What are the common characteristics that almost all programming
languages have in common. There are four. Identify them and explain for
which each is used.
Before going to the answer first look at the history of COBOL in brief. COBOL is acronym for COmmon Business Oriented Language and is developed in late 1950's. It is mainly for developing business applications.
During all these years lot of business applications have been developed and are still used. COBOL is widely used in Mainframes which is used by large number of businesses all over the world.
Let me start answering your question in 2 parts:
PART 1: Now coming to the question: why COBOL is still being used in businesses?
My opinion why COBOL is still being used in businesses is mainly is that there are very large applications developed in COBOL and some are very critical (they are need all the time for the business to run) and a lot of legacy code written has been written in Cobol. Discarding the legacy code may cause extra cost and disruption to the business.
For example : Consider an application which handles operations of a big manufacturing business, they cannot afford to stop the process even for a few second. It takes time to deploy new applications in production ...
The solution explains the siginificance of COBOL as a business-oriented language.