What is new in Enterprise COBOL for z/OS 6.3 and COBOL 6.3 with PTFs installed

This section lists new and improved features in Enterprise COBOL for z/OS® 6.3 and Enterprise COBOL for z/OS 6.3 with PTFs installed.

Enterprise COBOL for z/OS supports the continuous delivery (CD) model so that you can receive new features and enhanced capabilities as soon as the code is ready without waiting for the next release. The below feature descriptions that begin with an APAR number are introduced in the PTFs that are shipped with Enterprise COBOL for z/OS V6.3. Install the latest PTFs using the FIXCAT feature of SMP/E to take advantage of these features. For more information on SMP/E FIXCATs, see Determining service required. For more information on PTFs and APARs for Enterprise COBOL for z/OS, see the COBOL for z/OS support page.

The enhancements that are described in this section also have an associated cross-reference to the COBOL publications for your convenience.

The changes mainly fall into the following categories:
  • AMODE 64 (64-bit) support
    Enhanced language elements:
    • POINTER and POINTER-32 phrases
    • SYNCHRONIZED clause
    • Intrinsic functions LENGTH, ULENGTH, UPOS, USUPPLEMENTARY, and UVALID
    • Support for compiling programs that contain UTF-8 data items with LP(64) (service)
    • Support for compiling programs that contain dynamic-length elementary items with LP(64) (service)
  • UTF-8 support
    • New USAGE clause of UTF-8
  • Support of 2002 and 2014 COBOL standards

    New DYNAMIC LENGTH clause

    The REPOSITORY paragraph FUNCTION specifier INTRINSIC

    New date and time intrinsic functions (service)
    • COMBINED-DATETIME
    • FORMATTED-CURRENT-DATE
    • FORMATTED-DATE
    • FORMATTED-DATETIME
    • FORMATTED-TIME
    • INTEGER-OF-FORMATTED-DATE
    • SECONDS-FROM-FORMATTED-TIME
    • SECONDS-PAST-MIDNIGHT
    • TEST-DATE-YYYYMMDD
    • TEST-DAY-YYYYDDD
    • TEST-FORMATTED-DATETIME
  • JSON enhancements
    Statement Description
    JSON GENERATE New phrases (service):
    • NAME is OMITTED
    • CONVERTING
    • when-phrase
    • generic-suppression-phrase
    JSON PARSE New phrases (service):
    • CONVERTING
  • Other language element changes
    • POINTER-32 phrase added to USAGE clause
    • Restored capability of CALL ... USING (service)
    • New UUID4 intrinsic function (service)
  • Compiler option changes
    New Changed Deprecated

    LP

    TUNE (service)

    INVDATA (service)

    ARCH

    INITCHECK (service)

    NUMCHECK (service)

    TEST (service)

    RULES (service)

    SOURCE (service)

    OFFSET (service)

    ZONEDATA (service)

  • Migration assistance
    • New runtime option IGZCOMPAT for MERGE statement
    • New option QSAMBUFFINITCHAR added to IGZUOPT module
  • Listing changes
  • Installation customization changes
  • Compiler message changes
    New Removed

    IGYCB7315-W

    IGYCB7316-W

    IGYCB7317-W

    IGYCB7318-W

    IGYPS0212-S

AMODE 64 (64-bit) support

You can now develop AMODE 64 (64-bit) applications with Enterprise COBOL.

Consider the changes in development and compilation. (Compiling, binding, and running COBOL AMODE 64 applications)

The following language elements are enhanced to provide the AMODE 64 support:

Using POINTER and POINTER-32 phrases under LP(64)
When LP(32) is in effect, the USAGE POINTER and USAGE POINTER-32 data types are synonyms. However, they behave differently when LP(64) is in effect.
  • A POINTER data item can be SET to a value from a POINTER-32 data item. The high-order word of the POINTER data item is cleared to zero. (POINTER phrase)
  • A POINTER-32 data item can be SET to a value from a POINTER data item. Only the low-order word of the POINTER data item is used in this case. It is a programming error if the high-order word of the AMODE 64 POINTER data item is not zero. (POINTER-32 phrase)
Using SYNCHRONIZED clause under LP(64)
If the SYNCHRONIZED clause is specified for data items that have the following usages, the items will be aligned on a fullword boundary if LP(32) is in effect, or on a doubleword boundary if LP(64) is in effect. (SYNCHRONIZED clause)
Note the following usages when you compile code under LP(64):
Using intrinsic functions under LP(64)
When you compile with LP(64), you must be aware that the returned value is an 18-digit integer. On the other hand, when you compile with LP(32), the returned value of the following intrinsic functions is a 9-digit integer.
Compiling programs that contain UTF-8 data items with LP(64)
PH18638: You can compile programs with the LP(64) option when the program contains UTF-8 data items.
Compiling programs that contain dynamic-length elementary items with LP(64)
PH18640: You can compile programs with the LP(64) option when the program contains dynamic-length elementary items. (Dynamic-length items)

UTF-8 support

With the native language support for UTF-8, you can now define, move, and compare UTF-8 data items.
  • The native support for UTF-8 data items is provided by a new USAGE clause of UTF-8, plus a picture symbol 'U', which together define a new class, category, and USAGE of data in Enterprise COBOL. (Symbols used in the PICTURE clause)
  • The UTF-8 literal formats that Enterprise COBOL provides are basic UTF-8 literals and hexadecimal notation for UTF-8 literals. (UTF-8 literals)
  • You can work directly with UTF-8 data. (Using UTF-8 data (Unicode) in COBOL)

Support of 2002 and 2014 COBOL standards

New DYNAMIC LENGTH clause
Use this clause to specify a dynamic-length elementary item. A dynamic-length elementary item is a data item whose length might change at run time. This is part of the 2014 COBOL Standard. (DYNAMIC LENGTH clause)
The REPOSITORY paragraph FUNCTION specifier INTRINSIC
INTRINSIC allows declaration of intrinsic function names that may be used without specifying the word FUNCTION. This is part of the 2002 COBOL Standard. (REPOSITORY paragraph)
PH31047: New date and time intrinsic functions
New date and time intrinsic functions are introduced that support encoding and decoding of date and time information to and from formats specified in ISO 8601, and that support encoding and decoding date and time information to and from integers that are suitable for arithmetic.
Note: COBOL Runtime LE APAR PH31133 must also be applied on all systems where programs that make use of these new date and time intrinsic functions are linked or run.
Support for 2002 COBOL Standard:
  • TEST-DATE-YYYYMMDD: Tests whether a date in standard date form (YYYYMMDD) is a valid date in the Gregorian calendar. (TEST-DATE-YYYYMMDD)
  • TEST-DAY-YYYYDDD: Tests whether a date in Julian date form (YYYYDDD) is a valid date in the Gregorian calendar. (TEST-DAY-YYYYDDD)
Support for 2014 COBOL Standard:
  • COMBINED-DATETIME: Combines a date in integer date form and a time in standard numeric time form into a single numeric item from which both date and time components can be derived. (COMBINED-DATETIME)
  • FORMATTED-CURRENT-DATE: Returns a character string that represents the current date and time provided by the system on which the function is evaluated. (FORMATTED-CURRENT-DATE)
  • FORMATTED-DATE: Converts a date from its integer date form to the requested format. (FORMATTED-DATE)
  • FORMATTED-DATETIME: Uses a combined time and date format to convert and combine a date in the integer date form and a numeric time expressed as seconds past midnight to a formatted date and time representation according to that combined date and time format. (FORMATTED-DATETIME)
  • FORMATTED-TIME: Uses a format to convert a value that represents seconds past midnight to a formatted time of day in the requested format. (FORMATTED-TIME)
  • INTEGER-OF-FORMATTED-DATE: Converts a date that is in a specified format to an integer date form. (INTEGER-OF-FORMATTED-DATE)
  • SECONDS-FROM-FORMATTED-TIME: Converts a time that is in a specified format to a numeric value that represents the number of seconds after midnight. (SECONDS-FROM-FORMATTED-TIME)
  • SECONDS-PAST-MIDNIGHT: Returns a value in standard numeric time form that represents the current local time of day provided by the system on which the function is evaluated. (SECONDS-PAST-MIDNIGHT)
  • TEST-FORMATTED-DATETIME: Tests whether a data item that represents a date, a time, or a combined date and time is valid according to the specified format. (TEST-FORMATTED-DATETIME)

JSON enhancements

You can watch this video to get an overview of the JSON support in Enterprise COBOL for z/OS V6.

New NAME is OMITTED phrase
PH18641: A new NAME is OMITTED phrase is added to the JSON GENERATE statement to allow generation of an anonymous JSON object, whose top-level parent name is not generated. (JSON GENERATE statement)
New CONVERTING phrase
PH26789: A new CONVERTING phrase is added to the JSON GENERATE and JSON PARSE statements so that you can generate and parse JSON boolean values:
Note: COBOL Runtime LE APAR PH26698 must also be applied on all systems where programs that make use of this new feature are linked or run.
New when-phrase and generic-suppression-phrase
PH30975: New when-phrase and generic-suppression-phrase are added to the JSON GENERATE statement so that you can conditionally suppress data items during JSON GENERATE. (JSON GENERATE statement)
Note: COBOL Runtime LE APAR PH31172 must also be applied on all systems where programs that make use of this new feature are linked or run.

Other language element changes

POINTER-32 phrase added to USAGE clause
A POINTER-32 phrase is added to the USAGE clause, which can be used to define pointer data items or data-pointers. (POINTER-32 phrase)
Restored capability of CALL ... USING
PH20724: The use of passing a file-name to a subprogram with the USING phrase of the CALL statement was removed in Enterprise COBOL V6.3, but is restored in Enterprise COBOL V6.3 with PTF for APAR PH20724 installed.
New UUID4 intrinsic function
  • PH20997: The UUID4 intrinsic function is introduced.
  • PH34885: The UUID4 randomness and UUID4 intrinsic function require significant CPU usage.
Note: COBOL Runtime LE PTF UI66560(V2R2)/UI66555(V2R3)/UI66557(V2R4) must also be applied on all systems where programs that make use of this new feature are linked or run.
(UUID4)

Compiler option changes

New compiler options
LP
Use LP to indicate whether an AMODE 31 (31-bit) or AMODE 64 (64-bit) program should be generated with the related language features enabled. LP(32) is the default. (LP)
TUNE
PH34804: Use TUNE to specify the architecture for which the executable program will be optimized. (TUNE)
INVDATA
PH37328: INVDATA replaces the deprecated ZONEDATA compiler option and provides users fine-grained control over how the compiler generates code to handle USAGE DISPLAY and USAGE PACKED-DECIMAL data items that contain invalid data. (INVDATA)
Modified compiler options
ARCH
ARCH(7) is no longer accepted.
A new higher level of ARCH(13) is accepted.
ARCH(8) is the default.
(ARCH)
INITCHECK
PH22581: New suboptions LAX | STRICT are added to control whether the compiler will issue warning messages for data items unless they are initialized on at least one, or on all, logical paths to a statement. (INITCHECK)
NUMCHECK
Regardless of whether NUMCHECK(MSG) or NUMCHECK(ABD) is specified, invalid data found at compile time will produce a compile-time error message and the check will be removed.
PH27536: NUMCHECK(ZON) provides new suboptions LAXREDEF | STRICTREDEF to control whether the compiler will check and issue warning messages for redefined items.
PH29542: NUMCHECK(BIN) provides new suboptions TRUNCBIN| NOTRUNCBIN to control whether the compiler will generate the checking code for binary data items.
PTF UI71591 (no APAR number): NUMCHECK is enhanced with the capability to check alphanumeric senders whose contents are being moved to a numeric receiver. For alphanumeric senders whose contents are being moved to a numeric receiver, the compiler treats the sender as a numeric integer so NUMCHECK generates an implicit numeric class test for each alphanumeric sender.
(NUMCHECK)
TEST
Runtime APARs PH29755(V2R3/V2R4) and PH30338(V2R3/V2R4 AMODE 64): New support is added for LLA/VLF managed programs where DWARF diagnostic information is included. (TEST)
RULES
PH33122: New suboptions LAXREDEF | NOLAXREDEF are added to inform users of redefined items with mismatched lengths. (RULES)
SOURCE
PH35643: New suboptions DEC | HEX are added to control whether the generated sequence numbers for the listing of the source are in decimal or hexadecimal format. (SOURCE)
OFFSET
PH35652: The OFFSET option behavior is changed. If there are multiple blocks of instructions for a single line of COBOL code, multiple entries will be generated for those instructions in the OFFSET table. (OFFSET)
Deprecated compiler option
ZONEDATA
PH37328: This compiler option is deprecated but tolerated and is automatically mapped to an equivalent form of the new INVDATA compiler option. (ZONEDATA)

Migration assistance

New runtime option IGZCOMPAT for MERGE statement
Runtime APARs PH20569(V2R2) and PH21261(V2R3/V2R4): A new runtime option IGZCOMPAT for MERGE statement is introduced to obtain support for DFSORT option NOBLKSET and the conventional merge method for Enterprise COBOL V5 or later versions.
New option QSAMBUFFINITCHAR added to IGZUOPT module
Runtime APAR PH25917: A new option QSAMBUFFINITCHAR is added to the IGZUOPT module that allows you to control the initial character used for QSAM buffer initialization. (Controlling initialization of QSAM buffer)

Listing changes

Listing terminologies change as follows:

Installation customization changes

  • The installation customization for placing compiler phases into shared storage is removed.
  • PH37331: Adds support for diagnosing miscoded options or options coded as OPTION() instead of OPTION= in the COBOL customization macro. (Changing the defaults for compiler options)

Compiler message changes

New messages
  • IGYCB7315-W: A reference modifier with a non-positive value was found. (IGYCB7315-W)
  • IGYCB7316-W: A reference-modification length with a non-positive value was found. (IGYCB7316-W)
  • IGYCB7317-W: A reference-modification length value caused reference to be made beyond the rightmost character of &1. (IGYCB7317-W)
  • IGYCB7318-W: A reference-modifier start value exceeded the number of characters in &1. (IGYCB7318-W)
Removed messages
  • IGYPS0212-S

Prefer video?

To get a quick overview of the major new features and enhancements in Enterprise COBOL for z/OS 6.3, watch the Video: What is new in Enterprise COBOL for z/OS 6.3.