Generating Natural Data Definition Modules (DDMs)

To enable Natural to access a DB2 table, a logical Natural data definition module (DDM) of the table must be generated. This is done either with Predict (see the relevant Predict documentation for details) or with the Natural utility SYSDDM; see also SYSDDM Utility in the Natural Editors documentation.

If you do not have Predict installed, use the SYSDDM function SQL Services to generate Natural DDMs from DB2 tables. This function is invoked from the main menu of SYSDDM and is described on the following pages.

For further information on Natural DDMs, see Data Definition Modules - DDMs in the Natural Programming Guide.

This section covers the following topics:


SQL Services (NDB/NSQ)

The SQL Services (NDB/NSQ) function of the Natural SYSDDM utility (see Using SYSDDM Maintenance and Service Functions in the Natural Editors documentation) is used to access DB2 tables. You access the catalog of the DB2 server to which you are connected, for example, by using the Environment Setting function as described in Natural Tools for DB2, or by entering the name of a server in the Server Name field on the SQL Services Menu. The name of the DB2 server to which you are connected is then displayed in the top left-hand corner of the screen SQL Services Menu. You can access any DB2 server that is located on either a mainframe (z/OS or z/VSE) or a UNIX platform if the servers have been connected via DRDA (Distributed Relational Database Architecture). For further details on connecting DB2 servers and for information on binding the application package (SYSDDM uses I/O module NDBIOMO) to access data on remote servers, refer to the relevant IBM literature.

The SQL Services function determines whether you are connected to a mainframe DB2 (z/OS or z/VSE) or a UNIX DB2, access the appropriate DB2 catalog and performs the functions listed below.

Note:
If you use SYSDDM SQL Services in a CICS environment without file server, specify CONVERS=ON in the NTDB2 macro; otherwise you might get SQLCODE -518.

Using SQL Services

Start of instruction setTo invoke the SQL Services function

  1. In the command line, enter the Natural system command SYSDDM and press ENTER.

    Or:

    1. From the Natural main menu, choose Maintenance and Transfer Utilities to display the Maintenance and Transfer Utilities menu.

    2. From the Maintenance and Transfer Utilities menu, choose Maintain DDMs.

    The menu of the SYSDDM utility is displayed. The fields and functions provided on the SYSDDM utility menu are explained in the section Using SYSDDM Maintenance and Service Functions.

  2. In the Code field of the Natural SYSDDM utility Menu, enter code B and press ENTER.

    The SQL Services Menu is displayed.

    11:31:39             ***** NATURAL SYSDDM UTILITY *****             2009-11-27
     Server DAEFDB29            - SQL Services: Menu -
    
    
    
    
                       Code  Function
    
                         S   Select SQL Table from a List
                         G   Generate DDM from an SQL Table
                         L   List Columns of an SQL Table
                         ?   Help
                         .   Exit
    
                Code ... _
          Table name ... ________________________________
          Creator ...... ________________________________
          Replace ...... N (Y,N)          DDM Name with Creator .. Y (Y/N)
          Server name .. DAEFDB29__________
          Remark ....... O (Overwrite/SQL/Comment)
    
    
    
    
    Command ===>
    Enter-PF1---PF2---PF3---PF4---PF5---PF6---PF7---PF8---PF9---PF10--PF11--PF12---
          Help        Exit                                                  Canc

    The functions available on this screen are described in the corresponding sections.

Select SQL Table from a List

This function is used to select a DB2 table from a list for further processing.

Start of instruction setTo invoke the Select SQL Table from a List function

  • On the SQL Services Menu, enter function code S.

    • If you enter the function code only, you obtain a list of all tables defined to the DB2 catalog.

    • If you do not want a list of all tables but would like only a certain range of tables to be listed, you can, in addition to the function code, specify a value in the Table Name and/or Creator fields. You can use asterisk notation (*) or the greater-than character (>) for a start value.

    Press ENTER.

    The Select SQL Table From A List screen is invoked displaying a list of all DB2 tables requested. On the list, you can mark a DB2 table with a function code:

    Code Function Description
    G Generate DDM from an SQL Table This function can be used to generate a Natural DDM from a DB2 table, based on the definitions in the DB2 catalog.
    L List Columns of an SQL Table This function lists all columns of a specific DB2 table.

Generate DDM from an SQL Table

This function is used to generate a Natural DDM from a DB2 table, based on the definitions in the DB2 catalog.

The following topics are covered below:

Invoking the Generate DDM from an SQL Table function

Start of instruction setTo invoke the function

  • On the SQL Services Menu, enter function code G along with the name and creator of the table for which you wish a DDM to be generated.

    • If you do not know the table name/creator, you can use the function Select SQL Table from a List to choose the table you want.

    • If you do not want the creator of the table to be part of the DDM name, enter an N (No) in the field DDM Name with Creator. The default setting is is Y (Yes).

    • If you wish to generate a DDM for a table for which a DDM already exists and you want the existing one to be replaced by the newly generated one, enter a Y (Yes) in the Replace field.

      By default, Replace is set to N (No) to prevent an existing DDM from being replaced accidentally.

    • In the Remark field you can specify the contents of the DDM Remark column. Enter:

      O (Overwrite) for SQL column remarks if defined, overwritten by field information generated by Natural if available. This is the default setting;
      S (SQL) for SQL column remarks if defined and blank otherwise;
      C (Comment) for field information generated by Natural if available. SQL column remarks will be copied to a separate DDM comment line.

      By default, Remark is set to O (Overwrite).

    • To define or alter a default value for the fields Code, Table Name, Creator, Replace, DDM Name with Creator or Remark use user exit NDBDDM-2 and its data area NDBDDM-L provided in library SYSDB2. See Making a User Exit Routine Available. For detailed information on how to handle NDBDDM-2, refer to the remarks in its source.

    Important:
    Since the specification of any special characters as part of a field or DDM name does not comply with Natural naming conventions, any special characters allowed within DB2 must be avoided. DB2 delimited identifiers must be avoided, too.

Assigning Default Values - Generating DDMs in Batch

To avoid user interaction popup windows during DDM field generation, the user exit NDBDDM-1 and its data area NDBDDM-L provided in library SYSDB2 can be used. For detailed information on how to handle NDBDDM-1, refer to the remarks in its source. See also Making a User Exit Routine Available.

DBID/FNR Assignment

When the Generate DDM from an SQL Table function is invoked for a table for which a DDM is to be generated for the first time, the DBID/FNR Assignment screen is displayed. If a DDM is to be generated for a table for which a DDM already exists, the existing DBID and FNR are used and the DBID/FNR Assignment screen is suppressed.

On the DBID/FNR Assignment screen, enter one of the database IDs (DBIDs) chosen at Natural installation time, and the file number (FNR) to be assigned to the DB2 table. Natural requires these specifications for identification purposes only.

The range of DBIDs which is reserved for DB2 tables is specified in the NTDB macro of the Natural parameter module (see the Natural Parameter Reference documentation) for the database type DB2. Any DBID not within this range is not accepted. The FNR can be any valid file number within the database (between 1 and 65535).

After a valid DBID and FNR have been assigned, a DDM is automatically generated from the specified table.

Long Field Generation

The maximum field length supported by Natural is 1 GB-1 (1073741823 bytes). If a DB2 table contains a column which is longer than 253 bytes or if a DB2 column is defined as a DB2 LOB field, the pop-up window Long Field Generation will be invoked automatically. A DB2 LOB field may be defined as a simple Natural variable with a maximum length of 1GB-1, or as a dynamic Natural variable.

A field which is longer than 253 bytes and which is not a DB2 LOB field may be defined as a simple Natural field with a maximum length of 1GB-1, or as an array. In the DDM, such an array is represented as a multiple-value variable.

If, for example, a DB2 column has a length of 2000 bytes, you can specify an array element length of 200 bytes, and you receive a multiple-value field with 10 occurrences, each occurrence with a length of 200 bytes.

Since generated long fields are not multiple-value fields in the sense of Natural, the Natural C* notation makes no sense here and is therefore not supported.

When such a generated long field is defined in a Natural view to be referenced by Natural SQL statements (that is, by host variables which represent multiple-value fields), both when defined and when referenced, the specified range of occurrences (index range) must always start with occurrence 1. If not, a Natural syntax error is returned.

Example:

UPDATE table SET varchar = #arr(*)
SELECT ... INTO #arr(1:5)

Note:
When such a generated long field is updated with the Natural DML UPDATE statement, care must be taken to update each occurrence appropriately.

Length Indicator for Variable Length Fields: VARBINARY, VARCHAR, LONG VARCHAR, VARGRAPHIC, LONG VARGRAPHIC, BLOB, CLOB, DBCLOB

For each of the column types listed above, an additional length indicator field (format/length I2 or I4 for LOB fields) is generated in the DDM. The length is always measured in number of characters, not in bytes. To obtain the number of bytes of a VARGRAPHIC, LONG VARGRAPHIC or DBCLOB field, the length must be multiplied by 2.

The name of a length indicator field begins with L@ followed by the name of the corresponding field. The value of the length indicator field can be checked or updated by a Natural program.

If the length indicator field is not part of the Natural view and if the corresponding field is a redefined long field, the length of this field with UPDATE and STORE operations is calculated without trailing blanks.

Null Values

With Natural, it is possible to distinguish between a null value and the actual value zero (0) or blank in a DB2 column.

When a Natural DDM is generated from the DB2 catalog, an additional NULL indicator field is generated for each column which can be NULL; that is, which has neither NOT NULL nor NOT NULL WITH DEFAULT specified.

The name of the NULL indicator field begins with N@ followed by the name of the corresponding field.

When the column is read from the database, the corresponding indicator field contains either zero (0) (if the column contains a value, including the value 0 or blank) or -1 (if the column contains no value).

Example:

The column NULLCOL CHAR(6) in a DB2 table definition would result in the following view fields:

NULLCOL          A 6.0
N@NULLCOL    I 2.0

When the field NULLCOL is read from the database, the additional field N@NULLCOL contains:

  • 0 (zero) if NULLCOL contains a value (including the value 0 or blank),

  • -1 (minus one) if NULLCOL contains no value.

A null value can be stored in a database field by entering -1 as input for the corresponding NULL indicator field.

Note:
If a column is NULL, an implicit RESET is performed on the corresponding Natural field.

Locator Field for LOB Column

For each LOB column, an additional locator field will be generated in the I4 format.

A LOB locator may be used to reference a LOB value in the DB2 database server, when a LOB value is not needed locally in a program.

List Columns of an SQL Table

This function lists all columns of a specific DB2 table.

Start of instruction setTo invoke the List Columns function

  • On the SQL Services Menu, enter function code L along with the name and creator of the table whose columns you wish to be listed, and press ENTER.

    The List Columns screen for this table is invoked, which lists all columns of the specified table and displays the following information for each column:

    Variable Content
    Name The DB2 name of the column.
    Type The column type.
    Length The length (or precision if type is DECIMAL) of the column as defined in the DB2 catalog.
    Scale The decimal scale of the column (only applicable if type is DECIMAL).
    Update Y The column can be updated.
    N The column cannot be updated.
    Nulls Y The column can contain null values.
    N The column cannot contain null values.
    Not

    A column whose scale length or whose type is not supported by Natural is marked with an asterisk (*). For such a column, a view field cannot be generated. The maximum scale length supported is 7 bytes.
    The following SQL types are supported:
    BIGINT, BINARY, VARBINARY, DECFLOAT, XML
    CHAR, VARCHAR, LONG VARCHAR, GRAPHIC, VARGRAPHIC, LONG VARGRAPHIC, DECIMAL, INTEGER, SMALLINT, DATE, TIME, TIMESTAMP, FLOAT, ROWID, BLOB, CLOB and DBCLOB.

    The data types DATE, TIME, TIMESTAMP, FLOAT and ROWID are converted into numeric or alphanumeric fields of various lengths: DATE is converted into A10, TIME into A8, TIMESTAMP into A26, FLOAT into F8 and ROWID into A40. DATE and TIME could be mapped alternatively to Natural DATE and Natural TIME respectively.

    For DB2, Natural provides a DB2 TIMESTAMP column as an alphanumeric field (A26) in the format YYYY-MM-DD-HH.II.SS.MMMMMM. Alternatively, you can generate the Natural TIME field (data format T) as DB2 TIMESTAMP data type if the DBTSTI option of the COMPOPT system command is set to ON (see the System Commands documentation).

    You can use the Natural subprogram NDBSTMP to compute TIMESTAMP (A26) fields.

Making a User Exit Routine Available

You can customize the Generating Natural Data Definition Modules (DDMs) map with user exit routine NDBDDM-1 or NDBDDM-2.

Start of instruction setTo make user exit routine NDBDDM-1 or NDBDDM-1 available

  1. Catalog the NDBDDM-num source object under the name NDBDDMUnum in library SYSDB2.

    Note:
    The names of the source object and the cataloged object of the user exit routine must be different to ensure that the overwriting of the source object during an update installation does not affect the cataloged object.

  2. Copy NDBDDMUnum to steplib SYSLIBS.

    A subprogram used by SYSDDM searches for NDBDDMUnum in steplib SYSLIBS.