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Status Not under consideration
Workspace IBM i
Categories Db2 for i
Created by Guest
Created on Jul 26, 2019

Return Type for DB2 Coalesce Function Should Be "CHAR" NOT "DECFLOAT(34)" when params are (INT,CHAR) OR (CHAR,INT)

Apparently by design when the DB2 coalesce function evalute parameters consisting of mixed data-types, particularly CHAR(S) and INTEGERS it chooses a return data-type of DECFLOAT(34). When only these data-types are involved it should choose a variable character based datatype because all INTEGERS can be represented as CHARACTERS.

Use Case:

This is problematic when a wrapper function like IFNULL evaluates one of the following senarios:
Senario #1
PARAM1 (data-type = VARCHAR value = 'val')
PARAM2 (data-type = INTEGER value = 0)
RETURN-TYPE (data-type = DECFLOAT(34) value = +++)

This obsecures valid data because of the promotion of the return type to data-type DECFLOAT(34)


Senario #2
PARAM1 (data-type = INTEGER value = NULL)
PARAM2 (data-type = CHAR value = ' ')
RETURN (data-type = DECFLOAT(34) value = +++)

The common sense return should be data-type CHARS because INTEGERS can be represented as CHARS and the SPACE would be returned instead of the pluses (presumably LOW/HIGH Values?)

Idea priority High
  • Guest
    Mar 16, 2020

    We're declining this RFE because this is working as intended across the Db2 Family.
    Also, there is an approach that can be used, which is described as follows:

    The rules for the result data type of COALESCE for the Db2 family of products were discussed and decided in 2002. Changing the result data type now would break many applications that have been coded to expect the current result.

    When using ACS to run the following statement, a warning is returned to indicate the cast did not work. When using STRSQL, there is a data mapping error shown on the message line and the ++++ result indicates a problem value.

    For example: values coalesce ('val', 0 );

    To change the result of the COALESCE function to be character data, you must cast your numeric values to a character data type. Then the result will be character data.

    For example: values coalesce ('val', cast(0 as varchar(3)));

  • Guest
    Oct 25, 2019

    Due to processing by IBM, this request was reassigned to have the following updated attributes:
    Brand - Servers and Systems Software
    Product family - Power Systems
    Product - IBM i
    Component - Db2 for i
    Operating system - IBM i
    Source - None

    For recording keeping, the previous attributes were:
    Brand - Servers and Systems Software
    Product family - Power Systems
    Product - IBM i
    Component - Core OS
    Operating system - IBM i
    Source - None