When you create XFD directives, there is a particular syntax you must follow.
- Place each directive on a line by itself, immediately before the COBOL line to which it pertains.
- Introduce each directive with a "$" in the Indicator Area (column 7 in standard ANSI source format), followed immediately
by the letters "XFD", then the directive itself. There should be no space between the $ and the XFD. Spaces are permitted
elsewhere on the line as separators. For example, the NAME directive looks like this:
$XFD NAME = EMP-NUMBER
- An alternate ANSI-compliant way to introduce a directive is with an asterisk (*) in the Indicator Area. In this case, you
begin the directive with the letters "XFD" and enclose the entire comment in double parentheses. For example:
*(( XFD NAME = EMP-NUMBER ))
There should be no space between the asterisk and the double left parentheses. Spaces are permitted elsewhere on the line
You may use either form of the directive syntax (or both) in your applications.
- Two or more directives that pertain to the same line of COBOL code may be combined on one comment line. The directives should
be separated by a space or a comma. For example, to specify both USE GROUP and NUMERIC at the same time, you would add this
$XFD USE GROUP, NUMERIC
*(( XFD USE GROUP, NUMERIC ))