Application Related System Variables

This document covers the following topics:


*APPLIC-ID

Format/length: A8
Content modifiable: No

This system variable contains the ID of the library to which the user is currently logged on.

*APPLIC-NAME

Format/length: A32
Content modifiable: No

Under Natural Security

If Natural Security is installed, this system variable contains the name of the library to which the user is logged on. If the user is logged on via a special link, it contains the link name instead. If Natural Security is not installed, this system variable contains the name SYSTEM.

The general option Set *APPLIC-NAME always to library name can be set so that *APPLIC-NAME always contains the library name, regardless of whether the user is logged on via a special link or not. See Set *APPLIC-NAME always to library name in the Natural Security documentation.

*COM

Format/length: A128
Content modifiable: Yes

This system variable designates a communication area which can be used to process data from outside a screen window.

Normally when a window is active, no data can be entered on the screen outside the window. However, if a map contains *COM as a modifiable field, that field will still be available for the user to enter data when a window is currently on the screen. Further processing can then be made dependent on the content of *COM. This allows you to implement user interfaces where a user can always enter data in the command line, even when a window with its own input fields is active.

Note:
Although *COM can be used as a modifiable field in an INPUT statement, it is not treated as an input field, but as a system variable; that is, any input entered into the *COM field will be taken as it is, without any input processing (e.g. conversion to upper case) being performed on it. Once *COM has been displayed on the screen via an INPUT statement, every subsequent INPUT or REINPUT statement will cause the current content of *COM to be displayed.

See also:

*CONVID

Format/length: I4
Content modifiable: Yes

This system variable contains the conversation ID of the current conversational remote procedure call (RPC). This ID is set by an OPEN CONVERSATION statement.

Via an OPEN CONVERSATION statement, a client can get a server for exclusive use to execute a number of services (subprograms) within one server process. This exclusive use is called conversation. The OPEN CONVERSATION statement is used to open a conversation and specify the subprograms to be involved in this conversation. When an OPEN CONVERSATION statement is executed, it assigns a unique ID which identifies the conversation to the system variable *CONVID.

Several conversations can be open at the same time. To switch from one open conversation to another, you assign the corresponding conversation ID to *CONVID.

For further information on Natural RPC, see the Natural RPC (Remote Procedure Call) documentation.

*COUNTER (r)

Format/length: P10
Content modifiable: Yes

This system variable contains the number of times a processing loop initiated by a FIND, READ, HISTOGRAM or PARSE statement has been entered.

(r) notation after *COUNTER is used to indicate the statement label or source-code line number of the FIND, READ, HISTOGRAM or PARSE statement. If (r) is not specified, *COUNTER represents the number of times the currently active processing loop has been entered.

*COUNTER is not incremented if a record is rejected as a result of the criteria specified in a WHERE clause. *COUNTER is incremented if a record is rejected as a result of an ACCEPT/REJECT statement.

*CPU-TIME

Format/length: I4
Content modifiable: No

*CPU-TIME contains the CPU time currently used by the Natural process in units of 10 ms.

This system variable always contains the value zero for the following operating or TP monitor systems on mainframe computers:

  • z/VSE

  • CICS

  • IMS TM

  • openUTM

*CURRENT-UNIT

Format/length: A32
Content modifiable: No

This system variable contains the name of the currently executed unit. This is

  • the function name in case of the object type "function",

  • the inline subroutine name if an inline subroutine is performed,

  • the external subroutine name in case of the object type "subroutine", see also *SUBROUTINE,

  • the object name in case of all other object types (program, subprogram, map, dialog, etc.); see also *PROGRAM.

The contents of *CURRENT-UNIT will always be in upper case.

*DATA

Format/length: N3
Content modifiable: No

This system variable contains the number of data elements in the Natural stack which are available to the next INPUT statement as input data. *DATA will contain 0 when the stack is empty. A value of -1 indicates the next element in the stack is a command or the name of a Natural transaction.

The settings of the Natural profile/session parameters IA (Input Assign Character) and ID (Input Delimiter Character) at the time of execution of the STACK statement are used to determine the *DATA value.

*EDITOR

Format/length: L
Content modifiable: No

This system variable indicates whether the Natural program, data area and map editors are enabled and can be used.

It can contain one of the following values:

Value Description
TRUE The editors are enabled.
FALSE The editors are not enabled and cannot be used (default license setting).

For information on disabled Natural editors, see the relevant section in the Editors documentation.

*ERROR-LINE

Format/length: N4
Content modifiable: No

This system variable contains the source-code line number of the statement that caused an error.

*ERROR-LINE is reset to 0 when a Level 1 program starts executing.

*ERROR-NR

Alternatively, you may specify *ERROR.

Format/length: N7
Content modifiable: Yes

This system variable contains the error number of the error which caused an ON ERROR condition to be entered.

Only error numbers in the range from 0 to 9999 are supported.

Normally, *ERROR-NR contains the Natural system error number which caused an error condition to be entered; however, when a REINPUT WITH TEXT *nnnn statement is executed, the application-specific message number nnnn is placed into *ERROR-NR.

You may modify the content of this system variable via a Natural program; however, not within an ON ERROR statement block.

*ERROR-NR is reset to 0 when a Level 1 program starts executing.

*ERROR-TA

Format/length: A8
Content modifiable: Yes

This system variable contains the name of the error transaction program which is to receive control in the event of an error condition.

For further information, see Using an Error Transaction Program in the Programming Guide.

*ETID

Format/length: A8
Content modifiable: No

This system variable contains the current identifier of transaction data for Adabas. The default value is one of the following:

  • the value of the Natural profile parameter ETID,

  • the user ID as passed from the TP monitor,

  • the value provided in the user exit during Natural initialization,

  • the value from the security profile of the currently active user (applies only under Natural Security).

*ISN (r)

Format/length: P10
Content modifiable: Yes

This system variable contains the Adabas internal sequence number (ISN) of the record currently being processed within a processing loop initiated by a FIND or READ statement.

(r) notation after *ISN is used to indicate the label or statement number of the statement in which the FIND or READ was issued. If (r) is not specified, *ISN represents the ISN of the record currently being processed in the currently active processing loop.

For the HISTOGRAM statement, *ISN contains the number of the occurrence in which the descriptor value last read is contained (*ISN = 0 if the descriptor is not contained within a periodic group).

Database-Specific Information:

VSAM For VSAM databases, *ISN can only be applied to ESDS and RRDS. For ESDS, *ISN contains the relative byte address (RBA) and for RRDS the relative record number (RRN) of the record currently being processed within a processing loop initiated by a FIND or READ statement.
SQL Databases *ISN cannot be used.
DL/I *ISN cannot be used.

*LBOUND

Format/length: I4
Content modifiable: No

*LBOUND contains the current lower boundary (index value) of an array for the specified dimension(s) (1, 2 or 3) or for all dimensions (asterisk (*) notation).

Syntax:

*LBOUND (operand1 [,dim])

Operand Definition Table:

Operand Possible Structure Possible Formats Referencing Permitted Dynamic Definition
operand1     A     A U N P I F B D T L C G O yes no

operand1 is the array for which the lower boundary is specified. The index notation of the array is optional. As index notation only the complete range notation * is allowed for each dimension.

dim is the dimension number for which the current lower boundary is returned:

dim =

1
2
3
*

If no dimension is specified, the lower bound of the first dimension is returned.

If 1, 2 or 3 is specified, the lower bound of the first, second or third dimension is returned.

If * is specified, the lower bound of all the defined dimensions are returned, that is

  • 1 in case of an one dimensional array,

  • 2 in case of a two dimensional array,

  • 3 in case of three dimensional array.

If an X-array is not allocated and the lower bound of the specified dimension of this X-array is the variable index bound, that is, it is represented by an asterisk (*) character in the index definition, the lower bound of the specified dimension is undefined, and access to *LBOUND leads to a runtime error. In order to avoid the runtime error, *OCCURRENCE may be used to check against zero occurrences:

DEFINE DATA LOCAL
  1 #XA(A5/1:*)
END-DEFINE
IF *OCCURRENCE (#XA) NE 0 AND *LBOUND(#XA) > 10 
  THEN ...

Examples:

DEFINE DATA LOCAL
  1 #I  (I4)
  1 #J  (I4/1:3)
  1 #XA (A5/10:*,20:*)
END-DEFINE
#I  := *LBOUND(#XA)       /* lower bound of 1st dimension is 10 
#I  := *LBOUND(#XA,1)     /* lower bound of 1st dimension is 10
#I  := *LBOUND(#XA,2)     /* lower bound of 2nd dimension is 20
#J(1:2):= *LBOUND(#XA,*)  /* lower bound of all dimensions
                          /* #J(1) is 10 and #J(2) is 20
END

See also *UBOUND and *OCCURRENCE.

*LENGTH (field)

Format/length: I4
Content modifiable: No

This system variable returns the currently used length of a field defined as dynamic variable in terms of code units; for A and B format the size of one code unit is 1 byte and for U format the size of one code unit is 2 bytes (UTF-16). *LENGTH(field) applies to dynamic variables only.

See also Value Space Currently Used for a Dynamic Variable in the Programming Guide.

*LEVEL

Format/length: N2
Content modifiable: No

This system variable contains the level number of the program, subprogram, external subroutine, map, helproutine or dialog which is currently active. Level 1 is a main program. If higher levels occur during runtime (maximum = 1024), then the content of *LEVEL will be 99.

*LEVEL does not apply to inline subroutines.

See also Using an Error Transaction Program in the Programming Guide.

*LIBRARY-ID

Format/length: A8
Content modifiable: No

This system variable contains the current library ID (as specified by the user in the LOGON command).

This variable is the equivalent of the variable *APPLIC-ID.

*LINE

Format/length: I4
Content modifiable: No

It contains the number of the line currently executed in a Natural object.

If a Natural object has been compiled with the Natural Optimizer Compiler, the value of *LINE may not reflect the correct line number if the source line where the system variable is used is part of a sequence of statements that have been optimized by the Natural Optimizer Compiler.

*LINEX

Format/length: A100
Content modifiable: No

Returns the line number of the statement currently executing, with all line numbers of used INCLUDE levels.

When used in the main source of a program (not inside a copycode), it returns only the number of the line in which it is referenced. In this case, the data is the same as what is returned by *LINE, except the format is (A100).

If *LINEX is used in a (nested) INCLUDE structure, all the line numbers starting from the first INCLUDE up to the last INCLUDE and the line number of the statement are returned in this field, separated from each other by a slash.

Example:

....
3200
3210 INCLUDE COPY01
     0010 ...
     0020 ...
     ....     
     0200 INCLUDE COPY02
          0010 ...
          0020 ...
          ....
          0050 PRINT *LINEX

The output produced by the PRINT statement is 3210/0200/0050 and represents the complete line number path needed to exactly locate the position where *LINEX was referenced initially.

*LOAD-LIBRARY-ID

Format/length: A8
Content modifiable: No

This system variable contains the library ID from where the current executed object was loaded.

*NUMBER (r)

Format/length: P10
Content modifiable: Yes

This system variable contains either of the following:

  • the number of records which were selected as a result of a FIND statement (as a result of the WITH clause);

  • the number of values selected as a result of a HISTOGRAM statement;

  • the end offset of the fetched segment as a result of a READLOB statement;

  • the end offset of the inserted segment as a result of an UPDATELOB statement.

(r) notation after *NUMBER is used to indicate the statement label or source-code line number of the associated statement. If (r) is not specified, *NUMBER automatically refers to the innermost active FIND, HISTOGRAM or READLOB processing loop by default. The (r) notation is always required, if *NUMBER refers to an UPDATELOB statement.

Note:
When *NUMBER is used in conjunction with a FIND statement and the Adabas file accessed is protected by the Adabas facility Security By Value, *NUMBER will contain 9999999999, if more than 1 record was found. If 1 record was found, *NUMBER will contain 1. If no record was found, *NUMBER will contain 0.

Database-Specific Information:

VSAM For VSAM databases, *NUMBER only contains the number of records found when used with a HISTOGRAM statement, or with a FIND statement which uses the operator EQUAL TO in the search criterion. With any other operator, *NUMBER will not contain the number of records found: *NUMBER will be 0 if no records have been found; any other value indicates that records have been found, but the value will have no relation to the number of records actually found.
SQL Databases For SQL databases, *NUMBER only contains the number of rows found, when used with a FIND NUMBER or with a HISTOGRAM statement without a WHERE clause. In all other cases, *NUMBER will not contain the number of rows found: *NUMBER will be 0 if no rows have been found; any value other than 0 indicates that rows have been found, but the value will have no relation to the number of rows actually found.
DL/I For DL/I databases, *NUMBER does not contain the number of segment occurrences found. It contains 0 if no segment occurrence satisfies the search criterion, and it contains a value of 8,388,607=X'7FFFFF' if at least one segment occurrence satisfies the search criterion.

*OCCURRENCE

Format/length: I4
Content modifiable: No

This system variable provides the current number of occurrences of an array. It can be applied to all kinds of array fields, with a fixed or variable number of occurrences.

This covers:

  • static arrays with a constant number of occurrences

    Example: (1:5)

  • X-Arrays with an alterable number of occurrences

    Example: (1:*)

  • parameter arrays, defined as (1:V)

Syntax:

*OCCURRENCE (operand1 [,dim])

Operand Definition Table:

Operand Possible Structure Possible Formats Referencing Permitted Dynamic Definition
operand1     A     A U N P I F B D T L C G O yes no

operand1 is the array for which the number of occurrences is returned. The index notation of the array is optional. If supplied, only the complete range notation * is allowed for each dimension, such as *OCC(#X(*)) or *OCC(#Y(*,*)).

dim is the dimension number for which the current number of occurrences is returned:

dim =

1
2
3
*

Explanation:

1 One-dimensional array. This is the default, if dim is not specified.
2 Two-dimensional array.
3 Three-dimensional array.
* All dimensions defined for the corresponding array apply.

In a parameter data area, you can use the index notation (1:V) to define an array with a variable number of occurrences (see the DEFINE DATA statement). The current number of occurrences of such an array is determined at runtime. With *OCCURRENCE, you can ascertain the current number of array occurrences.

Examples:

DEFINE DATA                 
PARAMETER                   
  1 #PARR  (I2/1:V)          
LOCAL                       
  1 #FARR  (I2/1:5)          
  1 #XARR1 (I2/1:*) 
  1 #XARR2 (I2/1:*,1:*)         
  1 #I     (I2)              
  1 #J     (I2)
END-DEFINE                  
FOR #I = 1 TO *OCC(#PARR)       /* Parameter array
  WRITE 2X #I               
END-FOR                     
FOR #I = 1 TO *OCC(#FARR)       /* Fixed array
  WRITE 4X #I               
END-FOR                     
EXPAND ARRAY #XARR1 TO (1:4)   
FOR #I = 1 TO *OCC(#XARR1)      /* X-Array
  WRITE 6X #I               
END-FOR                     
EXPAND ARRAY #XARR2 TO (1:3,1:4)   
FOR #I = 1 TO *OCC(#XARR2,1)    /* X-Array
  FOR #J = 1 TO *OCC(#XARR2,2)  
    WRITE 8X #I #J               
  END-FOR                       
END-FOR                     
END

See also the example programs OCC1P and OCC2P.

Concerning X-arrays, *OCCURRENCE contains the current number of occurrences:

DEFINE DATA LOCAL
  1 #I   (I4)
  1 #J   (I4/1:3)
  1 #XA  (A5/1:*,1:*)
END-DEFINE
EXPAND ARRAY #XA TO (1:10,1:20)
#I      := *OCC(#XA)    /* #I=10 
#I      := *OCC(#XA,1)  /* #I=10
#I      := *OCC(#XA,2)  /* #I=20
#J(1:2) := *OCC(#XA,*)  /* #J(1)=10  #J(2)=20
END

*PAGE-EVENT

Format/length: U(dynamic)
Content modifiable: No

This system variable contains the name of the current event delivered from Natural for Ajax.

It is used for rich GUI programming with the PROCESS PAGE statement. For further information, see the Natural for Ajax documentation.

*PAGE-LEVEL

Format/length: I4
Content modifiable: No

This system variable contains the level of the active PROCESS PAGE MODAL statement blocks.

If no PROCESS PAGE MODAL is active, the value of *PAGE-LEVEL is 0.

Note:
If the value of *PAGE-LEVEL is greater than 0, no output to Report 0 via an INPUT, PRINT, WRITE or DISPLAY statement is possible.

*PROGRAM

Format/length: A8
Content modifiable: No

This system variable contains the name of the Natural object that is currently being executed.

*REINPUT-TYPE

Format/length: A16
Content modifiable: No

This system variable indicates if the application is in a state allowing to execute a REINPUT or PROCESS PAGE UPDATE statement.

An application can use an INPUT and (if running with Natural for Ajax) a PROCESS PAGE USING statement to perform an input/output processing. Under certain conditions, an application may return and re-execute these I/O statements with a REINPUT or PROCESS PAGE UPDATE statement.

The value returned by this system variable indicates whether or not such a re-executing statement is possible at this position. It returns one of the following values:

Value Description
(blanks) The application can neither perform a REINPUT nor a PROCESS PAGE UPDATE statement.
REINPUT The application can perform a REINPUT, but no PROCESS PAGE UPDATE statement.
UPDATE The application can perform a PROCESS PAGE UPDATE, but no REINPUT statement.

*ROWCOUNT

Format/length: I4
Content modifiable: No

This system variable contains the number of rows that were deleted, updated or inserted by one of the Natural SQL statements "searched" DELETE, "searched" UPDATE or INSERT (with select-expression), respectively. *ROWCOUNT always refers to the last executed one of these statements.

*STARTUP

Format/length: A8
Content modifiable: Yes

The program whose name is contained in this system variable will be executed whenever Natural would otherwise display the command input prompt (NEXT prompt or direct command line/window).

Activation of *STARTUP

Initial Setting without Natural Security

If Natural Security is not used, the value of *STARTUP depends on the setting of the profile parameter MENU:

  • If MENU=OFF is set, *STARTUP is blank.

  • If MENU=ON is set, *STARTUP contains MAINMENU; that is, the Natural main menu will be displayed.

Initial Setting with Natural Security

If Natural Security is used and a logon to a library is executed, *STARTUP contains the name of the program which has been entered in Natural Security as the startup transaction in the security profile of the respective library (except in batch mode; see also the Natural Security documentation).

Setting at Runtime

You can assign a program name to *STARTUP which always overwrites the content of *STARTUP.

Deactivation of *STARTUP

Perform the following steps to deactivate the program contained in *STARTUP:

  • Depending on the context in which *STARTUP is used, there are several ways to properly terminate a startup program without causing a program loop or Natural error NAT9969, respectively. Choose one of the following options:

    1. Set the *STARTUP system variable to a blank value (for example, by using the RESET *STARTUP statement) and finish the startup afterwards.

    2. Terminate the session.

    3. Force a logoff or a logon to another library.

  • If the *STARTUP program issues a MORE prompt, enter a command or another input to interrupt the program.

  • If the *STARTUP program issues any output, request a command prompt by issuing a Natural %% terminal command.

    A %% command deactivates the startup program in either a non-security or Natural Security environment in which command mode is allowed for the current library.

Avoiding Undesirable Results when Using *STARTUP

When you define a startup program, consider that values returned for the system variables *DEVICE, *SERVER-TYPE or *SCREEN-IO can affect the program result. For example, perform the following steps to avoid undesirable results:

  • In batch mode (*DEVICE or *SCREEN-IO), include a FETCH or STACK COMMAND statement in the startup program; otherwise, a program loop or Natural error NAT9969 can occur.

  • If you map a Natural Development Server environment (*SERVER-TYPE) from NaturalONE and select a library with an active *STARTUP, make sure that the startup program does not perform screen I/O and terminates properly in the respective library (a logon to another library is not allowed). You can use the application programming interface USR4218N to find out whether NaturalONE is your current system environment. See also the description of startup transactions in the section Using an Exisiting Natural Development Server Environment, the section Frequently Asked Questions and the Glossary in the NaturalONE documentation.

*STARTUP under Natural Security

In a Natural Security environment in which command mode is prohibited for the current library, %% will cause the program whose name is contained in *STARTUP to be invoked.

The startup program must contain a FETCH or STACK COMMAND statement if the NEXT/MORE line is not allowed in the security profile of the library where the program resides. See also the corresponding option setting described in Security Options in the section Library Maintenance in the Natural Security documentation.

When a Natural runtime error occurs which is caused by a startup transaction (*STARTUP), Natural's error processing might lead to the startup transaction being executed again. This would cause an error-loop situation. To prevent such a loop, the general option Logoff in error case if *STARTUP is active is available. See Logoff in Error Case if *STARTUP is Active in the Natural Security documentation.

*STEPLIB

Format/length: A8
Content modifiable: No

This system variable contains the name of the steplib library which has been concatenated to the Natural library to which the user is currently logged on.

If Natural Security is not active, *STEPLIB contains the name specified with the profile parameter STEPLIB.

If Natural Security is active, the value may be defined in the security profile of a given library.

Note:
The database ID and file number of the *STEPLIB library are derived from its name. Apart from the library SYSTEM, libraries with the name SYSxxx are assumed to be in FNAT and other libraries are assumed to be in FUSER.

*SUBROUTINE

Format/length: A32
Content modifiable: No

This system variable contains the name of the external subroutine that is currently being executed. The contents of *SUBROUTINE will always be in upper case.

*THIS-OBJECT

Format/length: HANDLE OF OBJECT
Content modifiable: No

This system variable contains a handle to the currently active object. The currently active object uses *THIS-OBJECT to either execute its own methods or pass a reference to itself to another object.

*THIS-OBJECT only contains an actual value when a method is being executed. Otherwise it contains NULL-HANDLE.

*TYPE

Format/length: A32
Content modifiable: No

This system variable contains the type of the Natural object which is currently executed.

Valid values of *TYPE:

Value Object Type
PROGRAM Program
FUNCTION Function
SUBPROGRAM Subprogram
SUBROUTINE Subroutine
HELPROUTINE Helproutine
MAP Map
ADAPTER Adapter

*UBOUND

Format/length: I4
Content modifiable: No

*UBOUND contains the current upper boundary (index value) of an array for the specified dimension(s) (1, 2 or 3) or for all dimensions (* notation).

Syntax:

*UBOUND (operand1 [,dim])

Operand Definition Table:

Operand Possible Structure Possible Formats Referencing Permitted Dynamic Definition
operand1     A     A U N P I F B D T L C G O yes no

operand1 is the array for which the upper boundary is specified. The index notation of the array is optional. As index notation only the complete range notation * is allowed for each dimension.

dim is the dimension number for which the current upper boundary is returned:

dim =

1
2
3
*

If no dimension is specified, the upper bound of the first dimension is returned.

If 1, 2 or 3 is specified, the upper bound of the first, second or third dimension is returned.

If * is specified, the upper bound of all the defined dimensions are returned, that is

  • 1 in case of an one dimensional array,

  • 2 in case of a two dimensional array,

  • 3 in case of three dimensional array.

If an X-array is not allocated and the upper bound of the specified dimension of this X-array is the variable index bound, that is, it is represented by an asterisk (*) character in the index definition, the upper bound of the specified dimension is undefined, and access to *UBOUND leads to a runtime error. In order to avoid the runtime error, *OCCURRENCE may be used to check against zero occurrences:

DEFINE DATA LOCAL
  1 #XA(A5/1:*)
END-DEFINE
IF *OCCURRENCE (#XA) NE 0 AND *UBOUND(#XA) > 10 
  THEN ...

Examples:

DEFINE DATA LOCAL
  1 #I  (I4)
  1 #J  (I4/1:3)
  1 #XA (A5/*:10,*:20)
END-DEFINE
#i  := *UBOUND(#XA)        /* upper bound of 1st dimension is 10 
#i  := *UBOUND(#XA,1)      /* upper bound of 1st dimension is 10
#i  := *UBOUND(#XA,2)      /* upper bound of 2nd dimension is 20
#j(1:2):= *UBOUND(#XA,*)   /* upper bound of all dimensions
                           /* (1st and 2nd)
                           /* #J(1) is 10 and #J(2) is 20

See also *LBOUND and *OCCURRENCE.