Hadn't seen that Terry. I gave up reading COBOL standards docs (other than when I have insomnia) when it was no longer part of my job at IBM.

I haven't seen any implementations of it - and (sadly) I'm pretty darn certain we won't see it in ILE COBOL. Pity they didn't do that instead of the support to create XML!

On 2012-06-27, at 11:23 AM, Winchester Terry wrote:

Ooops....Sorry, hit the ENTER key to quickly :(

Actually, I think the Cobol committee permitted user-defined functions
in the last draft standard - at least in the copy that I have:

Reference number of working document: ISO/IEC/JTC 1/SC 22/WG 4 N 0147
Date: 2001-12-04
Reference number of document: ISO/IEC IS 1989:2001

Not sure how many compiler vendors took advantage of it, but I know that
it doesn't exist in the iSeries compilers.


-----Original Message-----
From: cobol400-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:cobol400-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Jon Paris
Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 11:04 AM
To: COBOL Programming on the iSeries/AS400
Subject: Re: [COBOL400-L] CALLing other pgms - what is a good
method of handling different parm lengths

On 2012-06-27, at 10:20 AM, Stone, Joel wrote:

I have a pgm ProperCase to change an UPPER-CASE string to

For example, "123 ELM ST" changes to "123 Elm St"

The field that I want to pass as a parm may be different
lengths for example



I have been coding as follows:

move CUST-ADDRESS-1 of CUST-FILE to ws-string
call 'ProperCase' using ws-string
move ws-string to PRINT-LINE.

I would much prefer to do something like

Move ProperCase (CUST-ADDRESS-1) to PRINT-LINE

|------subprocedure name

Is this possible?

Nope - sadly when the COBOL gods introduced functions they
never went beyond the equivalent of RPG BIFS - no way to
write your own. If you wanted simple upper-casing for example
you could do this:

move function upper-case(CUST-ADDRESS-1) to PRINT-LINE.

Surely not, but

My next choice, to make fewer lines of code and thus more
readable code, would be to

call 'ProperCase' using PRINT-LINE

Problem is that in the pgm ProperCase, the parm is defined
as very long x(1000) to accommodate a long string. But when
I make this call, it wipes out everything in memory past the
field that I am passing as a parm.

Any way to avoid this?


This would do the same in RPG surely? or are you using a
varying string? I think ProperCase needs to be modified to
take the length of the field it is handling. Then it could
constrain its operation to the defined length. Simple pass
the "length of" value to make sure the length is accurate.

Jon Paris


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