environment division

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environment division (plural environment divisions)

  1. (computing) The part of a COBOL program that specifies the hardware on which it is designed to run, the symbolic names to be used by files, and certain other specifications.
    • 1964, Franz Alt, Advances in computers:
      The developers of Cobol made explicit recognition of this problem by providing an environment division for programs, into which as many as possible of the machine- dependent aspects of a process are collected.
    • 1999, Gordon Bitter Davis, The Blackwell encyclopedic dictionary of management information:
      The environment division comprises two sections: the configuration section which holds information about the way in which a specific machine implements COBOL, and the input-output section, which describes external devices that will be accessed during execution of the program.
    • 2006, Knute Axelson, Mary Bellino, Dave Harper, Coding: The Handbook for Information Technology:
      The environment division is the link between the COBOL program and the computer and input-output devices the program uses.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The term is capitalized (as ENVIRONMENT DIVISION) in COBOL source code.