Variables

Introduction

Progress ABL is statically typed. The variables need to be declared and the datatype cannot be changed during run time.

Syntax

  • DEFINE VARIABLE i AS INT64 INITIAL -200 NO-UNDO. //A 64-bit integer initialized to -200

  • DEFINE VARIABLE l AS LOGICAL NO-UNDO. //A logical variable named l

  • DEFINE VARIABLE c AS CHARACTER NO-UNDO CASE-SENSITIVE. //A case sensitive ('a' <> 'A') variable.

  • DEFINE VARIABLE dt AS DATE INTIAL TODAY NO-UNDO. //A date variable set to todays date.

  • DEFINE VARIABLE a AS CHARACTER EXTENT 5 NO-UNDO. //An character array with length = 5

  • DEFINE VARIABLE j AS INTEGER EXTENT NO-UNDO. //An extent without a set length

  • DEFINE VARIABLE b AS DATETIME LABEL "Departure time". //A variable with a label

Arrays - defining and accessing

Progress supports one dimensional arrays, but they are called EXTENTS.

/* Define a character array with the length 5, and display it's length */
DEFINE VARIABLE a AS CHARACTER EXTENT 5 NO-UNDO.
DISPLAY EXTENT(a).

Individual positions i the array is accessed using "standard" c-style brackets. But the index starts at 1. The maximum size is 28000.

a[1] = "A".
a[2] = "B".
a[3] = "C".
a[4] = "D".  
a[5] = "E".

DISPLAY a[5].

Result:

enter image description here

Index 0 will generate an error:

DISPLAY a[0].

Result:

enter image description here

You can also define a indeterminate array without a set length. The length (extent) can be set in run-time. But only once!

DEFINE VARIABLE a AS CHARACTER EXTENT NO-UNDO.
EXTENT(a) = 10.
EXTENT(a) = 1.

The third line will procude the following error: enter image description here

You can use the INITIAL option on the DEFINE VARIABLE statement to set initial values.

DEFINE VARIABLE a AS CHARACTER EXTENT 3 INITIAL ["one","two","three"] NO-UNDO.
/* Some statements (like DISPLAY) can handle a whole array: */
DISPLAY a.

Result:

enter image description here

If you don't set all extents the remaining will get the last set value:

DEFINE VARIABLE a AS CHARACTER EXTENT 10 INITIAL ["one","two","three"] NO-UNDO.
DISPLAY a.

Result:

enter image description here

Basic variable declarations

/*                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
These variables are declared with `NO-UNDO`.
That states that no undo handling is wanted for this specific variable 
in case of a transactional roll-back. 

This should always be the default unless transactional control over 
this variable is a requirement. 
*/

/* Strings. A character longer than 32K should be a longchar */
DEFINE VARIABLE c   AS CHARACTER   NO-UNDO.
DEFINE VARIABLE cl  AS LONGCHAR    NO-UNDO.

/* Integers and decimals. INTEGER = 32 bit. INT64 = 64 bits */
DEFINE VARIABLE i   AS INTEGER     NO-UNDO.
DEFINE VARIABLE j   AS INT64       NO-UNDO.
DEFINE VARIABLE k   AS DECIMAL     NO-UNDO.

/* Date and datetimez. Unset variables have the unknown value ? */
DEFINE VARIABLE d   AS DATE        NO-UNDO.
DEFINE VARIABLE dt  AS DATETIME    NO-UNDO.
DEFINE VARIABLE dtz AS DATETIME-TZ NO-UNDO.

/* LOGICAL = Boolean data. True or false (or ?) */
DEFINE VARIABLE l   AS LOGICAL     NO-UNDO.

/* Rowids and recids are internal identifiers to database records */
DEFINE VARIABLE rid AS ROWID       NO-UNDO.
DEFINE VARIABLE rec AS RECID       NO-UNDO.

/* A handle is a handle to anything: a session, an on screen widget etc */
/* A Com-handle is used for ActiveX Com-automation */
DEFINE VARIABLE h   AS HANDLE      NO-UNDO.
DEFINE VARIABLE hc  AS COM-HANDLE  NO-UNDO.

/* A raw variable can contain any data. Binary, strings etc */
DEFINE VARIABLE rw  AS RAW         NO-UNDO.

/* A mempointer contains a sequence of bytes in memory. */
DEFINE VARIABLE m   AS MEMPTR      NO-UNDO.

Using the LIKE keyword

Using LIKE you can base the definition of you variable on another variable or a field in a database or temp-table.

Defining a variable LIKE a database field requiers the database to always be connected. This might not always be what you want.

DEFINE VARIABLE i AS INTEGER NO-UNDO LABEL "Nr" FORMAT "99999".
/* Define a variable with the same properties as "i" */
DEFINE VARIABLE j LIKE i.

/* Define a variable based on Customer.Custnum from the sports2000 database but 
override the label-definition */    
DEFINE VARIABLE k LIKE Customer.Custnum LABEL "Client".


2017-01-12
2017-01-22
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