COBOL Style Checker Tool

The COBOL Style Checker tool performs a variety of programming style check on COBOL software source code bases of arbitrary size. It is a member of Semantic Designs' family of Style Checker tools.

COBOL Style Checker Features

  • Dialects: IBM Enterprise Version 3, Release 4
  • Works with arbitrary subsets of source code base
  • Can handle tens of thousands of files
  • Can style check COBOL programs with copybooks included or not
  • Can style check freestanding copybooks
  • Supports user choice of style checking rules to be applied
  • Diagnostics described at two levels of detail and annotated with severity
  • Diagnostics include diagnosis of:
    • dead procedural code identification
    • unreferenced data declarations
    • unreachable PROCEDURE DIVISION code
    • reused identifier names
    • inconsistent MOVE arguments
    • group level structure assignments, initializations, and reference modifications
    • adherence to variable naming conventions and commenting conventions
    • use of COBOL constructs that are archaic or result in fragile code
    • unstructured DEBUG code
    • numeric literals in procedural code
    • uninitialized numeric data
    • a variety of other checks
  • Warnings issued when proposed modifications involve copylibs
  • Produces a text report illustrating the nature and location of errors and suggesting repairs
  • Produces an XML report with the same content, and includes an XSLT script (which you can customize) for transforming to HTML
  • Produces a statistical summary of the diagnostics, collating total diagnostics by rule and by file, and collating each file's diagnostic by rule
  • Style Checker can run on platform separate from system execution platform

Eclipse/RDz COBOL Style Checker User Interface

For installations using the Rational Development for System Z (RDz) Environment, the Style Checker tool has an RDz-based, interactive GUI that supports:

  • Direct invocation and re-invocation of the Style Checker on files in RDz project
  • Browsing of diagnostic results in an expandable tree view
  • Presentation of suggested repairs or fixes
  • Tree view diagnostics linked and integrated with an LPEX COBOL editor
  • User-guided automatic application of patches to implement fixes in LPEX editor buffer for some diagnostics
  • Safeguards for copylib manipulations and for synchronization of diagnostics to editor contents
  • Direct access to statistical summaries

Here is a screenshot (in a pop-up window) of the RDz Style Checker display, diagnosing an IF statement that could be converted to an EVALUATE statement. If you have popups disabled, try this link: screen shot. Under the severity, rule group, and rule name, the tree view is opened to the highlighted diagnostic, which describes where the problem was located in the source code and a snippet of the problem code. It also shows that an automated fix is proposed, the beginning of which appears in the Description column. The editor highlights the diagnosed code in the original source file.

Next, in pop-up screenshot or screen shot, we picture a context menu that pops up when you click on the fix indicator. "Apply Fix" is one of the options. Finally, in pop-up screenshot or screen shot, the editor highlights the new code that has automatically replaced the old code in response to applying the fix.

Other COBOL dialects and site-specific customizations can be accommodated.

Semantic Designs also provides other COBOL Tools.

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COBOL Style Checker