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Combining Fujitsu COBOL 3.0, PowerCOBOL 3.0, Silverfrost FTN95, and Numerical Recipes: The Art of Scientific Computing1 - Overview

This is a tutorial of one way of using a COBOL "wrapper" (alternatively, an executive or dispatcher) main program to call a FORTRAN subroutine to calculate Average, Median, Standard Deviation, Variance, etc., for a series of grades (referred to as data points).  The COBOL main program performs user Input/Output by calling PowerCOBOL sheet(s).  This is a similar (but more refined) Software Design as Combining Fujitsu COBOL 3.0, PowerCOBOL 3.0, and the USPS Address Matching System API.

Screenshot of main I/O screen

The user interface, shown above, STF95IO, is a PowerCOBOL 3.0 sheet.  The user inputs the number of data points and up to 300 data points (or grades), then selects Calculate from the File menu.  The application then calculates Average, Variance, etc. by calling FORTRAN subprograms, and finally displays the results in sheet STF95IO.  This is an application that uses a:

  • Fujitsu COBOL 3.0 main program to coordinate calls; developed on a Pentium II running Win98SE;
    (Fujitsu's COBOL 3.0 is a conventional 3rd generation COBOL85 Win32 programming environment);
    main program uses different compiler options then the PowerCOBOL 3.0 sheet(s)
  • Fujitsu COBOL 3.0 subprogram to call PowerCOBOL 3.0 sheets through routine _POWEROPENSHEET;
    subprogram uses same compiler options as the PowerCOBOL 3.0 sheet(s);
    (Fujitsu's PowerCOBOL is a graphical programming environment that allows COBOL programmers to develop GUI applications with event-driven structures)
  • PowerCOBOL 3.0 sheet(s) for user input/output (each sheet linked into its own .DLL);
    sheet STF95IO, shown above, is used for inputting data points (using a table) and displaying the statistical results; may possibly add sheets to display bar graphs, etc.
    developed on a Pentium II running Win98SE
  • and Numerical Recipes Statistical Descriptions of Data subroutines written in Fortran with the Silverfrost FTN95 PLATO3 IDE (linked into its own .DLL); developed on a Pentium III running WinXP Pro SP2

Application has been tested on both the Win98SE and WinXP Pro SP2 platforms.


The Project Files
STF95COB.EXE - main Fujitsu COBOL 3.0 executable;
linked using Fujitsu's WINLINK (WINLINK is a 'front-end' for MicroSoft's linker)
STF95COB.COB - main Fujitsu COBOL 3.0 executable source code;
INVKSHT.LIB - import library file for INVKSHT.DLL - Fujitsu COBOL 3.0 subprogram compiled and linked from INVKSHT.COB
(invokes PowerCOBOL 3.0 sheet(s) through call to _POWEROPENSHEET);
linked using Fujitsu's WINLINK
F5BBRUNS.LIB - import library file for F5BBRUNS.DLL
(Fujitsu supplied .dll that includes _POWEROPENSHEET function);
STTSTCS.LIB - import library file for STTSTCS.DLL
(user written FORTRAN Numerical Recipes Statistical Descriptions of Data subroutines,
source code file STTSTCS.FOR,
compiled and linked with SilverFrost FTN95 PLATO3 IDE SLINK - be sure to use the correct import library file - see linking STTSTCS.OBJ);
SALFLIBC.LIB - import library file for SALFLIBC.DLL
(Silverfrost supplied FTN95 run time .dll);
needed by WINLINK;
various other library files imported by Microsoft linker;
Project Files


The COBOL program and PowerCOBOL sheets share data using a GLOBAL EXTERNAL data area (similar to a FORTRAN COMMON block).  The main COBOL program shares data with the FORTRAN subroutines BY REFERENCE in the CALL statement.


Passed Data: Application Binary Interface (these have been tested [except for COBOL and FORTRAN calling D and Pascal]; a blank box simply means the combination has not been tested; also DMD uses name mangling as well as a different object (.obj) and import library (.lib) file format than most other linkers, so linking in a D .dll using a D .lib may prove problematic) Check your platform and compiler documentation for any restrictions or extensions that may affect this.
COBOL Picture Clause Equivalent FORTRAN Data Type C Data Type D 2 Data Type Object Pascal 3
Data Type
Data Range 4 Size (bytes)
PIC S9(4) COMP-5 INTEGER*2 short short smallint -32768 to 32767 2
PIC S9(9) COMP-5 INTEGER*4 int int longint -2147483648 to 2147483647 4
COMP-1 REAL
(REAL*4)
(KIND=1)
float float single -1E-37 to 1E39 4
REAL*8 double double -5.0E-324 to 1.7E308 8
COMPLEX 5 cfloat 5 8
PIC X(n)

[n is some integer, number of characters (bytes)]
CHARACTER*n char <field-name>[n]

(<field-name> is the name of the variable)

data is not null terminated 6
char[n] <field-name> 7 array [1..n] of AnsiChar 8 ASCII Character Codes n



1. Press, William H., Brian P. Flannery, Saul A Teukolsky, and William T. Vetterling (1986). Numerical Recipes: The Art of Scientific Computing. New York:Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge.
2. D Programming Language - DMD v2.066.0 (D2 32-bit Command Prompt)
3. Free Pascal (FPC) is an implementation of Object Pascal
While Object Pascal has Integer and Real data types, depending on compiler modes/switches, Integer could be mapped to smallint or longint.  Reals are platform dependant.  Avoid using Integer and Real data types for passing data to/from external functions/procedures/subprograms, use short/smallint/INTEGER*2, double/double/REAL*8, etc.
Do not confuse C and D short with Free Pascal shortint.
Also applicable to Lazarus basic data types
4. For the floating point ranges, there is some variation among different references.
5. Do not return COMPLEX variables from a Silverfrost FORTRAN function to a DMD main program. The real and imaginary parts switch places within the COMPLEX variable.  This is probably a side effect of having to use
extern (Pascal) {...}
declaration in the D program.

Passing and receiving COMPLEX variables to/from a Silverfrost FORTRAN subroutine and a DMD D program does not produce this error.

6. This is a special COBOL case, see USPS Address Matching System API AMS ZIP4 Parameters, AMSZ4PRM.COB COBOL include file.
7. Pascal special case.   In D program extern (Pascal) {...} passed parameter data type, declare passed character data as ref char[<constant>]; in called Pascal Library, define character array in type declaration, in function/procedure received parameter list, define variable as a var (pass by reference)
8. Put in type declaration.
Char or AnsiChar. System unit defines AnsiChar to distinguish Char from WideChar.  In future versions of FPC, the Char type may become an alias for either WideChar or AnsiChar.  For now, Char and AnsiChar are equivalent.


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NOTE - Later versions of Fujitsu PowerCOBOL may be better equipped for calling FORTRAN subroutines.


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