The format for SQL statements embedded into a COBOL program is:
Begin each of the SQL statements embedded into a COBOL application with the SQL prefix, EXEC SQL; the prefix identifies the statement as an embedded SQL statement. The complete SQL prefix must appear on one line, and no character other than blank can appear between EXEC and SQL. The remainder of the statement can appear on the same line or on the next and subsequent lines.
End each embedded SQL statement with the SQL terminator, END-EXEC. Do not include a semicolon before END‑EXEC. A period at the end of the statement is optional. The period causes PP2 to include an ending period on the last statement generated for the SQL statement. This punctuation is not always acceptable, especially if the SQL statement is within the scope of an IF... THEN... ELSE construct.
Subject to charset restrictions, SQL statements are case insensitive, except for host variable references. When dynamic SQL statement text is stored in a varchar host variable, the statement text cannot be longer than 64k.
Note: For the EXEC SQL INCLUDE statement, PP2 has the restriction that no text -- not even punctuation marks, such as a period -- is allowed to follow the SQL terminator (END-EXEC).