Definition File Structure

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Definition File Structure

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Definition File Structure

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Persistate definition files are text files that you can write with any text editor, including the Visual Studio text editor.  The standard file extension for them is .per.  A definition file consists of a set of statements and comments, and is case insensitive.  Comments start with a double slash and end at the next new line.  For example

// This is a full line comment
Use Persistate.    // This is a partial line comment.

Comments are not included in the following syntax, as they are dealt with in the lexical scanning phase of definition file processing.


Source = Statement { Statement } ;
Statement = ( PackageReference | ClassCategory | DataClass
            | ObjectClass | Workspace | ViewClass ) "." ; 

See Grammar Notation in Syntax Sections for an explanation of the format and symbols used here



The source text of a definition file consists of one or more statements.  These statements can be in any order - the source is purely declarative, and there is no requirement for definitions to be made lexically before they are used.


A statement is always terminated with a period, and can be one of the six types listed in the following paragraphs.


This statement type declares a reference to another package that you want to import and use in your package definition.  See Package Import Definition for details.


This statement type defines a category that object classes can belong to, and lists functionality that these classes will exhibit.  See Class Category Definition for details.


This statement type defines a data class, which describes a set of values which a datum of that class can take.  See Data Class Definition for details.


This statement type defines an object class, which describes entities encapsulating one or more members and which is translates into a .Net class.  See Object Class Definition for details.


This statement type defines a user interface workspace which describes an arrangement of addressable panes within a window in a user interface.  See Workspace Definition for details.


This statement type defines an entity analogous to a database query, but which works on the persistent object tree.  See View Class Definition for details.