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Paradigmprocedural, imperative, structured
First appeared1970
Stable release
DIBOL 1992 / 2002
Typing disciplinestatic
Major implementations
DEC DIBOL, Synergex DBL, Unibol
Influenced by

DIBOL or Digital's Business Oriented Language is a general-purpose, procedural, imperative programming language that was designed for use in Management Information Systems (MIS) software development. It was developed from 1970 to 1993.

DIBOL has a syntax similar to FORTRAN and BASIC, along with BCD arithmetic. It shares the COBOL program structure of separate data and procedure divisions. Unlike Fortran's numeric labels (for GOTO), DIBOL's were alphanumeric;[1] the language supported a counterpart to computed goto.[2]


DIBOL was originally marketed by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in 1970.

The original version, DIBOL-8, was produced for PDP-8 systems running COS-300. The PDP-8-like DECmate II, supports the COS-310 Commercial Operating System, featuring DIBOL.[3]

DIBOL-11 was developed for the PDP-11 running COS-350 operating system. It also ran on RSX-11, RT-11, and from 1978 on RSTS/E. DIBOL-32 runs on VMS systems,[4] although it can also be used on other systems through emulators.

ANSI Standards were released in 1983, 1988 and 1992 (ANSI X3.165-1992). The 1992 standard was revised in 2002.

DIBOL compilers were developed by several other companies, including DBL from DISC (later Synergex), Softbol from Omtool,[5] and Unibol from Software Ireland, Ltd.[6] Development of DIBOL effectively ceased after 1993, when an agreement between DEC and DISC replaced DIBOL with DBL on OpenVMS, Digital UNIX, and SCO Unix.[7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dibol Subroutine". DEC Professional. November 1982. p. 70.
  2. ^ example: GOTO(XSMALL,XMED,XLARG),XCODE J. Scott Canfield (November 1982). "DIBOL, Data Entry Subroutine". DEC Professional. pp. 18–20.
  3. ^ "Introduction to DIBOL-83. Digital Equipment Corporation". April 1984.
  4. ^ "New Implementation of Dibol for VAX by DEC". Hardcopy. May 1982. p. 17.
  5. ^ Enterprise, I. D. G. (1985-10-07). Computerworld. IDG Enterprise. p. 66.
  6. ^ Babcock, Charles (1985-09-30). AT&T unwraps applications packages for 3B series. IDG Enterprise. p. 28. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  7. ^ "DISC ANNOUNCES NEW DIBOL STRATEGY IN ASSOCIATION WITH DIGITAL". www.thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 2016-04-12.
  8. ^ "Area Software Firm Gets DEC Contract". The Sacramento Bee. February 18, 1993.