Only compile one program

I have Visual COBOL Personal Edition with Visual Studio 2012, running on Windows/8

I have set up a Project with several programs in it

When I Build the Project it tries to compile each source member within the Project

And it comes up against the 2200 Procedure Division line limit fairly easily

If I have, say, 10 programs in a Project and I change one program, how can I just compile/prepare that one program

Is it possible?

  • The 2200 source line limit applies to a single program and not to the cumulative number of lines within all programs within a project.

    For example I can create a project here that contains 10 programs, each of which has 2000 lines of code and it will build fine.

    But if one of these programs exceeds 2200 lines it will not build successfully.

    You can compile a single program by right-clicking on its name in Solution Explorer and selecting "Compile". This would allow you to detrmine which program is exceeding the 2200 llne limit.


  • Thanks for your response

    I had a set pf programs and did the Build

    It stopped at a program that has 2103 'live' PROCEDURE DIV lines (incl comment lines) and 302 blank lines totalling 2405 lines in that part of the program

    Total lines in the program is 2924 of which 384 are blank from (001:064)

    So I re-made the project and did not include the programs that led up to the program that was nominated as having exceeded the limit of 2200

    When I did the build after that, the originally offending program compiled fine and the Build stopped further along the line at a different program which is not large at all

    I think I might not have set up my Project correctly

    I start VS 2012

    New Project

    Close off Program1

    Copy and Paste valid COBOL source members from my working code folder into the project folder – using Windows CTRL C then Ctrl V

    Then select PROJECT/Add Existing Item and do them all in onelong list and that all works well

    It is here that if I Build that I get the error COBCH0804: Source limit of 2200 procedure lines exceeded

    Also, I can go to Solution Explorer and see my Project details but there is not a Compile option when I right-click a program name from the list of all the ones I put there with Add Existing Item

    The choices I had were:


    Open With

    Scope to This

    New Solution Explorer View

    Exclude from Project

    Create Project






    If I select Properties, I can see under Advanced the Build Action is Compile

    But I cannot see where to ‘manually’ tell it to Compile that program

    Is my Project set up correctly?

  • Other info

    These programs are all able to be compiled under Net Express 4.0 University Edition which also has the 2200 procedure lines limit imposed - comments and blank lines are excluded from the 2200 tally

    WIth that product I do compile them manually, one at a time

  • Two more things

    First, I started a new Project and got to the Program1 part and then did Solution Build and also Project Build

    Then Solution Explorer and right-click Program1 (the only program in the list) and got the same small window I reported earlier, that is, no Compile option

    So I thought maybe I have to change Program1 to put it through some 'Project induction' process

    I added a level 77 PIC 9 and one PROC DIV line to add 1 to it

    And Rebuild

    Solution Explorer

    Compile still not available for Program1 when right-clicking the name

    Second, the code I want to include into the Project just has standard PROGRAM ID. statements as you'd see in, say, a LE/370 COBOL source

    But Program1 has a more elaborate PROGRAM ID. statement, thus marking 'start of program' ?

    Program 1 also has an End program Program1 statement as the last line, thus marking 'end of program' ?

    My programs do not have that End program line either

    Perhaps this has something to do with why the Procedure lines counter is not being reset from program to program

  • Problem solved.

    When setting up my Project I was not clearly specifying Web, Native or Managed under COBOL on the left side

    I selected Native and repeated the steps and I can now compile manually one at a time and, so far, it is all OK

    Also, I read the section "To create COBOL applications in Visual Studio"

    located at

  • There is also a set of getting started videos that may help you.

    Please see:Visual COBOL In a Nutshell

    In particular see the videos on Projects and Solutions, Editing and Debugging.


  • Chris

    I tried those Visual COBOL In A Nutshell videos and they were not really very helpful - I was still adrift after having watched them

    I cannot say they are tutorials

    They are overviews really

    I have watched about one third of them and I cannot recall a reference to a page in the manuals within them

    What works best is advice direct from another person who has been there and done that before

    This Forum provides that kind of assistance

    Thanks for your help, and also from Scot, for making me think about what I was trying to do

    And for your advice on which documentation to read - that actually did the trick

    In my career I have had some excellent help from Product Support people

    They direct you to a page in the manual that answers your question

    I am now up and running (with multiple Projects within my Solution) and this product is very good

    Very good indeed

    It's a pleasure to use

    It runs very fast on Windows/8 and is reliable for me so far

    Net Express 4.0 is excellent but this one goes ahead from there in Big Steps