Filename conventions

This topic provides examples of filenames, and file naming conventions.

Unauthorized characters

The following characters are system-restricted characters:

  • UNIX /*?
  • Windows/\:*?"<>

Naming the local file to be sent FNAME=filename

This name is a complete physical filename. It can either:

  • Be created dynamically from symbolic variables, or
  • Correspond to the name of a version file

Using symbolic variables

The following variables can be used to form the FNAME character string:

  • &IDF, &PARM, &IDA
  • &NIDF, &IDTU
  • &NFNAME, &NFVER (see details below)

The values of the variables in the last two lines are set just before the transfer. As the substitutions in the FNAME string are performed at the time the request is saved in the catalog, these variables cannot be used in FNAME except in the case of an implicit SEND command.

The ‘&’ character used here replaces the char_symb character specific to each operating system .

Refer to the Transfer CFT Operations Guide that corresponds to your OS.

Reconstitute a filename

A filename can be composed of different elements, such as the unit, path, root, and suffix. When transferring a file between disparate systems, you can use symbolic variables to reconstruct the original filename at the receiving end. See Symbolic variables for details.

Specific case of the &NFNAME symbolic variable (PeSIT CFT/CFT)

The use of &NFNAME is only valid if the monitor is a sender server and the send transfer is implicit, that is when CFTSEND IMPL=YES. In this case, the physical filename proposed by the receiver requester partner can be taken into account at each transfer.

Note When the file sent corresponds exactly to the one the partner requested (FNAME= &NFNAME), this corresponds to the open operating mode.

Sending of a file with versions (z/OS)

This name includes a root and a version number. According to the case, the relative name is converted into an absolute name in different stages as shown in the following table.

Command Version Parameter Conversion to an absolute name


  • be 0 or -n
  • specific case of z/OS (MVS) (1)


when the request is placed in the catalog 




at the start of the transfer 

(1) the version number may be 0 or - n and the FNAMEABS parameter must be set to YES. A GDG file is rotated at the end of the job.

z/OS (MVS)

Example of a file with versions. The notation of the version of the file in the SEND stage is the same as the last notation used in the JCL.

//DD1 DD DSN=FIL(-1)
   SEND     FNAME=FIL(-1)

Listing a directory: filename

This section provides an example of how to list a directory.

Example of listing a directory

FNAME={dirname | mask}

The name specified can be a generic file name or a directory name. It can include:

  • Specific symbolic variables, such as &PART and &IDF
  • The * and ? wildcard characters

This mode is used, for example, to send the list of a local directory contents to the partner. In this case, each record transferred contains the name of a selected file.

Sending a group of files: filename

This section provides an example of sending a group of files based on a selection.

Where - FNAME={#mask | #dirname}

(PeSIT CFT/CFT profile)

The name specified can be a generic file name or a directory name.

It can include:

  • Specific symbolic variables, such as &PART and &IDF
  • The * and ? wildcard characters

The directory name represents any structure specific to the environment and used to group files together: library, catalog, PDSE and so on.

The group of files to be transferred is selected dynamically based on the generic name or directory name. Depending on the operating system, the selection mechanism is the result of a directory list or equivalent.

If the files are sent to the same type of site (CFTPART SYST parameter set to the same value as on the local system), the selected files are copied and concatenated into a temporary file (see the WFNAME parameter) defined in the send command. Two entries are created in the catalog: a generic entry and a transfer entry.

If the files are sent to a different type of site, a generic entry is created in the catalog, along with one transfer entry for each file selected.

Sending a group of specified files: filename

This section provides an example of sending a group of files, the names of which are listed in the specified file:


The specified name is the full name of a physical file, containing the list of files to be sent, list of physical file names, with one name per record.

The FNAME parameter can contain specific symbolic variables, such as &PART and &IDF.

The name of the indirection file is preceded by the <file-symb> character specific to each system. In most environments, the ‘#’ symbol is used .

Note Refer to the table of platform-specific characters that corresponds to your operating system.

A catalog entry is created for each file. Each file is transferred in the same way as any other file.

Additionally, when sending a group of files:

  • You can specify a list of directories to be sent in the indirection file. The copy/concatenation mechanism works in the same way for each directory as for the other generic send modes.
  • Do not mix files and directories in the same indirection file.

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