Current Restrictions

Note: This is a technology preview feature. It is being made available to allow you to edit test data and provide feedback on this new capability; however, this feature is not intended for the editing of production data and its use is not supported as such.
This version of Data File Tools has the following restrictions:
  • This version of Data File Tools should only be used with the version of Visual COBOL or Enterprise Developer that it was installed with. The executable is not compatible with previous versions of either of these development products.
  • Editing files is not supported if your environment contains any form of filename manipulation; for example, the DATAFILE and FILESUFFIX options within an extfh.cfg file, or the setting of the COBDATA environment variable. To work around this restriction on Windows, open Data File Tools from the Windows menu, ensuring no such filename manipulation variables are set at a system level.
  • You cannot create new structure files from a 64-bit command prompt (Windows), or if your effective working mode (cobmode) is 64-bit (UNIX).
  • The only supported UNIX platforms are SUSE and Red Hat.
  • There is no support for Unicode files.
  • There is no file conversion functionality; use the DFCONV command line utility if you require this functionality.
  • There is no support for old structure (.str) files and profile files (.pro files), produced in Classic Data File Tools. This version uses a .dfs structure file to contain the information previously held in the other two file formats.
  • All files are opened in Data File Tools using a lock mode of EXCLUSIVE.
  • The following fields are supported but are not validated; they are always shown as valid:
    • Fields of the following type:
      • PIC *
      • PIC $
      • PIC 1
      • PIC B
      • PIC G
      • PIC N
      • PIC Z
      • Usage COMP-1
      • Usage COMP-2
      • Usage COMP-6
    • Numeric items containing:
      • exponents
      • the following separators: [v], [/], [,], [.], [0]
      • the following sign control symbols: [+] , [-], [CR], [DB]
    • The following modifiers:
      • RENAMES
      • SYNC
  • There is no support for the following types of data file:
    • ACUCOBOL-GT (Vision)
    • IMS
    • PL/I
    • RM/COBOL
  • When editing files that have record layouts applied, take care that you enter the correct type of data. Invalid data will be formatted to match the data type of the field.
  • When creating a structure file, .idy files must be compiled with at least version 2.3 of the development product.
  • The editor is unable to display the Euro character (€) correctly. If you open a file that contains the character, it will be preserved after the file is closed as long as you do not edit it directly.
  • Line sequential files cannot contain binary characters. The INSERTNULL configuration option, which is ON by default, is ignored.
  • Line sequential file and relative files both use 0D0A as a record terminator on Windows, and 0A as a record terminator on UNIX. The LSRECDELIM and RELRECDELIM configuration options are ignored.
  • You cannot insert or append records for sequential ESDS files.

    Note: The normal file system only allows you to append records to the end of this type of file.
  • You cannot delete or resize records for ESDS files.

    Note: The normal file system does not allow you to delete or resize records for this type of file either.
  • When using compressed files through Fileshare, user-defined compression routine executables must reside on both the client and the server machine (and be on the PATH) in order to effectively edit the data file.