AcuBench includes a set of specialized tools for working with data files and user-defined items. These tools are designed to simplify the creation and maintenance of data-related program elements. Graphical user interfaces, many of which support drag-and-drop editing and syntax checking, make it easy to create, edit, and review data descriptions. At your direction, the information added to these interfaces is used to generate the related code. For an overview of code generation concepts, see Automatic Code Generation.

The data-related development tools are collectively referred to as the data design tools. The first tool, the File Designer, is accessed through the Data tab of the Workspace window and used at the project level to describe the structure of data files used in a project (and to generate FD, SL, SD, and XFD files, as well as file-handling code). The remaining three tools—the Data Set Designer, the Working Storage Editor, and the Linkage Editor—are accessed through the Structure view and used at the program level to define how an individual AcuBench program uses data.

This chapter discusses the process of using the File Designer to define data files for use by any program (or all programs) in an AcuBench project. The program-level data design tools are discussed in Working with Data at the Program Level.