Training materials and labs for a "Getting Started" level course on COBOL

Overview

License

COBOL Programming Course

This project is a set of training materials and labs for COBOL on z/OS. The following books are available within this repository. To get started, follow the steps in their respective READMEs.

If you run into any issues, please don't hesitate to reach out on our slack channel.

Discussion

You can connect with the community in a variety of ways...

Contributing

Pull requests are welcome. For major changes, please open an issue first to discuss what you would like to change.

All contributions must align with the Open Mainframe Project contribution guidelines, including having a DCO signoff on all commits.

Governance

This project is openly governed as defined in GOVERNANCE.md.

Credits

The courseware materials were made available through a joint collaboration IBM, it's clients, and American River College and proposed as a new project by IBM.

Video Course Links

Issues
  • Stuck at Chapter 4.6 and Credentials

    Stuck at Chapter 4.6 and Credentials

    Is provided pdf final course or I need to wait a bit for videos? I managed VSCode to work with provided files, and to highlight code correctly. Now I started to read and follow provided pdf, and I am stuck at chapter 4.6.

    I made new connection to z/OS with username Z99998 and provided URL in figure 8. For the password I used "1234". And now I get error "Invalid Credentials. Please ensure the username and password for LearnCOBOL are valid or this may lead to a lock-out."

    I find this guide very confusing, because I do not have very much of experience with VSCode, and this is my first glance at COBOL and z/OS.

    So, is this pdf final guide, or I need to wait a bit for a videos, so I can get into learning?

    opened by negovan13 52
  • Tools and resources

    Tools and resources

    Thank you for OpenMainframeProject! Nowadays software engineering is driven by openness, not elitism.

    I have some background in Java, C#, PHP and JS. After reading the COBOL-calling posts last Friday, I decided to explore the new old-school tech-stack. Read Programmer's guide, Language reference, installed software and completed online training (actually 1.5 courses, to obtain IBM ID and Z/OS machine with ISPF and JCL on top). In addition to decimal math, I found the declarative validation and the representation of data in COBOL absolutely impressive.

    The bad news is the enthusiasts are unable to design their flows of software delivery (CI/CD) unhindered. Please correct my findings below.

    Training courses

    • None by IBM.
    • COBOL Programming in Easy and Practical Methods. Online, 7 hours long.
    • Mainframe: The Complete COBOL Course From Beginner To Expert. Online, 9.5 hours long.

    Certification

    • None by IBM.
    • Online by Udemy.

    Editor

    • IBM Z Open Development IDE. Not really useful without own Mainframe, "The IBM license key cannot be found."
    • IBM Z Open Editor Plugin for VS Code.

    Compiler

    • IBM Enterprise COBOL. Available only to members of IBM PartnerWorld.
    • GnuCobol. Good, but partially incompatible with IBM Enterprise COBOL.

    Debugger

    • Debugger for Mainframe by Broadcom. Not really useful without own Mainframe.

    Profiler

    • ?

    Static analysis

    • ?

    Unit testing

    • cobol-unit-test by Neopragma.

    Code coverage

    • ?

    Presentation environment

    • IBM Z/OS on own Mainframe.
    • Hercules emulator. Not really useful without IBM DASD image which is available only to members of IBM PartnerWorld.

    Modern engineering expects that the first 3 milestones of "learn->try->present->sell->maintain" are easily and quickly achievable. IBM need to invest into the community and "open the doors" first. Only people keep the technology alive.

    opened by OlegKunitsyn 33
  • Is that whole course?

    Is that whole course?

    I would like to say thanks to you! It were so nice to touch mainframes and history of programming languages.

    But, should I wait for appearance of more complex tasks, that make me closer to mainframes & COBOL reality?

    opened by zvookiejoo 19
  • Automatically generate PDF using CI

    Automatically generate PDF using CI

    Now that there is a PDF file generated from Markdown, perhaps remove the PDF from Git and use CI (e.g. Travis CI) to automatically keep the PDF file up to date and upload it somewhere, e.g. using GitHub Pages for the repo?

    enhancement 
    opened by FranklinChen 16
  • updating the Getting Started course images

    updating the Getting Started course images

    Signed-off-by: ahmedEid1 [email protected]


    Updated:

    • [ ] the Labs
    • [ ] images for installation and working in VS-Code

    Not updated:

    • [ ] the code snippets inside the contents of the chapters

    Notes

    • [ ] After creating a new profile three new prompts were not in the images so added them after image073 as :
      • Image073-1
      • Image073-2
      • Image073-3

    ps: kept the old name of the images for ease of comparison


    Suggestion:

    • [ ] maybe the images should be reorganized such that images under the same chapter, lab, or heading in the same folder with some kind of hierarchy
    opened by ahmedEid1 13
  • Willing to translate .docx to markdown

    Willing to translate .docx to markdown

    Hi @jmertic I saw your message over on the hackernews thread. I'm interested in following the course and learning COBOL but as it is I feel perfectly qualified to open some word docs and transpose them into markdown, let me know I can help.

    opened by jazzyjackson 13
  • Lab 1: Error creating profile and accessing data sets

    Lab 1: Error creating profile and accessing data sets

    Hello, I am reading the guide and got to Lab 1. I registered for and received my mainframe ID and password (yay). I followed the steps up through the "accept" selection... at that point I get the following error:

    "Expect Error: Could not locate the profile type configuration for "rse" within the input configuration list passed..."

    It did create the "Favorites" folders and I was able to get through to the filter step but then get this error: "Invalid Credentials. Please ensure the username and password for LearnCOBOL are valid or this may lead to a lock-out."

    Could you please help me?

    opened by MLo8 11
  • Rename CBL0033J to CBL0003J

    Rename CBL0033J to CBL0003J

    Signed-off-by: Hartanto Ario Widjaya [email protected]

    This would fix #198. It appears #153 is not merged into the mainframe system, thus resulting in confusion with the PDF content.

    Personally, I would prefer that the new CBL0003.cbl be renamed to something else or adopt the CBL0033 naming (8af11a09e2218c03901ebf877b40fbceb73e02b6) to prevent confusion with existing tutorials and PDF which are already on circulation (such as Coursera, Pluralsight and the IBM Learning Platform).

    opened by tanto259 10
  • I give up! Compile PDF is a waste of time!

    I give up! Compile PDF is a waste of time!

    After an hour and a half of trying to get the LaTex files to compile. I have decided it's just not worth the effort. There is no training worth this much hassle, just to get the lessons. It's senseless. I don't see it getter better; even if I could get the pdfs to compile.

    Questions I'm left with:

    1. how much electricity has been wasted by numerous people having to compile the pdfs, and download the supporting software?
    2. Why not a format that's easily usable, and lightweight like HTML instead? Would that offend the open-source gods who demand fealty to the make-it-as-difficult-as-possible-so-we-feel-superior rule? Or is posting a LaTex file way more cool, and possibly impressive to the "open sores" crowd?
    3. Why did I have to download THREE software packages I will NEVER use again, for THREE pdfs? Especially considering lightweight alternatives were easily available.
    4. Why did the creator of this course not give one minute of thought to the user of this "course?" Was usability not even considered?
    5. Why PDF? the idea of PDFs is to stop the end-user from changing the info. That is NOT necessary here.

    The difference between professionals and amateurs is simple. Amateurs are more worried about looking good/cool, and impressing people who really don't matter; Pros want to get things done. The same can be said about "open source" vs "professional" software.

    opened by ClassRepo 10
  • Future COBOL Friday Topic Requests

    Future COBOL Friday Topic Requests

    I’m interested in starting a list somewhere, which would allow community members to request topics of interest to be the subject of future COBOL Friday Webinars. And, through the use of some kind of polling mechanism, allow the entire community to vote for the topics (ranking them in order of preference or just allow one vote per week, etc.) that they are most interested in. Where would be the best place to do this? Looking for feedback from others regarding the interest in this subject. Please leave comments below.

    Suggested as possible future topics:

    1. Real world situations - Loading a spreadsheet full of input data into a mainframe, COBOL readable input file, i.e. properly converting raw input, which would include numbers, negative numbers and text, even introducing literals into the converted file. Note: I could present this session.

    2. Practical uses of DFSORT and/or ICETOOL.

    discussion 
    opened by sccosel 10
  • Error of Authorizaton failed on STEP 20, of Lab 1

    Error of Authorizaton failed on STEP 20, of Lab 1

    I'm getting the following error on this step of Lab1:

    20. Expand Z99998.CBL to view COBOL source members, then select member HELLO to see a simple COBOL ‘Hello World!’ program as shown in Figure 21. Retrieving response from zowe.List Error: z/OSMF REST API Error: Rest API failure with HTTP(S) status 500 category: 4 rc: 8 reason: 0 message: LMOPEN error details: - ISRZ002 Authorization failed - You may not use this protected data set. Open 913 abend.

    Until there everything works. I'm using this address https://192.86.32.250:10443 with my user id and password received on e-mail.

    Someone else is getting the same error?

    opened by thyarles 10
  • Split course 1 into course 1 and course 2

    Split course 1 into course 1 and course 2

    Proposed changes

    Divide Course 1 into Course 0 and Course 1

    Type of change

    • [ ] Bug fix (change which fixes one or more issues)
    • [ ] New feature (change which adds functionality or features to the course)
    • [ ] Translations (change which adds or modifies translations of the course)
    • [x] Documentation (change which modifies documentation related to the course)
    • [ ] This change requires an update to the course's z/OS environment

    Checklist:

    • [x] I have read the Contributing Guideline
    • [x] I have included a title and description for this PR
    • [x] I have DCO-signed all of my commits that are included in this PR
    • [x] I have tested it manually and there are no regressions found
    • [x] I have commented my code, particularly in hard-to-understand areas (if appropriate)
    • [x] I have made corresponding changes to the documentation (if appropriate)
    documentation 
    opened by pathange-s 2
  • Add SPDX ID for Lab Materials

    Add SPDX ID for Lab Materials

    Proposed changes

    This PR adds SPDX ID and copyright statements for Lab Materials as suggested at the Project Charter, exceptions being the IBM-supplied JCL procedures (IGYWC, IGYWCL, IGYWCLG, and DSNUPROC).

    Type of change

    What type of changes does your PR introduce to the COBOL Programming Course? Put an x in the boxes that apply.

    • [ ] Bug fix (change which fixes one or more issues)
    • [ ] New feature (change which adds functionality or features to the course)
    • [ ] Translations (change which adds or modifies translations of the course)
    • [X] Documentation (change which modifies documentation related to the course)
    • [ ] This change requires an update to the course's z/OS environment

    Checklist:

    Put an x in the boxes that apply. You can also fill these out after creating the PR. If you're unsure about any of them, don't hesitate to ask. We're here to help! This checklist will be used as reference for both the contributor and the reviewer

    • [X] I have read the Contributing Guideline
    • [X] I have included a title and description for this PR
    • [X] I have DCO-signed all of my commits that are included in this PR
    • [X] I have tested it manually and there are no regressions found
    • [ ] I have commented my code, particularly in hard-to-understand areas (if appropriate)
    • [ ] I have made corresponding changes to the documentation (if appropriate)
    documentation 
    opened by tanto259 0
  • Update course with survey result from COBOL WG

    Update course with survey result from COBOL WG

    Course Details

    GitHub

    Description

    The first chapter of Course 1 highlights several facts on the use of COBOL on today's era.

    With the recent survey conducted by the COBOL Working Group, we may want to take a look at the result of the survey, and incorporate that to the chapter or replace the existing content with updated and cited data from the survey.

    Problems

    No response

    Additional Context

    Links:

    • Survey results are available on this TechChannel article: https://techchannel.com/Trends/10/2021/special-report-cobol-survey
    • COBOL Working Group mailing list: https://lists.openmainframeproject.org/g/wg-cobol

    Currently listed statements:

    COBOL is everywhere. You have probably used an application written in COBOL today. For example, consider the following statistics:

    • About 95% of ATM swipes use COBOL code.
    • COBOL powers 80% of in-person transactions.
    • Every day, COBOL systems handle $3 trillion in commerce.

    How pervasive is COBOL? Consider these mind-boggling facts:

    • Every day there are 200 times more COBOL transactions executed than there are Google searches.
    • There are over 220 billion lines of COBOL programs running today, which equates to around 80% of the world's actively used code.
    • 1,500,000,000 lines of new COBOL code are written each year.
    enhancement good first issue 
    opened by tanto259 0
  • Readable and maintainable COBOL code

    Readable and maintainable COBOL code

    Hi,

    Thank you for the work done around learning the COBOL language.

    In addition to the syntax elements of the COBOL language, do you plan to approach COBOL programming styles allowing the production of readable code, (ability to understand processes), maintainable code, (ability to modify code with minimum work), debugable code, (ability to trace code or analyze dumps)?

    See the discussion I open on an other site: https://github.com/IBM/zopeneditor-about/discussions/131

    A discussion on this subject could also be opened on this site.

    enhancement 
    opened by FALLAI-Denis 0
  • Improve the course on libraries

    Improve the course on libraries

    • What is the standard structure of the exportable source-code library?
    • How the libraries are usually managed?
    • How the libraries are usually integrated into the programs?
    • What is the standard application-level package manager (e.g. Maven, NuGet)?
    enhancement 
    opened by OlegKunitsyn 0
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