An arrangement for sharing file information among plural processes in a multiprogrammed computing system. Source program file declarations are compiled into file control structures which are placed in skeletal segments, the segments forming units of potential sharing between active processes. Those segments which contain file control structures are placed in either the address space of (1) all processes, (2) related processes, or (3) a single process, depending upon the declared sharing level of the file. Job control language (JCL) commmands are expanded into JCL file control structures and merged with the source language structures to form a file request control structure. This request may be compared against a catalog of existing external files, a check being made to insure that the account on whose behalf a computing job is requesting file assignment is authorized to obtain the requested access to the file. Further tests are then made to guarantee compatibility between the request and the current status of the file.