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Difference between GOBACK and STOP RUN in COBOL

Difference between GOBACK and STOP RUN in COBOL

When you are programming in COBOL, there are a few key terms that you need to know in order to properly write your code. Two of these keywords are GOBACK and STOP RUN. While they may seem similar, there is a big difference between them. In this blog post, we will explore the difference between GOBACK and STOP RUN in COBOL, so that you can use the right keyword when coding.

What is GOBACK in COBOL?

GOBACK in COBOL is a statement used to return to the beginning of a program or subprogram. GOBACK can also be used to exit a PERFORM-type loop, and it can be used instead of EXIT PROGRAM in certain cases. It is important to note that GOBACK cannot be used within an IF-THEN or EVALUATE statement, and it should not be used as a substitute for STOP RUN. Overall, GOBACK allows for greater control over the flow and execution of a COBOL program.

What is STOP RUN in COBOL?

  • STOP RUN is a COBOL command that tells the program to stop execution and terminate. It can also be used to end a particular section of code within a program. STOP RUN is equivalent to the END statement in other programming languages.
  • Using STOP RUN at the end of a program is necessary for proper execution, as it signals to the computer that all instructions have been completed and it can close out the program. Failure to include STOP RUN can result in errors or unexpected behaviors during runtime.
  • In some cases, STOP RUN may not completely terminate all processes associated with the program. In such instances, additional steps may need to be taken by the programmer or user to fully end execution.

Difference between GOBACK and STOP RUN in COBOL

When writing a COBOL program, GOBACK and STOP RUN are both used to end the program. GOBACK will return the program to the calling program, while STOP RUN will completely terminate the program. GOBACK is typically used in conjunction with PERFORM or CALL statements, while STOP RUN can be used at any point in the program. GOBACK can also be used to exit from a paragraph or section, while STOP RUN cannot. Overall, GOBACK should be used when returning control to a calling program, and STOP RUN should be used for ending the program entirely.


In COBOL, the GOBACK statement is used to return control to the calling program. The STOP RUN statement halts the execution of the program and returns control to the operating system. When deciding which statement to use, it’s important to consider the consequences of each one. The GOBACK statement will return control to the calling program with any unsaved data intact, while the STOP RUN statement will terminate the program abruptly without saving any data.

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