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COBOL (Common Business-Oriented Language) is designed specifically for business applications, featuring a syntax that uses human-readable English words to make it accessible even to non-programmers. Known for its support of record-oriented file processing, COBOL excels at handling large data volumes typical in business settings. Despite being over six decades old, it remains relevant in legacy systems within finance, banking, and government sectors due to its capability of long-term data retention without system interruptions.

Created in 1959 by Grace Hopper and her team, COBOL aimed to be easily understood by business professionals rather than just computer programmers. This focus on readability and accessibility contributed significantly to its widespread adoption and enduring presence in industries requiring robust data processing capabilities. The language's primary function is efficient processing of large volumes of business data stored in record-oriented files, catering especially well to the needs of sectors like finance and governmental operations.

COBOL distinguishes itself through unique features such as English-like syntax that enhances readability for non-programmers and structured record-oriented file processing ideal for large datasets. Although facing competition from languages like Java, C#, and Python which offer platform independence, integration with Microsoft technologies, or extensive libraries respectively; COBOL’s specialization in record-processing and sturdy presence in critical industries underscore its continued relevance. These attributes have solidified COBOL as a dependable choice for organizations needing effective communication of business logic along with stable long-term data management solutions.

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