The Z data type in COBOL is a special data type used to represent alphanumeric characters. It is often used when working with string data or when defining variables that can hold both letters and numbers.
Understanding the Z Data Type
In COBOL, the Z data type is defined using the “PIC” (Picture) clause. The “PIC” clause specifies the format and length of a variable. When using the Z data type, you would use the “PIC X” clause, where “X” represents a single alphanumeric character.
For example, let’s say you want to define a variable to store a name. You would use the following syntax:
01 NAME PIC X(20).
This declares a variable named “NAME” of type Z with a length of 20 characters.
Working with Z Data Type
Once you have defined a variable with the Z data type, you can perform various operations on it. Some common operations include:
- Moving values: You can move values from one Z-type variable to another using MOVE statement.
- Manipulating strings: COBOL provides various string manipulation functions like STRING, UNSTRING, INSPECT, etc., which can be used to manipulate Z-type variables.
- Comparing values: You can compare two Z-type variables using comparison operators like EQUAL TO (=), NOT EQUAL TO (<>), LESS THAN (<), GREATER THAN (>), etc.
Here’s an example that demonstrates how to use the Z data type in COBOL:
IDENTIFICATION DIVISION. PROGRAM-ID. Z-TYPE-EXAMPLE. DATA DIVISION. WORKING-STORAGE SECTION. 01 NAME PIC X(20). 01 AGE PIC 99. PROCEDURE DIVISION. MAIN-ROUTINE. MOVE 'John Doe' TO NAME. MOVE 30 TO AGE. DISPLAY 'Name: ' NAME. DISPLAY 'Age: ' AGE. STOP RUN.
In this example, we declare two variables – “NAME” and “AGE”. “NAME” is of type Z with a length of 20 characters, and “AGE” is of type Z with a length of 2 digits. We then move values to these variables using the MOVE statement and display their contents using the DISPLAY statement.
Name: John Doe
The Z data type in COBOL is a versatile data type that allows you to work with alphanumeric characters. It is commonly used when dealing with string data or when defining variables that can hold both letters and numbers. By understanding how to define and manipulate Z-type variables, you can efficiently work with string data in COBOL programs.