File-Description Files

A file-description file is a workstation file that contains all field descriptions of the data in the corresponding workstation data file. Each field descriptor contains the field name, data type, and field length. There is one field descriptor for each field in the workstation file.

A file-description file defines the following:
  • The file type of the workstation file to be transferred. For an explanation of each file type, see Creating a File-Description File.
  • The field names and order of these fields in each data record.
  • The data type of each field in the workstation file.
  • The size and number of decimal places of each field.

The workstation files require field definitions when the files are transferred. The field definitions describe the file as it exists on the workstation. These definitions contain data that is similar to the field definitions (DDS) required by iSeries, eServer™ i5, or System i5® files. The data must be defined for both the iSeries, eServer i5, or System i5 and the workstation files, because the field names from each file are needed to send the data to the iSeries, eServer i5, or System i5 and the data in each file might be in different formats.

A file-description file is created on request during the transfer process of data from an iSeries, eServer i5, or System i5 file to a workstation file. Therefore, you usually do not need to worry about the contents or the format of the file-description file. However, if you transfer data that has not been previously transferred to the system, you must create a file-description file.