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Status Not under consideration
Workspace IBM i
Created by Guest
Created on Nov 28, 2018

No good way to specify a variable with list parameters.

Transferred from AD0276 -

Since the early days of the CPF operating system on the System/38, We've been bedeviled by specifying variables for list parameters in CL programs. For every other parameter on the system, if you need to specify a variable you're good to go, but there has never been a good way to specify a variable with list parameters. If you specify one list element you're OK, but that's rarely what is needed. Often times one needs to specify multiple list elements and you can never be sure how many will be needed at execution time. The current design of the command processing environment makes this difficult.

Use Case:

Current workaround: The standard work-around for this problem has always been to create a CL command in a variable and then execute it with a command execution API like QCMDEXC, but there are inherent problems (see “impact” above).

Proposed resolution:
The solution combines with requirements #212 (Arrays in CL) and #215 (Qualified Data Structures in CL), and it proposes to change the command environment to allow arrays and data structure arrays to be specified in list parameters. This will eliminate the “impact” issues by giving the CL command environment a discrete set of data elements. Full details and illustrations can be found at this URL on the System i News iDigress blog:

Idea priority Medium
  • Guest
    Jun 12, 2019

    The cost to implement would not be worth the benefit. There are many other ways to accomplish this with other languages today

  • Guest
    Jan 29, 2019

    A group of 3 RFEs are related enhancements that COMMON Americas Advisory Council (CAAC) believes would work well together to enhance the CL language capabilities, so I am linking them together: 127728, 127731, 127732.

    Nancy Uthke-Schmucki - CAAC Program Manager

  • Guest
    Jan 29, 2019

    The CAAC has reviewed this requirement and recommends that IBM view this as a high priority requirement that is important to be addressed. List parameters would be much easier to work with, just as they are when a REXX procedure is used as a command processing program.

    Background: The COMMON Americas Advisory Council (CAAC) members have a broad range of experience in working with small and medium-sized IBM i customers. CAAC has a key role in working with IBM i development to help assess the value and impact of individual RFEs on the broader IBM i community, and has therefore reviewed your RFE.

    For more information about CAAC, see

    For more details about CAAC's role with RFEs, see

    Nancy Uthke-Schmucki - CAAC Program Manager

  • Guest
    Dec 7, 2018

    IBM has modified some of the information in this request. In particular, the Source field was updated to indicate this RFE came from the COMMON User Group. Please contact us if you have any questions.

  • Guest
    Nov 29, 2018

    The CL language is lacking behind HLL like RPG.

    Instead of adding one function or two, it would be more wise to add the ability to execute CL commands directly from within RPG. Like SQL.

    EXEC CL from within RPG, similar to EXEC SQL.