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Status Future consideration
Workspace IBM i
Categories Db2 for i
Created by Guest
Created on Aug 1, 2023

SQLRPGLE precompiler - allow usage of large VARCHARS by interpreting the same as SQLTYPE(CLOB)

Currently you cannot use large RPGLE VARCHARs (length >= 32705) in EXEC SQL statements.

I suggest updating the SQL precompiler and SQL processing so that they can be.

This would remove the need for defining SQLTYPE(CLOB) in new programs, VARCHARs could be used instead. And as a result, CLOB data would become interoperable with all the regular RPGLE BIFs such as %trim, %scan, %xlate, etc. with no conversion, and no need to reference different variants of the variable name in different circumstances.

A VARCHAR with a 4 byte prefix (either explicitly with VARCHAR(x:4), or implicit with VARCHAR(x) where x > 65535) has an identical structure in memory to the SQLTYPE DS (4 bytes unsigned int for length, then x bytes character), and the SQL precompiler, when it converts SQL statements, references with with %ADDR so I think this would be a pure precompiler change?

Supporting VARCHARs with a 2 byte prefix would I guess be more complicated as the SQL processing that references the address must know if it has a 2 byte or 4 byte prefix and act accordingly.

This would apply to the other LOB types too, not just CLOB.

This is Intended as an improvement on this other IDEA: which suggests the ability to optionally have the SQL precompiler convert SQLTYPE(CLOB) to a VARCHAR(x:4) instead of to the UNS(10)/CHAR(x) DS. The difference being that IDEA might only be SQL Precompiler changes, whereas this one is more complicated.

Thanks to Scott Klement, and JonBoy of, for the discussion - sorry I forgot about it for so long!

Idea priority Medium
  • Admin
    Carmelita Ruvalcaba Cevallos
    Apr 23, 2024

    The CAAC has reviewed this IBM Idea and recommends that IBM view this as a high priority Idea that is important to be addressed.

    As more and more webservices are being used and large data sets are being passed into the database, this is of value.

    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 IBM Ideas on the broader IBM i community and has therefore reviewed your Idea.

    For more information about CAAC, see

    Carmelita Ruvalcaba - CAAC Program Manager

  • Guest
    Aug 29, 2023
    IBM will use this Idea as input to planning, but no commitment is made or implied. This Idea will be updated in the future if IBM implements it.

    Db2 for i development team
    IBM Power Systems development