Created On:  31 May 2012


How can I pass a Java String array between Java and COBOL and manipulate it's contents in both languages?


Please see the attached example project that was written using Net Express 5.1.  Here is the description of the project:


This example shows how a Java String array can be passed between a COBOL program and a java program and how each can manipulate its contents using native methods. 

COBOL program ReadArray will instantiate Java class arraydemo. 
It will then call method getStringArray which will create a new java string array and return it back to COBOL as an instance of the jarray class.
COBOL will extract the strings and display them using methods of jarray.
COBOL will then create new java string objects from PIC X fields and store them in the same array.
COBOL will then call the java method showStringArray passing the array in as a parameter. Java will then display the new contents of the array and return to COBOL. 

In order to compile the .java program in this project you will need to ensure that the COBOL/Java environment is setup as documented in the Net Express documentation under Programming--> Java-->Java and COBOL-->Using Java and COBOL. 

      $set ooctrl( p-f)
       Program-id. ReadArray.
           arraydemo   is class "$Java$arraydemo"
           javasup     is class "javasup"
           JavaString  is class "$Java$java.lang.String"
       thread-local-storage section.
       copy javatypes.

       01 aJavaObj        object reference.
       01 StringElement   object reference.
       01 wsTable         object reference.
       01 CDims           pic x(4) comp-5.
       01 Dims.
          05 Dims-entry   pic x(4) comp-5 occurs 256.
       01 Bounds.
          05 Bounds-entry pic x(4) comp-5 occurs 256.
       01 ind0            pic x(4) comp-5.
       01 ws-type         pic x(4) comp-5.
       01 ws-len          pic x(4) comp-5.
       01 ws-string       pic x(100).
       01 ws-success      pic 9(9) comp-5.
          88 instance-of              value 1.
       01 any-key         pic x.
       01 ws-count        pic 9       value 0.
       procedure division.
       *> Create a new instance of the java class
           invoke arraydemo "new" returning aJavaObj
       *> Call Java method that creates a new string array and returns
       *> it to COBOL.
           invoke aJavaObj "getStringArray" returning wsTable
           invoke wsTable "getType" returning ws-type
       *> find out the number of elements in the array
           invoke wsTable "getDimensions" returning CDims
           display "The array has " CDims " dimension(s)"
       *> get the number of elements in each dimension
           display "dimensions are " with no advancing
           invoke wsTable "getBounds" using Bounds
           perform varying ind0 from 1 by 1 until ind0 > CDims
              display Bounds-entry(ind0) with no advancing
              if ind0 < CDims
                 display " by " with no advancing
           display " "
       *> display each element in the array
           perform varying ind0 from 0 by 1
              until ind0 = Bounds-entry(1)
              move ind0 to Dims-entry(1)
              move 0 to Dims-entry(2)
              invoke wsTable "getElement"
                 using by value CDims
                       by reference Dims
                       by reference stringElement
       *> We have an Object. We can check if it is a String.
              invoke javasup "isinstanceof"
                 using stringElement
                       JavaString   *> this refers to java string class
                 returning ws-success
              if not instance-of
                 display "ERROR NOT A STRING"
                 display "Need to Die Gracefully"
                 stop run
       *> stringElement is a java string object so we can get its prop-
       *> erties and call its methods.
              invoke stringElement "length" returning ws-len
       *> convert from string object to COBOL pic x.
              invoke stringElement "toString" returning ws-string
              display "Length of String = " ws-len
              display "   String = " ws-string(1:ws-len)
       *> Modify contents of array with new strings
           perform varying ind0 from 0 by 1
              until ind0 = Bounds-entry(1)
              move ind0 to Dims-entry(1)
              move 0 to Dims-entry(2)
              add 1 to ws-count
              move spaces to ws-string
              string "My new string "
                 x"00" delimited by size into ws-string
       *> Create a new java string object using COBOL pic x field
              invoke javaString "new"
                 using ws-string
                 returning stringElement
              invoke wsTable "putElement"
                 using by value CDims
                       by reference Dims
                       by reference stringElement
       *> Call java method to display the new strings inm passed array
           invoke aJavaObj "showStringArray" using wsTable

           invoke wsTable "finalize" returning wsTable
           display "End of test"
           accept any-key
           stop run.

And the Java class:

import com.microfocus.cobol.*;                                       
import java.util.*;                                                  
public class arraydemo extends RuntimeSystem                         
    String myStringArray[];                                          
    public arraydemo()                                               
        myStringArray = new String[5];                               
        int i;                                                       
        for (i = 0; i < 5; i )                                      
            myStringArray = "This is string " i;                
    public String[] getStringArray()                                 
        return myStringArray;                                        
    public void showStringArray(String[] newArray)                   
        int i;                                                       
        for (i = 0; i < 5; i )                                      
            System.out.println("String =: " newArray);