Journal of Information Systems Education


Object-oriented Programming (hereinafter referred to as OOP0 is becoming very important in the data processing field. Computer science publications are beginning to contain many references to this topic. However, CIS journals contain very few OOP articles. This situation exists, in large measure, because COBOL, the primary language taught to CIS students, does not now support OOP. Even though CIS students can not write OOP programs as part of their courses, it is necessary that CIS students be exposed to OOP concepts. OOP techniques are being used in industry in graphics programming and in computer-aided software engineering. OOP technology also is used in the storage and retrieval of engineering drawings and in object-oriented databases. Besides being of importance in many application areas, OOP techniques are of value in that they demonstrate software engineering principles (e.g., information hiding and modularity) which CIS students will be expected to learn as part of their college curriculum. This paper explains OOP concepts using terms and examples familiar to CIS students. A sample application is discussed without showing the actual programs to maintain language independence. This paper concludes with suggestions as to where OOP concepts can be introduced into the current CIS curriculum. Although OOP implementation details cannot be taught now because of the present level of the COBOL language, OOP can be presented using general terms and examples as is done in this paper. What is important is that CIS graduates, as computer professionals, need to know the underlying concepts and benefits of OOP technology.



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