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COBOL General discussion FAQ


How to code control breaks? by slade
Posted: 1 Jun 01

                    This problem represents a major construct in business
                    programming, so the time you devote to this is well spent.

                    Input data is usually presented to a pgm in some sort sequence,


                    So you have a file level, an acct level, a product level and a date
                    level. These levels are important because they are used to process
                    the breaks in the program.

                    The general form is as follows:

                    perform level n until level n-1 is finished

                    For the file described above the perform sequence would be:

                    In the mainline you code:
                       perform acct-lev until file-is-finished
                    In the acct-lev you code:
                       perform prod-lev until acct-is-finished
                    In the prod-lev you code:
                       perform date-lev until prod-is-finished
                    In the date-lev you code:
                       perform detl-lev until date-is-finished
                    In the detl-lev you code:
                       Aggregate all detl recs; aggregate all level
                    totals; etc.
                       Read next I/P detl rec

                    OK now lets flesh this out. How do we determine
                    when each level is finished? One way is to
                    expand the function of the read routine to do

                        move ws-ip-rec to ws-ip-prev
                        read ip-file into ws-ip-rec
                          at end set ip-eof to true
                             move high-values to ws-ip-rec  
                         not at end add +1 to ws-ip-cnt
                       perform 7010-set-breaks
                        if curr-acct not = prev-acct
                           set acct-is-finished to true
                           set prod-is-finished to true
                           set date-is-finished to true
                        if curr-prod not = prev-prod
                           set prod-is-finished to true
                           set date-is-finished to true
                        if curr-date not = prev-date
                           set date-is-finished to true

                    Second question: We haven't read any data yet, how can we test
                    if the levels are finished? We do a priming read outside of the
                    loops, usually in the init or mainline section. After this read, if
                    EOF is detected, an error msg is displayed and the pgm is
                    usually exited because no input data has been provided.

                    How can the loops be executed if the "is-finished" switch has
                    already been set? They can't. So, we reset the switch before
                    executing each lower level:

                        perform 7000-read-ip
                        if ip-eof
                           display error msg
                           stop run
                        perform acct-lev until file-is-finished
                        perform 6900-print-rpt-end
                        perform 9000-end-it
                        stop run
                        perform 6000-print-rpt-heads
                        set reset-acct-sw to true
                        perform prod-lev until acct-is-finished
                        perform 6100-print-acct-tots
                        zero tots, etc.
                        set reset-prod-sw to true
                        perform date-lev until prod-is-finished
                        set reset-date-sw to true
                        perform detl-lev until date-is-finished
                        move ip data to rpt-line or whatever
                        perform 7000-read-ip

                    Note that the form of each level except the detail level is:

                    Do pre-break stuff (print rpt heads, save data that won't be
                    available after return from perform, etc.)

                    Reset the level switch.

                    Perform the next lower level.

                    Do post-break stuff (strike and/or zero or roll totals, write total
                    recs, etc.)

                    At the detail level process the previous rec and read the next rec
                    before exiting.

                    At entry to each level the record has already been read and is
                    ready for processing.

                    Here's what a break switch would look like:

                        01 ws-break-switches.
                           05 ws-acct-sw                 pic x(001).
                              88 acct-is-finished            value 'F'.
                              88 reset-acct-sw               value 'R'.

                    This example has 2 break levels so your performs
                    would look like:

                        perform 8000-init
                        perform 7000-read-ip
                        if ip-eof
                           display 'no data in i/p file'
                           stop run
                        perform 1000-process-codes until ip-eof
                        set reset-code-sw to true
                        perform 1100-process-detl until
                        collect data, etc.
                        perform 7000-read-ip

                    You have to ask: What do I do before the breaks; what do I do
                    after. The answers to these questions may differ from project to
                    project, but the basic concept: the cascading perform process is

                    There are are other slightly more efficient ways of solving this
                    problem but I tried to keep my version as "readable" as possible.
                    If you do a keyword search on "construct" you will find them
                    discussed in the thread started by "slade".    

                    This is one of the two major batch processing constructs in DP.
                    The other is the file match. When I get some time I'll post some-
                    thing on this.

                    Let me know if this helps or if you have any questions.


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