COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language) was one of the earliest high-level programming languages. It was developed by the CODASYL (Conference on Data Systems Languages) committee, whose members were from industry, universities, and the US government. The goal of the committee was to create a common language that would be suitable for business (usually file-oriented) applications. Further, the use of such a common language was expected to reduce the cost of programming, as less time would be spent in rewriting applications for different hardware platforms. A compiler is a computer program that translates the source code of a program written in a high-level programming language into the equivalent machine code of the target machine (or into the low-level assembly language).