Skip to Main Content
IBM Power Ideas Portal


This portal is to open public enhancement requests against IBM Power Systems products, including IBM i. To view all of your ideas submitted to IBM, create and manage groups of Ideas, or create an idea explicitly set to be either visible by all (public) or visible only to you and IBM (private), use the IBM Unified Ideas Portal (https://ideas.ibm.com).


Shape the future of IBM!

We invite you to shape the future of IBM, including product roadmaps, by submitting ideas that matter to you the most. Here's how it works:

Search existing ideas

Start by searching and reviewing ideas and requests to enhance a product or service. Take a look at ideas others have posted, and add a comment, vote, or subscribe to updates on them if they matter to you. If you can't find what you are looking for,

Post your ideas
  1. Post an idea.

  2. Get feedback from the IBM team and other customers to refine your idea.

  3. Follow the idea through the IBM Ideas process.


Specific links you will want to bookmark for future use

Welcome to the IBM Ideas Portal (https://www.ibm.com/ideas) - Use this site to find out additional information and details about the IBM Ideas process and statuses.

IBM Unified Ideas Portal (https://ideas.ibm.com) - Use this site to view all of your ideas, create new ideas for any IBM product, or search for ideas across all of IBM.

ideasibm@us.ibm.com - Use this email to suggest enhancements to the Ideas process or request help from IBM for submitting your Ideas.

Status Future consideration
Workspace IBM i
Created by Guest
Created on May 1, 2020

Argument for a built-in function can be the result of another built-in function

I would like that the argument for a built-in function can be the result of another built-in function. For example if I was going to emulate a varying length variable then I can only get the total length of the fixed length variable, not the length of the content of the variable.


Use Case:

This example results in an error: "Argument for built-in function %LEN not valid. ".
If &TEXT contains the value "ABCDEF" I would expect &LEN to be equal 6.

DCL VAR(&TEXT ) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(200)
DCL VAR(&LEN) TYPE(*INT)
CHGVAR VAR(&LEN) VALUE( %len(%trimr(&TEXT)))

This is legal but &LEN is 200
CHGVAR VAR(&LEN) VALUE( %len(&TEXT))

So it is not possible to find out the length of the contents this way. Of course %CHECKR could be used in this example. But the RFE is about that the argument for a built-in function can be the result of another built-in function.


Idea priority Medium
  • Guest
    Dec 1, 2020

    IBM understands this request and will consider it for a future code update, though no commitment is made or implied.

  • Guest
    Jun 23, 2020

    The CAAC has reviewed this requirement and recommends that IBM view this as a medium priority requirement that should be addressed. Keeping CL current and consistent with adding Built-in functions and nested calls, as are possible in other languages, would be beneficial.

    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 www.common.org/caac

    For more details about CAAC's role with RFEs, see http://www.ibmsystemsmag.com/Blogs/i-Can/May-2017/COMMON-Americas-Advisory-Council-%28CAAC%29-and-RFEs/

    Nancy Uthke-Schmucki - CAAC Program Manager

  • Guest
    May 18, 2020

    Medium:
    The CEAC has reviewed this requirement and recommends that IBM view this as a MEDIUM priority requirement that should be addressed. CL is an active and maintained language for managing IBM i so it is a good idea to implement more readable and modern BIF to keep complex system control programs working.

    Background: The COMMON Europe Advisory Council (CEAC) members have a broad range of experience in working with small and medium-sized IBM i customers. CEAC has a crucial 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.

    To find out how CEAC help to shape the future of IBM i, see CEAC @ ibm.biz/BdYSYj and the article "The Five Hottest IBM i RFEs Of The Quarter" at ibm.biz/BdYSZT

    Therese Eaton – CEAC Program Manager, IBM

  • Guest
    May 2, 2020

    I couldn't agree more. With the introduction of built-in functions in the 2000's into CL beyond the handful of original ones, I thought for certain I could specifically, finally do %LEN(%TRIMR(&var)) and recently realized that this implementation too was disappointing. Voted!