sqlca.cbl vs sqlca.cpy in command line compiling

For embedded DB2 SQL application, I figure it out that I can use command line to create the application.

cob64 -C MFSYNC -z -o myTest myTest.cbl sqlca.cpy -L/home/db2inst1/sqllib/lib64 -ldb2 -ldb2gmf

But I got this error :

/bin/ld:sqlca.cpy: file format not recognized; treating as linker script
/bin/ld:sqlca.cpy:1: syntax error
collect2: error: ld returned 1 exit status

But if I rename sqlca.cpy as sqlca.cbl.  run above command line as:

cob64 -C MFSYNC -z -o myTest  myTest.cbl  sqlca.cbl -L/home/db2inst1/sqllib/lib64 -ldb2 -ldb2gmf

Everything is fine. 

Why cob64 does not know to compile sqlca.cpy file but only compile sqlca.cbl file?

But in Visual COBOL, it uses sqlca.cpy without any issue.

Appreciated for the help.

  • Verified Answer

    Hi Jack,

    It seems like you are trying to specify the location of the sqlca copy file as part of your cob command. There should be no need to specify COBOL copy files, such as sqlca.cpy, on the cob command line.

    Assuming that your COBOL program includes a COPY or INCLUDE statement to reference the copy file, something like:

    copy sqlca.



    the copy file will automatically be included into your source at compile time.

    If the copy file is not in your current directory, you can use the COBCPY environment variable to specify a path to search for copy files. For example [replace the directories with your actual copy file location(s)]:

    export COBCPY=/copy/file/path1:/copy/file/path2

    cob64 -C MFSYNC -z -o myTest myTest.cbl -L/home/db2inst1/sqllib/lib64 -ldb2 -ldb2gmf

    Also, since your COBOL program is working with a database, I believe you should be creating a multithreaded executable. You might want to try adding the -t flag to your compile command:

    cob64 -t -C MFSYNC -z -o myTest myTest.cbl -L/home/db2inst1/sqllib/lib64 -ldb2 -ldb2gmf

  • Thank you, Blair

    I tried your instruction.

    echo $COBCPY

    I have the $COBCPY setup correctly,  I also have "EXEC SQL INCLUDE sqlca END-EXEC" in mytest.cbl

    cob64 -t  -C MFSYNC -z -o mytest  mytest.cbl -L/home/db2inst1/sqllib/lib64 -ldb2 -ldb2gmf

    rwxr-xr-x 1 db2inst1 db2iadm1 13919 Apr 29 16:10 mytest

    You can see the file size is 13919 bytes

    cob64 -t  -C MFSYNC -z -o mytest  mytest.cbl sqlca.cbl -L/home/db2inst1/sqllib/lib64 -ldb2 -ldb2gmf

    -rwxr-xr-x 1 db2inst1 db2iadm1 18582 Apr 29 16:06 mytest

    The file sizes are different.  both work under DB2. it seems sqlca.o is linked into the later one. but the first one just call it at run-time.  I feel confused.

    To my expectation, the file size for both should be the same. no matter explicitly or implicitly to include sqlca.cpy.

    Thank you again,


  • I really like the performance with "-t" flag as you suggested for multi-threading.

    Thank you, Blair


  • Hi Jack,

    I'm glad to hear that the -t flag suggestion was helpful.

    Typically, sqlca is just the name of a copy file, which contains additional source code for inclusion into your COBOL program. There is no need to separately compile sqlca. I believe you said you created sqlca.cbl by copying sqlca.cpy - this should not be necessary.

    As you've noticed, when you add sqlca.cbl to the cob command, cob will treat it as a completely separate COBOL program, and compile it (just as any other .cbl file), creating a separate object file (.o) file for it. This (unnecessary) .o file would then be linked into the resulting shared object (.so) file, increasing the size of the resulting .so.