Procedure Flow Control


The CONTINUE, GOTO and END commands (usually together with some type of Choose option) all affect procedure flow. In brief, they serve the following purposes:

  • CONTINUE— enables the user to continue or exit the procedure (see also the PRINTCONT command)
  • GOTO— jumps to another procedure step
  • Choose option — the value of the selected option is passed on to the GOTO command, determining the step to which the GOTO jumps
  • END— ends the procedure.

Continuing/Halting the Procedure

When a procedure involves heavy data manipulation or has far-reaching effects on the database, you may wish to offer the user the option of exiting it prior to data processing. The user may have accidentally activated the procedure, or may simply have changed his or her mind. The CONTINUE command (without parameters) is used for that precise purpose.

Using the GOTO Command

The GOTO command, which is useful in conjunction with CONTINUE, causes the procedure to jump forwards or backwards to another procedure step. The GOTO command always has a single parameter whose value is the procedure step at which to continue and whose type is INT.

Note: The value of the GOTO parameter may be a constant designated in the Value column of the Procedure Parameters form; it may be determined by an SQL statement; or it may be determined by the user’s choice of one of the CHOOSE options.

Activating a User-Chosen Option

You can create a procedure that offers the user several options and then activates certain subsequent procedure steps based on the chosen option. To design such a procedure, use the Choose functionality (via an input step of Choose items or by means of the CHOOSE command) together with GOTO and END commands. That is, the value of the chosen option can be used to determine the value of the GOTO command. Simply use the same parameter name for the GOTO command and leave the Value column blank (remember to specify a type of INT). Thus, if the user chooses the option whose value is 60, the procedure will proceed at step 60. It will continue until an END command is encountered (or until there are no more procedure steps).

You can also include a Choose option that simply ends the procedure, in case the user wants to change his or her mind. This is achieved by jumping to an END command (e.g., step 50). Note that the END command has no parameters.

Further Reading