Overview
This course discusses in detail the definition and use of numeric fields in COBOL. It describes how to code the Data Division statements necessary to define each type of numeric field, how to initialize numeric fields, and how to use them efficiently in the Procedure Division. All types of arithmetic operations are covered. Upon completion of the course, you should have a strong working knowledge of arithmetic programming techniques in COBOL.
Approximate Study Time: 6 hours
Objectives
After completing this course, you should be able to:
 Code the COBOL statements (ADD, SUBTRACT, MULTIPLY, DIVIDE, and COMPUTE) to perform arithmetic operations on external decimal (display), packed decimal, binary, and floatingpoint fields
 Convert numbers from one to another among the binary, hexadecimal, and decimal formats
 Add and subtract hexadecimal numbers
 Code the Data Division statements necessary to define external decimal, binary, packed decimal, and floatingpoint fields
 Convert numbers from one to another among the external decimal, packed decimal, and binary formats
 Predict the results of a MOVE operation between numeric fields of different types and unequal length
 Predict the results of a comparison of numeric fields
 Code the COBOL statements necessary to initialize numeric fields to specified values
 Predict the results of an ADD CORRESPONDING or SUBTRACT CORRESPONDING operation
 Identify common errors resulting from invalid arithmetic operations
 Compute the length of a record containing external decimal, binary, packed decimal and/or floatingpoint fields
 Define work fields and output fields of sufficient size to hold all possible results, given a description of input fields and the arithmetic operations to be performed
 Round arithmetic results using the ROUNDED phrase, and use the ON SIZE ERROR phrase to catch truncation errors
 Recognize arithmetic inefficiencies in a given COBOL program segment
 Select data types, data field lengths, sign, and decimal position options to maximize program performance
 Use decimal scale factors in a PICTURE clause to cause scaling of a numeric item
 Identify the COBOL intrinsic function to perform a specified task
 Invoke an intrinsic function, given a description of the input data and the function desired
Topic Outline
Arithmetic Operations
Computer Numbering Systems (Optional)
Binary, Packed Decimal, and FloatingPoint Numbers
Arithmetic Programming Techniques
Accuracy and Length Considerations
Efficiency Considerations
Using Scale Factors
Intrinsic Functions
Audience
The course is suitable for entrylevel programming students with no prior COBOL experience. It can also be taken by COBOL/400 programmers who want to learn ILE COBOL.
Prerequisites
Before you begin your study of the material, you should know basic programming concepts and be acquainted with structured programming design techniques. In particular, you will be expected to understand program logic that is documented using pseudocode or structured flowcharts. You may have gained this knowledge from attending classes or from relevant work experience.
This course also assumes that you have a working knowledge of IBM i programming concepts and facilities. You can satisfy this prerequisite by successfully completing the courses in the following Manta series:
Finally, the course assumes that you have completed the previous courses of this series:
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