COBOL is a compiled computer programming language designed for business use. It is imperative, procedural and, since 2002, object-oriented. It was designed in 1959 by the Conference on Data Systems Languages and was largely based on previous programming language design work by Grace Hopper, commonly referred to as "the mother of COBOL". COBOL is primarily used in business, finance, and administrative systems for companies and governments. In 1997, Gartner Group estimated that there were a total of 200 billion lines of COBOL in existence which ran 80% of all business programs. COBOL was one of the first programming languages to be standardised: the first COBOL standard was issued by ANSI in 1968. The standard has been revised four times since then, with ISO publishing the latest standard as ISO/IEC 1989:2014.
COBOL Popularity Over Time