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Calling COBOL from PL/SQL

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting

October 24, 2012


Question: I want to write PL/SQL that calls a COBOL program.  I understand that you can call Java from PL/SQL and that Java can in turn call COBOL.  So how do I execute a COBOL program from PL/SQL?

Answer:  Fir starts, make sure that if the COBOL program has embedded SQL, that you run it through the Pro*C precompiler.  You call a COBOL program using the host.java procedure.

The Host.java procedure is loaded in the same way as a PL/SQL stored procedure.

SQL> @Host.java

In order to call the Java stored procedure, a PL/SQL call specification must be published. This is essentially a PL/SQL wrapper with the correct parameter list which allows the Java code to be called as if it were a PL/SQL procedure or function

-- *************************************************
-- *************************************************
-- Parameters:
-- 1) Host command or executable file to execute.
-- ***********************************************************
 
CREATE OR REPLACE PROCEDURE host_command (p_command IN VARCHAR2)
AS LANGUAGE JAVA
NAME 'Host.executeCommand (java.lang.String)';
/
 
By default, the JServer has very little access to the operating system of the database server. To make sure there are no problems accessing the file system and operating system commands, the appropriate permissions using the grant_permission procedure of the dbms_java package must be given to the user.
 
PROCEDURE grant_permission (
grantee IN VARCHAR2,
permission_type IN VARCHAR2,
permission_name IN VARCHAR2,
permission_action IN VARCHAR2)
 
Assuming that job_user is the schema that owns the Host Java stored procedure, the following permissions need to be granted:
 
BEGIN
DBMS_JAVA.grant_permission ('JOB_USER', 'java.io.FilePermission',
'<>', 'read ,write, execute, delete');
 
DBMS_JAVA.grant_permission ('JOB_USER', 'SYS:java.lang.RuntimePermission',
'writeFileDescriptor', '');
 
DBMS_JAVA.grant_permission ('JOB_USER', 'SYS:java.lang.RuntimePermission',
'readFileDescriptor', '');
END;
/

The effects of these permissions are only seen when the grantee reconnects. The host_command procedure can be tested as follows.  This uses the OS touch command but it can also be used for calling the COBOL program:

SET SERVEROUTPUT ON SIZE 1000000
CALL DBMS_JAVA.SET_OUTPUT(1000000);
BEGIN
host_command (p_command => ‘touch /u01/app/oracle/test_file');
END;
/

With the host_command procedure in place, the OS commands (or the COBOL program invocation) can now be scheduled using the dbms_job package the same way any normal PL/SQL procedure is used.

 

 
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