A Computerworld survey of 352 influential decision-maker/readers at enterprise data centers finds that Visual Basic yielded some interesting findings.
Perhaps the least surprising of these is that Visual Basic is the most commonly used programming language- in use by companies representing 67% of respondents. Given VB’s event-driven nature as well as its superior ability to convert information stored in databases into data displayed in Graphical User Interfaces, Visual Basic’s presence in 67% of respondent companies is almost to be expected.
The next three runners-up are a lot more surprising-especially since the usage percentage for each of them implies some organizational overlap.
Cobol? Isn’t that an increasingly obsolete programming language? Heck, that’s been around since 1960.
When you further parse other sets of numbers contained in this survey, then you see what’s up. The survey asked respondents if your organization uses Cobol, how much internally developed business application software is written in Cobol? Some 43 % of respondents said more than 60 percent, and another 16% said 31-50%.
The survey also asked if your organization uses Cobol, are you using it to develop new business applications? A majority, 58%, said yes.
What’s going on here is that Cobol is inexorably tied to the mainframe. While in retreat to network-powered desktops, mainframes haven’t gone away. With that installed base, Cobol – and its superior ability to enable batch-processing applications- will always have a place.