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									During the 1950s, the western parts of the world experienced a tremendous need for a high level programming
language suitable for business data processing. To meet this demand the U.S. Dept of Defence convened a
conference on the 28th and 29th of May, 1958 to highlight and stress the importance of a high-level business data
processing language. The conference led to the formation of a team called CODASYL (Conference On DAta
Systems Language). This team had representatives from civil and governmental organisations, academics,
computer manufacturers and other software enthusiasts to work towards the goal. As a result, a new language
called COBOL (COmmon Business Oriented Language) was developed in September 1959. This was released with
some minor modifications in April 1960.

On May 5, 1961, COBOL-61 was published with some more revisions. It is this version which provided the
foundation for later versions. In 1965, a re-revised version of COBOL was released with a number of additional
features. However, it was only in 1968 that COBOL was approved by ANSI (American National Standards
Institute) as a standard language for commercial use. This version of COBOL is known as COBOL-68. The next
revised official standard was released in 1974 and is known as COBOL-74. Again, in 1985, a new ANSI version
of the language called the COBOL-85 was released incorporating a number of additional features. Today most
COBOL compilers adhere to the 1985 standard.

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