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 (

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 ( - Use this site to find out additional information and details about the IBM Ideas process and statuses.

IBM Unified Ideas Portal ( - Use this site to view all of your ideas, create new ideas for any IBM product, or search for ideas across all of IBM. - Use this email to suggest enhancements to the Ideas process or request help from IBM for submitting your Ideas.

Status Not under consideration
Workspace IBM i
Categories Languages - RPG
Created by Guest
Created on Sep 29, 2021

Easier Access to Returned Data Structures

As far as I know, for procedures that return a data structure you always have to declare an auxiliary data structure to that the returned value has to be assigned.

It would be a great help to be able to directly access the subfields of the returned data structure.

With a single field returned you can do this:
if myproc(parm) > 0;

You should also be able to do things like this when a procedure returns a data structure. It would make the use of return data structures much easier:
if myproc(parm).x > 0;

Use Case:

Example Procedure:
dcl pi getCoordinates() likesds(coordinates_t);
parm int(10);

In my copy file:
dcl-ds coordinates_t template;
x int(10);
y int(10);

In the caller you could do this:
if getCoordinates(objectnr).y > 100;
dsply 'you're flying too high!';

Instead of:
dcl-ds wrk_coordinates likeds(coordinates_t);
wrk_coordinates = getCoordinates(objectnr).y;
if wrk_coordinates.y > 100;
dsply 'you're flying too high!';

Idea priority Low
  • Guest
    Nov 30, 2021

    IBM does not intend to provide a solution to this request at this time, so it is being closed.

    This team has quite a long list of higher priority requirements, so this request is not likely to be implemented anytime soon.

    In cases where the RPG programmer does not have the ability to add additional procedures to the service program providing the procedure that returns a data structure, the RPG programmer could do one of the following:

    1. Create a wrapper module with additional procedures to return individual subfields of the returned data structure.

    2. Request that the owner of the procedure provide additional procedures with more granular information.

  • Guest
    Nov 18, 2021

    IBM has received the requirement and is evaluating it. IBM will provide a response after evaluation is complete.

  • Guest
    Oct 1, 2021

    Thanks for the comment. Of course, if you need 10 fields you should still store the result in a data structure.
    The problem should not be so different from using procedures that return one field.

    I would also feel tempted to re-code the following code with a one-field return value:
    if getCurrentTemperature() > 0;
    dsply getCurrentTemperature();
    elseif getCurrentTemperature() > 10;
    // blabla

    In web APIs you often receive huge data structures, e.g. if you call a web service to get weather data, you might want to only use the temperature in your program. So getWeatherDataFromApi(date:time).temperature would make sense to me.

    In another program I would use getWeatherDataFromApi(date:time).weatherWarning, and in the third I would store the returned data structure in a field to output all of the data.

    Or I might want to use just a sub data structure:
    Program A: MyWeatherDS = getWeatherDataFromApi().currentWeatherDataStructure;
    Program B: MyWeatherDS = getWeatherDataFromApi().tomorrowsWeatherDataStructure;

  • Guest
    Sep 30, 2021

    So, if there are 10 fields to check, the procedure is going to be called 10 times? Or is the system going to check to see if input parameters have changed to decide to actually perform the call (more overhead)? What if the procedure is not deterministic? I see potential for really bad performance or undesired results with this idea.