An Experimental Investigation of Comparative Operating Efficiency of a 4GL (Focus) and COBOL in a Workstation Environment

An Experimental Investigation of Comparative Operating Efficiency of a 4GL (Focus) and COBOL in a Workstation Environment

Bijoy Bordoloi (Oakland University, USA) and A. Milton Jenkins (University of Baltimore, USA)
Copyright: © 1990 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/joeuc.1990010103
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Abstract

Current MIS practitioner literature commonly asserts that commercial 4GLs should completely replace 3GLs in the area of business information processing. One important question in this regard is whether the processing speed of applications written in 4GLs is comparable to that of their 3GL counterparts. This paper examines this central question, presenting the results of a controlled experiment that compared the processing efficiency of FOCUS and COBOL in an IBM PC/AT environment. The experimental results indicated that FOCUS programs, on the average, execute slower compared to their COBOL counterparts. Operating efficiency of applications is considered to be an important contributory factor toward users’ perception of system quality. Thus, given the current state of 4GL technology, the assertion that the commercial 4GLs should completely replace COBOL may be premature. For those applications where efficiency is an important issue, the traditional 3GLs such as COBOL may still be preferred to commercial 4GLs such as FOCUS.

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