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Beginning COBOL for Programmers by Michael Coughlan

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CHAPTER 17

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Direct Access Files

When I learned COBOL many years ago, direct access files, and particularly indexed files, were the jewel in COBOL’s crown. No other mainstream programming language provided native support for file organizations of such versatility. Nowadays, the predominance of databases means that the importance of direct access files in modern COBOL programming is greatly reduced. Nevertheless, the huge inventory of legacy programs that still use direct access files makes these file organizations a worthwhile topic of discussion.

This chapter introduces you to COBOL’s direct access file organizations: indexed and relative files. ...

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