Procedure Step Queries


To record SQL statements, use the Step Query form, a sub-level of the Procedure Stepsform (itself a sub-level of the Procedure Generator).

INPUT, SQLI, HTMLCURSOR and HTMLEXTFILES commands can be accompanied by SQL statements that serve as step queries. Such queries are carried out after parameter input.


  • SQLI is a procedure step that executes SQL statements.
  • HTMLCURSOR and HTMLEXTFILES are Basic commands used in creating documents.

Error and Warning Messages

The SQL statements in step queries resemble those in form triggers. For instance, they can generate error or warning messages (by means of ERRMSG and WRNMSG statements). The contents of these messages are generally specified in the Procedure Messagesform, a sub-level of the Step Queryform. Long messages (taking up more than one line) can be continued in the next sub-level, Procedure Messages (cont.). Alternatively, message content can be taken from an external file.

In any given error or warning message, you can include a message parameter (<P1>{=html}, <P2>{=html}, <P3>{=html}). The values to be assigned to these parameters are defined in the query that generates the message, by means of the system variables :PAR1, :PAR2 and :PAR3.

You can also refer to a specific ''Priority''entity in the message, using the format {entity_name.{ F| R| P} }, where F = form, R = report and P = procedure. That is, you designate the entity name and type, and the entity’s title will appear in their place. This format is useful because entity names are rarely changed, whereas titles are rather likely to be modified in upgraded or customized versions. In this way, the most up-to-date title will appear in your message.

You can also send a mail message via a step query, using the MAILMSG command.

When activating the MAILMSG command from an SQLI step in a procedure, messages are not actually sent until the SQLI step is completed. In the interim, the MAILMSG command stores any messages being sent in that SQLI step in a buffer. This buffer is limited to 100 messages, meaning you cannot send more than 100 messages in the same SQLI step.

If you wish to send more than 100 messages, you can bypass this limit by creating an internal loop between procedure steps, using the GOTO Basic command. Finish the SQLI step and, in the next procedure step, use the GOTO command to return to that SQLI step (or to continue to the next procedure step, once all messages have been sent). In each iteration, up to 100 messages will be sent.

Note: Use this option carefully and avoid creating an infinite loop.

Parameter Variables

Step queries can include SQL variables that refer to specific parameters. The system defines an SQL variable for each parameter, which stores its value (:ProcedureName.ParameterName). Similar to the case of form variables, the procedure name can be replaced by the wildcard “$” if reference is to the current procedure (i.e., :$.ParameterName).

Procedures With Heavy Processing

Windows Interface only

In a procedure that requires heavy processing via a cursor, in the Windows interface, you can display a progress bar that indicates to the user how far the program has progressed. To do so, use the following step query:

OPEN mycursor;
:N = :RETVAL; 
:I = 0;
GOTO 9 WHERE :N <= 0;
FETCH mycursor INTO ;
:I = :I + 1;
DISPLAY :I OF :N; {processing of current record}
CLOSE mycursor;

Important! You can use the same cursor more than once within a given procedure or form trigger, but the declaration can be done only once. If, for example, you write a buffer that contains a cursor, and you want to use that buffer more than once in a procedure, you must write the declaration section in a separate buffer.

Checking SQL Syntax

You can check the SQL statements in the step query for syntax errors, prior to activation of the procedure itself, by running the Syntax Check program by Action from within the Procedure Generatorform.

Tracking Changes in Step Queries

You can track changes to step queries once they have been included in prepared version revisions. See Tracking Changes to Queries.

Further Reading