In 7.1 there is something called EXTDESC (as well as EXTFILE).
EXTDESC can be used in compiling

Try googling
And look at the results here

Alan Shore
Programmer/Analyst, Direct Response
P:(631) 200-5019
C:(631) 880-8640
"If you're going through Hell, keep going" - Winston Churchill

-----Original Message-----
From: midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Victor Hunt
Sent: Thursday, April 05, 2012 3:14 PM
To: Midrange Systems Technical Discussion
Subject: Question on updating some OLD programs

I do apologize in advance for asking about something most folks dealt with years and years ago...

I have a large number of programs in our sales reporting system that were written a very long time ago. We are in the beginning stages of upgrading them. In most cases, these programs have program defined files. In almost all cases, the file name is something like SALES. There isn't a file on our system called SALES. There are however files called SALES2012, SALES2011, etc. The CL has an OVRDBF command to point SALES to the appropriate SALESYYYY file for processing. Of course, this is variable as any SALESYYYY file going back 10 years can be selected by the user.

As part of the upgrade, we'd like to change all program defined files to externally defined files. Unfortunately, the file SALES doesn't exist so compiles would fail. I could change them all to SALES2012, but at some point this file won't exist either. I can create an empty file named SALES with the same layout and no records, but this still has it's problems (there are many programs where the file is defined more then once, SALES1 and SALES2, for summary processing).

What is the best way to handle this situation? We are on 7.1 by the way if it makes any difference in how we would handle this.
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