Additional Preprocessors

In the IDE, you can enable additional preprocessors to process your COBOL source code before passing it to the Compiler. You can choose from the preprocessors installed with Visual COBOL or you can specify your own, or other, third-party preprocessors installed on your machine.
Restriction: You can only use additional preprocessors with native COBOL applications.

A preprocessor edits the source code before passing it to the Compiler. You can use multiple preprocessors to make consecutive edits to your COBOL source code. For multiple preprocessors to function correctly during a background syntax check in the IDE, each preprocessor must conform to the stacking protocol detailed in the section Multiple Preprocessors.

As you specify preprocessors to be used the IDE creates a list that gives the order in which the preprocessesors are invoked. When you have multiple preprocessors defined, compiling a program causes the Compiler to call the first preprocessor in the list which then edits a line of source code. The line is then passed to the next preprocessor in the list. When all preprocessors in the stack have parsed the line, it is passed to the Compiler to compile it. The Compiler calls the preprocessors for the next line of code until all source code has been parsed through the preprocessors and is compiled

You can specify that an additional preprocessor is to be used for an entire project, only for specific build congifurations, or for individual files.

Note: If the additional preprocessors are integrated with Visual COBOL, they appear in the IDE and you can select them from the project and file properties. See Integrating Preprocessors into Visual COBOL for instructions about how to integrate an additional preprocessor with Visual COBOL.

You can use the Additional Preprocessors properties page to specify and configure the preprocessors to use with your COBOL files, build configuration or project or with files in your project. You can specify either a single or multiple preprocessor.