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Don,
There are two different things in play here.
QCMDEXC, the stored procedure
QCMDEXC, the scalar function.
The stored procedure came out much earlier. When you use CALL QSYS2.QCMDEXC... you are using the stored procedure. When you use select ..., qsys2.qcmdexc(..., from... you are using the scalar function.
For a list of what level of os and ptf's needed check out:
https://www.ibm.com/support/pages/node/1119123
Basically the stored procedure was part of the base of 7.3.
Can you tell me at what 7.3 DB2 group level did the function come out by looking at the link above?
See also: WRKPTFGRP
However, since you are only 6 months behind, and DB2 7.3 is up to level 30, I would think you should have it. I could not find a history of when level 24 came out.
Are you sure you're ordering group ptfs also and not just the cume?

For a definitive search you could try:
select *
from qsys2.sysfuncs
where SPECIFIC_SCHEMA='QSYS2' and ROUTINE_NAME='QCMDEXC';
This is different than
select *
from qsys2.sysprocs
where SPECIFIC_SCHEMA='QSYS2' and ROUTINE_NAME='QCMDEXC';

For 7.3 documentation on the scalar function see:
https://www.ibm.com/docs/en/i/7.3?topic=services-qcmdexc-scalar-function

See also:
https://www.ibm.com/support/pages/ibm-i-group-ptfs-level

Rob Berendt

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