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RPG currently allows us to define a data structure with the same layout another with the LIKEDS keyword.
It would be useful to be able to use a similar keyword to define the basic structure, but also to extend the data structure and add additional subfields to the end.
This would allow developers to have a base type that defines an archetype - e.g. a person that is then extended by other specialisations which have additional properties specific to them - e.g. employee, manager, customer..
In the examples below I have used 'extends' as the keyword.
// The employee_t data structure is a specialisation of the person_t structure, adding some extra fields. dcl-ds employee_t extends(person_t) template; employeeNumber int(10); departmentCode char(2); end-ds;
// The employee_t data structure can itself be extended: dcl-ds manager_t extends(employee_t) template; authorisationLimit packed(15:2); end-ds;
// The customer_t data structure is another specialisation of person_t, adding some other extra fields dcl-ds customer_t extends(person_t) template; customerNumber int(10); emailAddress char(128); registrationDate date; end-ds;
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