Don't miss an insight. Subscribe to Techopedia for free.



What Does Procedure Mean?

In computer programming, a procedure is an independent code module that fulfills some concrete task and is referenced within a larger body of source code. This kind of code item can also be called a function or a sub-routine. The fundamental role of a procedure is to offer a single point of reference for some small goal or task that the developer or programmer can trigger by invoking the procedure itself.


A procedure may also be referred to as a function, subroutine, routine, method or subprogram.

Techopedia Explains Procedure

The basic idea of a code procedure grew out of the desire to make code more efficient. Early linear code programs often lacked the versatility and sophistication that would allow for more complex processes in code. By using a procedure, a programmer can make a program do that one thing in many different ways, using different parameters and sets of data, simply by invoking the procedure with different variables attached.

In many computer programming languages, procedures are specifically defined in various ways. The code for a procedure will be stored within identifiers for that procedure to mark it as separate from the larger code. In some cases, procedures are part of external libraries that can be called by developers from those library files. In other cases, they are written in customized ways within the program. The procedure is a basic building block for what’s called object oriented programming, which has brought a more powerful set of tools to today’s developer community.


Related Terms