBOL® Getting Started
Releases 9.2 and 1.8.77 for Windows

Part Number A96113-03
Go to Documentation Home
Go to Book List
Book List
Go to Table of Contents
Go to Index
Go to Master Index
Master Index
Go to Feedback page

Go to previous page
Go to next page
View PDF

3 Pro*COBOL for Windows

This chapter provides information for the Pro*COBOL precompiler specific to the Windows NT, Windows 98, and Windows 2000 operating systems.

This chapter describes only the features of Oracle9i for Windows software that apply to the Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows 98 operating systems. Information on Oracle9i Personal Edition software on Windows 98 is not covered in this chapter.

This chapter contains the following sections:

3.1 Introduction to Pro*COBOL for Windows

This section describes the Oracle programmatic interface for the COBOL language running on Windows operating systems.

This section contains these topics:

3.1.1 Release 1.8.77

Oracle Corporation expects that any application written for Pro*COBOL release 1.8.x should precompile successfully with Pro*COBOL release 9.2.0. However, some vendor extensions may not be accepted and the application may not precompile successfully when migrating from release 1.8.x to release 9.2.0.


Pro*COBOL Precompiler for Windows release 1.8.77 is now automatically installed with the Programmer installation type of the Oracle9i Client top-level component. You do not need to use the Custom installation type of the Oracle9i Client top-level component.

If you simply want to migrate a release 1.8.x application to release 9.2.0 without using any of the new features of Pro*COBOL release 9.2.0, but the application does not precompile successfully, then report the problem to Oracle Support Services.


Oracle Corporation recommends that you use release 9.2.0 to develop new applications.

3.1.2 Supported Compilers

Pro*COBOL supports the MERANT Micro Focus NetExpress version 3.1 for 32-bit Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Windows 98.


Pro*COBOL does not support Object Oriented COBOL (OOCOBOL) specifications.

3.1.3 Features

Pro*COBOL for Windows supports the following:

  • Oracle databases release 8.1.x and higher

  • Embedded PL/SQL blocks

  • Bundled database calls, which can provide better performance in client/server environments

  • Full ANSI compliance for embedded SQL programming

  • Calls to PL/SQL stored procedures

3.1.4 Restrictions

Pro*COBOL for Windows does not support the following:

  • User exits

  • Access to the Oracle Call Interface

  • Oracle object types

  • Graphical user interface

  • 16-bit code generation

3.1.5 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 directories listed in Table 3-1.

Table 3-1 Directories

Directory Name Contents
\admin Configuration files
\demo\procob2 Sample programs for Pro*COBOL release 9.2.0
\demo\procob Sample programs for Pro*COBOL release 1.8.77
\demo\sql SQL scripts for sample programs
\doc\procob2 Readme files for Pro*COBOL 9.2.0
\doc\procob Readme files for Pro*COBOL 1.8.77
\lib Library files
\mesg Message files
\public Header files Header Files

The ORACLE_BASE\ORACLE_HOME\precomp\public directory contains the Pro*COBOL header files listed in Table 3-2.

Table 3-2 Header Files

Header File Description
oraca.cob 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.cob ORACA5 is the COMP-5 version of ORACA.
sqlca.cob Contains the SQL Communications Area (SQLCA), which helps you to diagnose runtime errors. The SQLCA is updated after every executable SQL statement.
sqlca5.cob SQLCA5 is the COMP-5 version of SQLCA.
sqlda.cob Contains the SQL Descriptor Area (SQLDA), which is a data structure required for programs that use dynamic SQL Method 4.
sqlda5.cob 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 orasql9.lib. Known Problems, Restrictions, and Workarounds

  1. Although all Windows operating systems allow spaces in filenames and directory names, the Oracle Pro*C/C++ and Oracle Pro*COBOL precompilers will not precompile files that include spaces in the file name or directory name. For example, do not use the following formats:

    • proc iname=test one.pc

    • proc iname=d:\dir1\second dir\sample1.pc

  2. Users running PROCOB application that are not linked using /LITLINK option and failing at runtime with the error,

    Load error: file 'ORASQL8'

    need to copy orasql9.dll to orasql8.dll in the same directory where orasql9.dll exists.

3.2 Building Pro*COBOL Applications

This section provides an overview of building Oracle database applications with Pro*COBOL Releases 9.2 and 1.8.77 for Windows operating systems.

This section contains these topics:

3.2.1 Precompiling Pro*COBOL Applications

This section describes the basics of precompiling a Pro*COBOL application. The Pro*COBOL Commands

Use one of the following commands to precompile a file:

  • For Pro*COBOL Release 9.2, use:

    procob filename
  • For Pro*COBOL Release 1.8.77, use:

    procob18 filename

By default, if no extension is provided, Pro*COBOL tries to open filename.pco. If the ONAME option is not specified, Pro*COBOL generates a file named filename.cbl. Precompiler Options

Many useful options are available at precompile time. Included are options that allow you to determine how:

  • Resources are used

  • Errors are reported

  • Input and output are formatted

  • Cursors are managed

Viewing the Available Options

To see a list of available options and their default values, enter the following at the command prompt:

C:\> procob

To see the option, defaults, and the restrictions (if any) on values, enter the following at the command prompt:

C:\> procob /?

Configuration Files

Pro*COBOL reads the configuration file for options before processing options supplied at the command line.

  • For release 9.2.0, the configuration file is called pcbcfg.cfg. This file is located in the ORACLE_BASE\ORACLE_HOME \precomp\admin directory.

  • For release 1.8.77, the configuration file is called pcccob.cfg. This file is located in the ORACLE_BASE\ORACLE_HOME\precomp\admin directory.

The configuration file has the following two options:

  • COMP–5= yes | no

  • include=ORACLE_BASE\ORACLE_HOME\precomp\public

COMP-5 Option

Check the following to determine whether you should change the value of COMP-5:

If you are using MERANT Micro Focus COBOL, COMP-5 can be set to yes (COMP-5=yes) or no (COMP-5=no).

  • If COMP-5=yes:

    • All COMP data items (if they are potential host variables) are converted to COMP–5.

    • All data items generated by the precompiler will be declared as COMP–5.

  • If COMP-5=no:

    • The precompiler ignores COMP–5 host variables.

    • Precompiled files generally do not run on Intel platforms.

For a workaround during the compilation stage, use the MERANT Micro Focus COBOL compiler directive:


This statement directs the compiler to treat COMP items as if they are COMP–5 items.


The INCLUDE option enables the provided .cob files in the ORACLE_BASE\ORACLE_HOME\precomp\public directory to be included without an explicit INCLUDE= option at the command line. Embedding PL/SQL

If you are using embedded PL/SQL blocks, do the following:

  1. Enter the SQLCHECK option and the USERID string to connect at the precompiling command line.

  2. Specify the SQLCHECK=FULL option to check the syntax or semantics of embedded SQL statements and PL/SQL blocks.

    See Also:

    Pro*COBOL Programmer's Guide for an example of a command line string or review the PL/SQL MAKE file

3.2.2 Compiling and Linking Pro*COBOL Applications

This section describes how to compile and link Pro*COBOL applications using the MERANT Micro Focus compiler. MERANT Micro Focus Compiler

You can build and execute a MERANT Micro Focus COBOL application in two ways:

In each of these the COBSQL utility may be used with the following advantages:

  • Pro*COBOL is run by the MERANT Micro Focus compiler and does not need to be run as a separate step.

  • Animation is done using the .pco source file rather than the .cbl file produced by Pro*COBOL.

  • The MAKEYSYN directive is provided automatically and need not be specified manually.

How to Use the IDE

A program generated by Pro*COBOL can be compiled and executed from within the MERANT Micro Focus NetExpress IDE. Simply add the .cbl file generated by Pro*COBOL to a Net Express project. To avoid potential inconsistencies when calling routines in the Oracle libraries the program should be compiled using the directive:


This directive can be specified in the build setting for the source file, the project settings or through a $SET line at the start of the source file. When you select Rebuild or Rebuild All the IDE generates an executable ready to Run or Animate.

How to Use the Animator

Programs can be compiled and executed from within the MERANT Micro Focus COBOL debugger, Animator V2.

To avoid potential inconsistencies when calling routines in the Oracle libraries, select the menu option Compiler Directives, and enter:


This step is required because MERANT Micro Focus COBOL stores binary numbers in Big Endian format. Oracle libraries expect binary numbers to be stored in Little Endian format (machine format).

The COBOL and CBLLINK Commands

COBOL and CBLLINK can be used to build programs in two ways, depending on whether the Pro*COBOL runtime is to be statically linked or accessed through a DLL at runtime.

For dynamic linking, the commands are:

 CBLLINK sample1

For static linking, the commands are:

 CBLLINK sample1 ORACLE_BASE\ORACLE_HOME\precomp\lib\orasql9.lib

The previous commands produce sample1.exe, which can be executed like any other Windows NT, Windows 2000, or Windows 98 program.


MERANT Micro Focus COBOL must be installed on the same system as Pro*COBOL to successfully execute the file.

the COBSQL Command

COBSQL can be used to simplify preprocessing and debugging. To use COBSQL, specify the following directive to the COBOL compiler:


or the short form:


COBSQLTYPE should be set to ORACLE or ORA for versions of Pro*COBOL prior to release 8.0. The directive may be set with a $SET line at the start of the source file, on the COBOL command line, in program build settings or project settings for NetExpress, or with SQL compiler directives settings for Animator. At compile time, COBSQL runs Pro*COBOL as a background task and passes its output to the COBOL compiler together with additional information required to enable Animator to track execution using the .pco file rather than .cbl file.

When using COBSQL there is no need to deal directly with the .cbl file. Instead, add the .pco file to a NetExpress project, or open it with Animator.

3.2.3 Sample Programs

Oracle provides sample programs to demonstrate the use of Pro*COBOL with Oracle database features. See "Sample Files" for a listing of these programs.

This section describes how to use the basic precompiling, compiling, and linking commands to build the sample programs. This section also describes the preparations required for running the Pro*COBOL sample programs. Building the Demonstration Tables

To run the Pro*COBOL sample programs, you must have a database account with the username scott and the password tiger. If this account does not exist on your database, create one before running the sample programs.

The scott account must contain the emp and dept tables. If the account does not contain these tables, use the demobld.sql script to create them.

To run the demobld.sql script:

  1. Start SQL*Plus.

  2. Connect to the database as username scott with password tiger.

  3. Run the demobld.sql script. For example:

    SQL> @ORACLE_BASE\ORACLE_HOME\sqlplus\demo\demobld.sql Building the Sample Programs

Pro*COBOL supplies the makeit.bat file which is listed in the next section, for building a MERANT Micro Focus COBOL sample file:

For release 9.2.0, the batch files are located in ORACLE_BASE\ORACLE_HOME \precomp\demo\procob2. For release 1.8.77, the files are located in ORACLE_BASE\ORACLE_HOME \precomp\demo\procob.

To build the sample programs:

  1. Run the batch files with any sample file. Do not include the file extension. For example:

    C:\ORACLE\ORA90\PRECOMP\DEMO\PROCOB2> makeit sample1
  2. Ensure that all paths and file names reflect the configuration of your system, if you encounter errors when building a sample program.

The commands to run the sample programs assume that the following are the current working directories:

  • ORACLE_BASE\ORACLE_HOME \precomp\demo\procob2 directory for release 9.2.0

  • ORACLE_BASE\ORACLE_HOME\precomp\demo\procob directory for release 1.8.77

You may need to modify the sample link script to reflect the configuration of your system. See "Compiling and Linking Pro*COBOL Applications" for more information.

The makeit.bat for release 9.2.0 contains the following:

procob iname=%1.pco ireclen=132 
cobol %1 /anim /litlink makesyn "COMP-5" = "COMP"; 
cbllink %1 /M%1 ORACLE_BASE\ORACLE_HOME\precomp\lib\orasql9.lib

For release 1.8.77, this batch file contains the following:

procob18 iname=%1.pco ireclen=132
cobol %1 /anim /litlink makesyn "COMP-5" = "COMP";
cbllink %1 /M%1 ORACLE_BASE\ORACLE_HOME\precomp\lib\orasql9.lib Sample Files

The Pro*COBOL sample files listed in Table 3-3 are located in the ORACLE_BASE\ORACLE_HOME\precomp\demo\procob2 (release 9.2.0) and/or ORACLE_BASE\ORACLE_HOME\precomp\demo\procob (release 1.8.77) directories. The SQL scripts are located in the ORACLE_BASE\ORACLE_HOME\precomp\demo\sql directory.

Table 3-3 Pro*COBOL Sample Programs

Sample Program Description
sample1.pco Simple query
sample2.pco Cursor operations
sample3.pco Host tables
sample4.pco Datatype equivalence
sample6.pco Dynamic SQL Method 1
sample7.pco Dynamic SQL Method 2
sample8.pco Dynamic SQL Method 3
sample9.pco Stored procedure call
calldemo.sql Stored procedure call
sample10.pco Dynamic SQL Method 4
sample11.pco Cursor variable operations
sample11.sql Cursor variable operations
sample12.pco Dynamic SQL Method 4 using ANSI dynamic SQL
sample13.pco Nested program
sampleco.pco Simple query and insert
sample14.pco Host table x (release 8.1.6 and on)
lobdemo1.pco LOB datatypes (release 8.1.6 and on)
lobdemo1.sql LOB datatypes (release 8.1.6 and on)