COBOL vs Visual Basic: Detailed Comparison - ByteScout
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COBOL vs Visual Basic: Detailed Comparison

One thing is certain in the IT world; it is Change in Technology. Even COBOL is an old language but there are some companies and organizations that are using this powerful language. Visual Basic was developed as a complete programming language. The main purpose was to integrate newly built programs with a graphical user interface of Windows. It is easy to use and support in Business, education, and many other applications.

Cobol vs Visual Basic

COBOL Visual Basic
COBOL was developed for business applications. It has been used in Banking Systems, Insurance Companies, and government departments.


The main purpose behind the creation of visual basic is rapid application development using the graphical user interface. Because it was being used in offices for quick support of business needs. VB drives from BASIC and there is few features reflecting from the predecessor language.
COBOL is primarily an imperative language. Since 2002, it was revised and adds functions that make it an Object-Oriented language. Visual Basic is a fully object-oriented language. It supports all modules of object-oriented programming such as polymorphism, inheritance, abstraction, and encapsulation.
COBOL is an imperative Programming language; it tells the program “How to do”. The impressive feature about COBOL is designed in an imperative and procedural way. Visual Basic was designed primarily to support imperative (Procedural) programs as well as Object-Oriented programming.
Yes, Cobol is a functional language. Yes. Visual Basic is a functional programming language and it is a form of declarative programming.
Cobol is a procedural language. As other procedural languages, it is written in a sequence of commands that tells the computer “What to do”. Initially, Visual Basic was considered as a procedural language, as we know that it is derived from BASIC. Later on, it had developed as fully Object-Oriented Language.
Cobol is not a generic language. Visual Basic can abstract and classify algorithms and data structures efficiently. So it is considered as a Generic programming language.
Cobol is a highly reflective programming language; it can modify its structure and behavior. Visual Basic is a reflective language.
Cobol is no need to include event-driven. It can simplify programming for event-driven environments and save the procedural structures of any program. Visual Basic handles flow and control of the program by firing of certain events as per its paradigm.


Procedural, Imperative and object-oriented. Object-Based and event-driven.
It has been revised four times from its standardized date 1968. Visual Basic has standardized in 1998 about 22 years ago.
COBOL has a Weak and Static typing discipline. Visual Basic has a Static and Strong typing discipline.
COBOL is developed by CODASYL, ANSI, ISO


Visual Basic is developed by Microsoft.


Both languages have own pros and cons. The purpose and intuition for the creation of any language give a unique shape at its peak.  We can say that both languages were designed to support business activities.

Therefore, COBOL is playing a role in Banking systems, Insurance Systems and government organizational activities. Similarly, Visual Basic was designed to catalyze the app development procedure.

On learning criteria, Visual Basic is easy to learn as compared to COBOL. But, the Developers of the current era cannot deny the power of COBOL. Remember; Developers from 60s – 70s, still love COBOL because they have some good memories when they spent the time to develop applications in COBOL for different Businesses, and organizations are using these apps at some levels.


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