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Status Future consideration
Workspace IBM i
Categories Languages - RPG
Created by Guest
Created on Aug 4, 2016

Prefix or Qualified Keyword for Exports and/or Prototypes

Currently exported identifiers (procs, functions, variables, data-structures) need to be unique across an application framework. This is a massive obstacle in modernization efforts. For proper modernization and modern programming approach it is absolutely necessary to have a common nomenclature of identifiers. This is currently not possible.
We need to be able to optionally prefix exported identifiers with either the prefix keyword, much better with the qualified keyword, which would simply prefix the export module name or even better by nesting all PR defs inside a dcl-namespace/end-dcl block, or a namspace decl inside the exporting module ....
Lot of options to realize that pretty easily!
It is recommendable, to place a prefix definition inside the corresponding module for some reasons. First: exported names can be generated during compile and never bother with that again, second CL CALLPRC will automatically include this extension, too.

Use Case:

As already mentioned, modernization projects and modern programming approach requires a common nomenclature within a development team, or at least within the scope of an application.
As a simple example, take various modules and exports that build a layer for database access. As as developer you want an entry point that cleans up everything for you (close files, cursors, dealloc, etc). Call that entry point "Dispose". There is one Dispose inside the CUST-Module, one inside the ORDERS-Module and so on.
Currently we need to prefix all exported procs manually and some exports are prefixed cust, some cst, some order, orders or ordr, some not at all - depending on developer, mood, sunshine hours or night before.
One simple line for defining the prefix/namespace for such exports would make ILE life much prettier, easier and versatile.

Idea priority High
  • Guest
    Feb 16, 2022

    Hello @DougTX, please open a separate RFE regarding your additional request.

  • Guest
    Feb 16, 2022

    I think this is a related issue to this RFP that I am hoping it can solve:

    I have a service program with 5 procedures defined in it. I can get a list of those procedures using DSPSRVPGM with DETAIL(*PROCEXP). This service program is entered into a binding directory.

    I have a program that uses two of those 5 procedures in the above service program. That program is compiled and uses the above binding directory to locate the two procedures it needs and finds them in the service program.

    I would like to be able to see [using a command with *OUTFILE or an SQL DB2 table] the procedure names that the program needs that are in that service program. DSPPGMREF allows me to see what service programs a program needs. However, it does not tell me the specific procedure names the program uses in the associated service program. That functionality would be very helpful.

    Thank you.

  • Guest
    Apr 24, 2020

    IBM will use this request as input to planning but no commitment is made or implied. This request will be updated in the future if IBM implements it. IBM will use votes and comments from others in the community to help prioritize this request.

    It is unlikely that the PREFIX idea will be implemented.

    This would most likely be implemented as a declare-namespace / end-namespace feature, where anything defined between the DCL and END, including definitions from /copy files, would be qualified by the namespace name when used within the module.

    dcl-ns myNs;
    /copy mycopyfile defines myDs, myField, myProto
    dcl-c myconstant 'x';
    dcl-pr myPrototype end-pr;

    dcl-ds ds likeds(myNs.myDs);

    myNs.myField = myNs.myProto(myNs.myConstant);

  • Guest
    Jan 15, 2019

    The problem with prefix inside module source is that it is always the same for every use which leaves the problem of coordinating disparate frameworks. It would be much better for reuse if the prefix were applied in the /copy directive to prototypes (dcl-pr), variables (dcl-s), data structures (dcl-ds) but not subfields, and constants (dcl-c).

  • Guest
    Aug 29, 2017

    The CAAC has reviewed this requirement and recommends that IBM view this as a high priority requirement that should be addressed.

    The CAAC also observed that this is very similar to this RFE requesting support for Namespaces. The CAAC anticipates the solution is the same for both of these RFEs.

    Background: The COMMON Americas Advisory Council (CAAC) members have a broad range of experience in working with small and medium-sized IBM i customers. CAAC has a key role in working with IBM i development to help assess the value and impact of individual RFEs on the broader IBM i community, and has therefore reviewed your RFE.

    For more information about CAAC, see

    For more details about CAAC's role with RFEs, see

    Dawn May - CAAC Program Manager

  • Guest
    Aug 25, 2017

    IBM has received the requirement and is evaluating it. IBM will provide a response after evaluation is complete.

  • Guest
    Aug 5, 2016

    Creating a new RFE based on Community RFE #92592 in product IBM i.