AcuODBC User's Guide
6.2 XFD Files
To create a data dictionary, specify the "-Fx" or "-Fa" option at compile time. When you specify the "-Fx" option, an ".xfd" file is created for each indexed data file specified in the compiled program. Use the "-Fa" option to generate XFDs for all indexed, relative, and sequential files.
Once you compile with one of these options, each COBOL file has a corresponding ".xfd" file. The "-Fx" and "-Fa" options create ".xfd" files without changing anything in the object code; thus XFDs are fully portable, meaning no recompilation is necessary if you change data sources or hardware.
Creating XFD files at compile time offers two significant advantages:
- Any changes made to the file definitions are automatically included in the data dictionaries when the program is recompiled.
- The effects of all compile-time options, COPY REPLACING, and source-code control lines are reflected correctly in the dictionaries.
The XFDs contain information about the structure of the COBOL files, the names of the fields, their format, and so on. However, this information is only a subset of the information available in most Windows applications. To map your COBOL fields to meaningful and useful application tables, you must add additional information to your data dictionary. To add information to your XFDs, or to change the default names of the existing fields, you must use directives, or optional comments, in the FD section of your COBOL data file. These directives are explained in section 6.3, "Using Directives."
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