The API Corner: More on Sending Messages from an Application Program

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Learn how to send program messages based on an API error code structure.


In the previous article, "Inform Users of Problems by Sending Error Messages from Application Programs," the Send Program Message (QMHSNDPM) API was used to send a user error message indicating that a severe error had been encountered. In this article, the QMHSNDPM API will also be used, but now to send a system-related error message followed by a user error message.


As a review, back in "What to Do with Messages in the Application Program," we saw how to call a system API with the sending of error messages disabled. The scenario used was determining if an object existed by calling the Retrieve Object Description (QUSROBJD) API and, if an error was returned in the API error code data structure, handling the error in an appropriate way. The code shown at that time was this:


  RObjD(QUSD0100 :%size(QUSD0100) :'OBJD0100' :QualName :Type :ErrCde);

  if ErrCde.Common.QUSBAVL > 0;                                       


        when ErrCde.Common.QUSEI = 'CPF9801';                          

             // Create the user space                                 

        when ErrCde.Common.QUSEI = '???????';                       

             // Additional error checks that I will handle          


             // Something more than I expected so send 

             // appropriate message(s) and end         




  // Continue processing and eventually end the program normally    


In the previous SELECT structure, the first WHEN operation is checking the Exception ID of the API error code structure for CPF9801 – Object &2 in library &3 not found. This error message is related to an expected condition, and the program will create the object when necessary. No message to the user of the program is necessary.


The second WHEN operation is intended to check for exception IDs that may indicate an environmental problem rather than an application program failure. Reviewing the documentation for the Retrieve Object Description (QUSROBJD) API, the following errors might fall into this category and will be used to replace the '???????' literal used in the earlier article.

  •         CPF9802 – Not authorized to object &2 in library &3     
  •         CPF9810 – Library &1 not found     
  •         CPF9820 – Not authorized to use library &1      


When any of these errors are encountered, the application program will send the CPF message as a diagnostic followed by the application error message APP0002 as an escape. Here's the code to do this:


dApp0002          ds                  qualified  

d PgmName                       10               

dLen_MsgDta       s             10u 0       

        when ((ErrCde.Common.QUSEI = 'CPF9802') or     

              (ErrCde.Common.QUSEI = 'CPF9810') or     

              (ErrCde.Common.QUSEI = 'CPF9820'));      

             if ErrCde.Common.QUSBAVL < %size(QUSEC);              

                Len_MsgDta = 0;                                    


                Len_MsgDta = ErrCde.Common.QUSBAVL - %size(QUSEC); 


             SndMsg( ErrCde.Common.QUSEI :'QCPFMSG   *LIBL'        

                    :ErrCde.ErrMsgTxt :Len_MsgDta                  

                    :'*DIAG' :'*PGMBDY' :1 :MsgKey :QUSEC);        

             App0002.PgmName = PSDS.PgmName;                       

             SndMsg( 'APP0002' :'APPLMSGF  QGPL' :App0002          

                    :%size(App0002) :'*ESCAPE' :'*PGMBDY' :1       

                    :MsgKey :QUSEC);                               


Similar to how message description APP0001 was used in the previous article, the APP0002 error message has replacement data representing the name of the program. This is defined using the data structure App0002. The APP0002 message description is created using this command:



 MSG('Severe error found by program &1. Notify your system administrator.') +

 SECLVL('This error indicates an environmental problem. Review the job log +

 for previous error(s) and correct them.') FMT((*CHAR 10))


A new variable, Len_MsgDta, is also defined. This variable is used to specify the length of the message replacement data to be used when sending the CPF error message. The length of the message replacement data is determined by examining the Bytes Available field of the API error code structure (ErrCde.Common.QUSBAVL). When a message has no replacement data, the Bytes Available field will be set to 15; otherwise, Bytes Available will be set to the length of the replacement data plus 16 bytes (to account for the Bytes Provided, Bytes Available, Exception ID, and Reserved field of the QUSEC base structure). For this reason, the application first examines ErrCde.Common.QUSBAVL and if less than 16 (the size of the QUSEC base structure) sets Len_MsgDta to 0. Otherwise, Len_MsgDta is set to the value of Bytes Available less 16.


The application program now sends the CPF error message reported by the API to the job log as a diagnostic message. The one assumption being made here is that the message description is in the message file QCPFMSGF. For system APIs, this is generally a safe assumption. APIs provided by other program products may use a different message file, which would require a change to the second parameter value passed to the QMHSNDPM API.


Having sent the CPF error message, the application now records the name of the application program in the App0002 data structure and sends message description APP0002 as an escape message to the caller of the application program. If the application has been called from the command line and library SOMELIB does not exist, the user will see these two messages:


Library SOMELIB not found.                                            

Severe error found by program ROBJD. Notify your system administrator.


The system administrator would then authorize the (presumably new) user to the library SOMELIB.


The OTHER operation catches all other error messages reported back to the application program from the QUSROBJD API. For these error situations, the application again sends the CPF message to the job log as a diagnostic, but now sends message APP0001 (rather than APP0002) as an escape as these "other" errors are more associated with failures within the application program (or the job itself). The mechanics of sending these messages is essentially the same as seen in the previous WHEN logic.


The pertinent parts of the application program are provided below.


dRObjD            pr                  extpgm('QSYS/QUSROBJD')         

d Receiver                       1    options(*varsize)               

d LenReceiver                   10i 0 const                           

d Format                         8    const                           

d ObjName                       20    const                           

d ObjType                       10    const                           

d ErrCde                              likeds(QUSEC) options(*nopass)  

d ASP                            1    const options(*varsize :*nopass)


dSndMsg           pr                  extpgm('QSYS/QMHSNDPM')         

d MsgID                          7    const                           

d QualMsgF                      20    const                           

d MsgDta                     65535    const options(*varsize)         

d LenMsgDta                     10i 0 const                           

d MsgType                       10    const                           

d CallStackEntry             65535    const options(*varsize)         

d CallStackCntr                 10i 0 const                       

d MsgKey                         4                               

d QUSEC                               likeds(QUSEC)              

d LenCSE                        10i 0 const options(*nopass)     

d CSEQual                       20    const options(*nopass)     

d DSPWaitTime                   10i 0 const options(*nopass)     

d CSEType                       10    const options(*nopass)     

d CCSID                         10i 0 const options(*nopass)     


 /copy qsysinc/qrpglesrc,qusrobjd                                

 /copy qsysinc/qrpglesrc,qusec                                   


dQualName         ds                                             

d Name                          10    inz('SOMEOBJ')             

d Lib                           10    inz('SOMELIB')             


dPSDS            sds                  qualified                  

d PgmName               334    343                            


dErrCde           ds                  qualified               

d Common                              likeds(QUSEC)           

d ErrMsgTxt                    512                            


dApp0001          ds                  qualified               

d PgmName                       10                            


dApp0002          ds                  qualified               

d PgmName                       10                            


dType             s             10    inz('*USRSPC')          

dMsgKey           s              4                            

dLen_MsgDta       s             10u 0                         




  QUSBPRV = 0;                                                         

  ErrCde.Common.QUSBPRV = %size(ErrCde);                              


  RObjD(QUSD0100 :%size(QUSD0100) :'OBJD0100' :QualName :Type :ErrCde);

  if ErrCde.Common.QUSBAVL > 0;                                       


        when ErrCde.Common.QUSEI = 'CPF9801';                         

             // Create the user space                                  

        when ((ErrCde.Common.QUSEI = 'CPF9802') or                    

              (ErrCde.Common.QUSEI = 'CPF9810') or                    

              (ErrCde.Common.QUSEI = 'CPF9820'));                     

             if ErrCde.Common.QUSBAVL < %size(QUSEC);                 

                Len_MsgDta = 0;                                       


                Len_MsgDta = ErrCde.Common.QUSBAVL - %size(QUSEC);    


             SndMsg( ErrCde.Common.QUSEI :'QCPFMSG   *LIBL'         

                    :ErrCde.ErrMsgTxt :Len_MsgDta                   

                    :'*DIAG' :'*PGMBDY' :1 :MsgKey :QUSEC);         

             App0002.PgmName = PSDS.PgmName;                        

             SndMsg( 'APP0002' :'APPLMSGF  QGPL' :App0002           

                    :%size(App0002) :'*ESCAPE' :'*PGMBDY' :1        

                    :MsgKey :QUSEC);                                


             if ErrCde.Common.QUSBAVL < %size(QUSEC);               

                Len_MsgDta = 0;                                      


                Len_MsgDta = ErrCde.Common.QUSBAVL - %size(QUSEC);  


             SndMsg( ErrCde.Common.QUSEI :'QCPFMSG   *LIBL'         

                    :ErrCde.ErrMsgTxt :Len_MsgDta                   

                    :'*DIAG' :'*PGMBDY' :1 :MsgKey :QUSEC);         

             App0001.PgmName = PSDS.PgmName;                        

             SndMsg( 'APP0001' :'APPLMSGF  QGPL' :App0001       

                    :%size(App0001) :'*ESCAPE' :'*PGMBDY' :1    

                    :MsgKey :QUSEC);                            




  *inlr = *on;                                                  




You should now have a good feel for how to send messages using the Send Program Message API. In the future, we'll look at other capabilities of the message-handling APIs.


In the meantime, if you have any API questions, send them to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I'll see what I can do about answering your burning questions in future columns.

Bruce Vining

Bruce Vining is president and co-founder of Bruce Vining Services, LLC, a firm providing contract programming and consulting services to the System i community. He began his career in 1979 as an IBM Systems Engineer in St. Louis, Missouri, and then transferred to Rochester, Minnesota, in 1985, where he continues to reside. From 1992 until leaving IBM in 2007, Bruce was a member of the System Design Control Group responsible for OS/400 and i5/OS areas such as System APIs, Globalization, and Software Serviceability. He is also the designer of Control Language for Files (CLF).A frequent speaker and writer, Bruce can be reached at 

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