In Visual COBOL 2.1 Hotfix 2 a new OpenESQL directive called sql(date=external) was added to allow for the date format to use when accessing an Oracle database to be set using the environment variable NLS_DATE_FORMAT.
This was working fine in Hotfix 2 but after upgrading to Visual COBOL 2.1 Update 1 this no longer appears to be recognized and the following error occurs:
COBCH0801 : Compiler directive SQL(DATE = EXTERNAL) is invalid or badly sequenced - all SQL statements ignored.
Development has added a new directive called sql(OPTION=PROCOB) which needs to be set if the DATE=EXTERNAL directive is to be used. Actually when setting OPTION=PROCOB on it will automatically set the DATE=EXTERNAL behavior on so the DATE=EXTERNAL is no longer required.