Converting Additional Directives to Project Properties

From the project properties in Visual COBOL, you can set a variety of Compiler directives that control the way your applications build. To specify directives that do not have a property equivalent, you need to type them in the Additional directives field on the COBOL tab in the project's properties.

Micro Focus recommends that you always use the project's properties to set Compiler directives for those that have property equivalents and avoid using the Additional directives field to specify them.

If a directive that has a property equivalent is specified in Additional directives instead, and you want to override this at file level, for example by using Determine Directives, the directive specified in the project's Additional directives might override the file's properties. This can result in unexpected build issues when building your applications.

To help resolve such issues, you might want Visual COBOL to perform a check on Additional directives when opening COBOL projects. To enable the IDE to perform this check, click Tools > Options > Micro Focus Tools > Projects and check Check Additional Directives for project properties.

With this option enabled, when you open a project and wherever applicable, the IDE show an Update COBOL Project Properties dialog box that suggests converting any directives specified in this field into the equivalent project properties.

This dialog box might start to appear if, for example, you upgrade Visual COBOL to a newer version that has more project property equivalents for Compiler directives. You need to review the suggested changes carefully before accepting them. This is how this feature works:

  1. Open a COBOL solution in the IDE.

    If there are any additional directives that have project property equivalents, this causes the Update COBOL Project Properties dialog box to be displayed, which lists the additional directives and the suggestions for project properties to replace them with.

  2. Review the proposed changes and click Yes to confirm.

    Visual COBOL removes the specified directives from the Additional directives, and enables them as the relevant project properties.

    For example, if Additional directives included the LIST() directive, the conversion removes it and enables the Generate listing file project's property.