Importing data structures or full programs

You can import one or more data structure files (COBOL copybooks or PL/I includes) into your service project. You can also import one or more full COBOL or PL/I programs.

Before you begin

  • Ensure that the program compiles without errors. Errors reported by IBM® Enterprise COBOL compiler or Enterprise PL/I compiler must be resolved before you import the file.
  • To import a COBOL copybook that contains a COPY REPLACING BY statement, you must configure SYSLIB in the importer preferences to search all folders that contain dependencies. You must also import the full program with the REPLACING statement.
  • Read the Restrictions on the data structure import function topic.


To import data structures:

  1. In the service interface editor, click Import data structure.
    • If you select a COMMAREA, container, segment, IBM MQ message, or any of the rows below it before you click Import data structure, the wizard automatically populates the specified COMMAREA, container, segment, or IBM MQ message as the target.
    • If the data structure has changed for an existing request or response service interface, you can re-import the data structure file by clicking Import data structure. Existing custom data structure names (aliases) and remarks are preserved if the 01 level structure remains unchanged.
  2. Specify the location to import the data structures or a full program from, and specify the file type.
  3. Click Browse to select the data structure file that contains the COBOL copybooks or PL/I includes to import.
    Tip: If you are importing an application source file that references a COPY or INCLUDE file, import from a local file system with both the application source file and the referenced file in the same directory.
    • If you import the data structures from z/OS, the data structure file does not have a file extension. It takes the file type that is specified in 2.
    • If you import the data structures from a local file system, a file with one of the following extensions takes that file type as default:
      • A COBOL copybook can have any of the following file name extensions: .cbl, .ccp, .cpy, or .cob.
      • A PL/I include can have any of the following file name extensions: .pli, .inc, or .mac.

      If the file extension is incorrect for the type of file type that the file is, either change the file extension or click Window > Preferences > Importer, and then select either COBOL or PL/I from the list on the left. Then, edit the type of file that is indicated by each file extension.

      If the data structure file does not have a file extension, it takes the file type that is specified in 2.

  4. Select the data structure name and the associated container or segment to import the data structure into.
  5. Click Add to Import List.
    The selected data structure is added to data structure table.
    Figure 1. Import dialog for an IMS service
    Image shows the imported data structure as a result of selection for an IMS service.
  6. Repeat steps 3 through 5 for each data structure that you want to import.
  7. Click Finish to import the data structure.
    If you are updating an existing data structure, a dialog opens. Click Yes to replace the existing data structure and preserve your aliases and remarks. Click No to add the data structure as a new, separate data structure.
    • For each additional container or segment, select a channel or message node and click Add. Repeat the steps from step 3 for each data structure that you want to import. For more information and restrictions, see Customizing the service interface.
    • When importing multiple copybooks, the start byte for each copybook is relative to the root data structure. In many cases, the value shown is 1. If your data structure utilizes OCCURS DEPENDING ON or REFER clauses, no start positions are indicated for start byte fields.
    For more tips about potential issues and how to resolve them, see the following topics: