(Posting on behalf of colleagues Captain COBOL and Bernie R):
COBOL for VSE has very different syntax from COBOL V6. The syntax supported by COBOL for VSE is from COBOL for z/OS and VM, circa 1998, so newer syntax COBOL (like the RETURNING phrase which was added to z/OS COBOL in 2001) cannot be ported to COBOL for VSE easily! You will have to re-design.
Another option would be to pass VARIABLE-3 (the RETURNING value) as a parameter.
Joined: 29 Oct 2010 Posts: 121 Location: Puerto Rico
In VSE COBOL the return is not use, your call would be:
call program-a using variable-1 variable-2 variable-3
In COBOL 6 the 'return' was probably added as a separator and to make it more readable form because what's passed to the called program in the parameter list is three addresses.
Edited by Mod to make mixed case instead of all upper case