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F-specs

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With the following exceptions, F-specs remained relatively unchanged:

  1. The positional format was changed by moving some of the more commonly used parameters towards the left side of the line.
  2. The less-commonly used parameters were converted to free-format keywords similar to the H-spec keywords.
  3. The F-spec continuation ("K") was eliminated, as free-format keywords may span multiple lines.

The new F-spec layout is as follows:

*.. 1 ...+... 2 ...+... 3 ...+... 4 ...+... 5 ...+... 6 ...+... 7 ...+... 8 ...+... 9 ...+... 10
FFilename++IPEASFRlen+LKlen+AIDevice+.Keywords+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Comments+++++++++++++

See IBM's online documentation for details on the positional parameters V4R5.

By compressing the more commonly used fixed parameters towards the left of the line, the right side of the line is open for free-format keywords.  The fixed format keywords that were removed, as well as the options on continuation lines, were converted to keywords.  For example, the F-spec continuation line SFILE was converted to a keyword with the format SFILE(recformat: rrnfield).

Also, if a record format needs to be renamed, instead of using the "KRENAME" notation from RPG III, use the keyword RENAME(external-rec-name: internal-rec-name).

Another useful F-spec keyword is PREFIX(string).  The prefix keyword allows you to rename all fields in an externally described file by attaching a prefix to the field names.  This allows you to easily handle the situation where two different files have duplicate field names.  Previously this had to be handled by renaming the fields in I-specs.  Although I wouldn't necessarily recommend it, theoretically, you could eliminate the prefix portion of the field names in the DDS and instead rely on the PREFIX keyword to uniquely identify field names.

For a complete listing of the available F-spec keywords as of V4R5, see IBM's online documention.

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Copyright 2000 Midware, Ltd.

Last Modified:  September 13, 2000