Where is Using Natural manual

I’m trying to learn more about variable names. I recall seeing somewhere that variables starting with a $ is something like a system variable. Is that true? Several manuals say, “See also Naming Conventions for User-Defined Variables in Using Natural.” buy https://documentation.softwareag.com/ doesn’t show any manual named “Using Natural.” What manual talks about Naming Conventions and where is it?

Hi Lee,

Please refer to the below-provided documentation link.

Rules and Naming Conventions (softwareag.com)


What the doc that Ranjith referred to does not mention is that many installations still use the variable naming convention like:

  1. Prefixing user variables with “#” (hash) - in many non-english countries this may instead be $,£ or in Danish Æ, i.e.
    1 #IDX (I4)

  2. Additionally Global variables will often have a G as a prefix as well i.e.
    1 #G-THIS-IS- A-GLOBAL (A1)

  3. As opposed to fields in views from the database, i.e.

As I have understood it, this convention was made both for clarity but also for optimizing the compiler, so #variables would not require a look-up in the DDMs.


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Yes. This goes back to NATURAL V1 where there were no DEFINE DATAs, only pure REPORT mode where User Defined variables began with “#” to differentiate from Data base variables. Also note Global variables came in and had to begin with “+”. This was loosely followed when V2 came in with GDA’s. Then reinforced with re-invention of AIV’s (which essentially are Global Variable re-incarnated).