01
Wed, Feb
17 New Articles

# RPG Academy: BIF Up Your Code! Building Excel's PROPER Case Function and Testing Chg_Case

###### Typography
• Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
• Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

The previous TechTip focused on two of Excel's text conversion functions, UPPER and LOWER. This time around, I'll cover PROPER, also known as Title Case. Read on!

PROPER Case is a bit complex to implement, because it completely modifies the input string, changing the first letter of each word to uppercase and all of the others to lowercase. It's a perfect opportunity to show how a fairly complex problem can be solved in a simple way, using BIFs.

PROPER Case is a bit trickier to code than the functions presented in the previous TechTip, but if you think for a bit about the definition, you'll see that the answer is right there. We just need to find a way to pinpoint the beginning of each word of the string. This TechTip is a follow-up from the previous one in this series, so if you haven't read it, now it would be a good time to do so.

We're going to modify the Chg_Case function in order to increase its functionality. The first change is quite simple: we want to add a new case, so the validation of P_Case must be changed accordingly (I've added the line in bold):

* P_Case

C                  IF       P_Case = ''

C                             AND P_Case <> 'U'

C                             AND P_Case <> 'L'

C                             AND P_Case <> 'S'

C                             AND P_Case <> 'P'

C                   RETURN    P_String

C                   ENDIF

The next step is adding a new WHEN statement to the SELECT that processes the input string. But before I do that, let's take a moment to analyze our problem: how to know which characters to capitalize. Just find the beginning of every word, right? One way to find out where each word begins is by looking for the blank space that separates it from the previous word. However, this approach doesn't work with the first word because we're trimming the leading blanks, so we need to treat it separately. The first word can be processed using the Sentence case approach from the previous TechTip. The following words of the string, however, require a little more processing:

* Proper Case (First Letter Of Every Word In Upper Case,

*             The Rest In Lower Case) aka Title Case

C                   WHEN     P_Case = 'P'

* Process the first word

C                   EVAL     W_TempStr = %XLATE(lc : UC :

C                                               %SUBST(W_String : 1 : 1))

C                                         +

C                                         %XLATE(UC : lc :

C                                               %SUBST(W_String : 2))

C                   EVAL     W_Pos = %SCAN(' ' : W_TempStr)

C                   DOW       W_Pos <> *Zeros

* Process the following words

C                   EVAL     W_TempStr = %SUBST(W_TempStr : 1 :

C                                                W_Pos) +

C                                         %XLATE(lc : UC :

C                                                 %SUBST(W_TempStr :

C                                                       W_Pos + 1 : 1))

C                                         +

C                                         %SUBST(W_TempStr : W_Pos + 2)

C                   EVAL     W_OldPos = W_Pos

C                   EVAL     W_Pos = %SCAN(' ' : W_TempStr : W_OldPos + 1)

C                   ENDDO

C                   EVAL     W_Return = %Trim(W_TempStr)

We're going to use %SCAN to distinguish between words. In this case, we're going to store the result of the %SCAN in the W_Pos variable. So what we're going to do is a three-step operation: first, we need to keep what was already convertedin other words, a substring starting with the first character of our string and ending with the blank space we've just found: %SUBST(W_TempStr : 1 : W_Pos); then we' re going to convert the first character after the blank space to uppercase: %XLATE(lc : UC : %SUBST(W_TempStr : W_Pos + 1 : 1)); for the third and final step, we're going to concatenate the rest of the string without making changes: %SUBST(W_TempStr : W_Pos + 2).

Next, we need to save the position of the last blank space found in W_OldPos and look for the next blank space, using the third parameter of %SCAN to start after that last blank space, thus making sure that we're not finding the same character twice. Since %SCAN returns zero when it can't find what it's looking for, we're using that to do the loop. Finally, we just have to pass our work variable to the one that's going to be returned (W_Return), and that's it.

Now, let's test our function! I've written a simple test program that tests the different Chg_Case variations:

*------------------------------------------------------------------------*

*   Variables                                                           *

*------------------------------------------------------------------------*

D W_MyString2   S           250A   VARYING INZ(*Blanks)

D W_TestStr2     S           250A   VARYING INZ(*Blanks)

*------------------------------------------------------------------------*

*   Copy Statements                                                     *

*------------------------------------------------------------------------*

* String Operations

/Copy QCPYLESRC,STR_OPS_PR

C                   EVAL     W_MyString2 = 'THIS is A Test'

* Test the Chg_Case function (UPPER CASE)

C                   EVAL     W_TestStr2 = Chg_Case(W_MyString2 : 'U')

* "W_TestStr2" is now 'THIS IS A TEST'

* Test the Chg_Case function (lower case)

C                 EVAL     W_TestStr2 = Chg_Case(W_MyString2 : 'L')

* "W_TestStr2" is now 'this is a test'

* Test the Chg_Case function (Sentence case)

C                   EVAL     W_TestStr2 = Chg_Case(W_MyString2 : 'S')

* "W_TestStr2" is now 'This is a test'

* Test the Chg_Case function (Proper Case)

C                   EVAL     W_TestStr2 = Chg_Case(W_MyString2 : 'P')

* "W_TestStr2" is now 'This Is A Test'

C                   EVAL     *INLR = *On

I've created a service program called STR_OPS (String Operations) to make the Chg_Case function available to the outside world. The /Copy QCPYLESRC,STR_OPS_PR line that you see near the top of the code is providing my test program (TST_STROPS) with the function's prototype. Then I'm using all the different P_Case choices to produce different results.

You can play around with it a bit by downloading and running the source code for the Chg_Case function. As a bonus, the STR_OPS and TST_STROPS source members also include the code for the LEFT and RIGHT functions I explained a few TechTips ago.

These are just a few examples of Excel functions that you convert to RPG. You can argue that there's not much to gain from that. Well, at least you get to practice the whole process of creating a function! Many readers reacted to the use of %XLATE, saying that there are other ways to provide the same functionality. The purpose of these two TechTips was not promoting the use of %XLATE. It was simply using this BIF as a way to create functions in an easily understandable fashion. The SQL 101 TechTip series will present, in a few articles, SQL embedded functions that replace %XLATE with more reliable and functional SQL functions.

I'll continue to explore RPG's BIFs in the next TechTip. I'll be talking about data and time operations. Until then, share your thoughts, questions, and doubts with your fellow RPGers via the Comments section below or in the usual LinkedIn groups where these TechTips usually end up.

Rafael Victória-Pereira has more than 20 years of IBM i experience as a programmer, analyst, and manager. Over that period, he has been an active voice in the IBM i community, encouraging and helping programmers transition to ILE and free-format RPG. Rafael has written more than 100 technical articles about topics ranging from interfaces (the topic for his first book, Flexible Input, Dazzling Output with IBM i) to modern RPG and SQL in his popular RPG Academy and SQL 101 series on mcpressonline.com and in his books Evolve Your RPG Coding and SQL for IBM i: A Database Modernization Guide. Rafael writes in an easy-to-read, practical style that is highly popular with his audience of IBM technology professionals.

Rafael is the Deputy IT Director - Infrastructures and Services at the Luis Simões Group in Portugal. His areas of expertise include programming in the IBM i native languages (RPG, CL, and DB2 SQL) and in "modern" programming languages, such as Java, C#, and Python, as well as project management and consultancy.

MC Press books written by Rafael Victória-Pereira available now on the MC Press Bookstore.

 Evolve Your RPG Coding: Move from OPM to ILE...and Beyond Transition to modern RPG programming with this step-by-step guide through ILE and free-format RPG, SQL, and modernization techniques. List Price \$79.95 Now On Sale Flexible Input, Dazzling Output with IBM i Uncover easier, more flexible ways to get data into your system, plus some methods for exporting and presenting the vital business data it contains. List Price \$79.95 Now On Sale SQL for IBM i: A Database Modernization Guide Learn how to use SQL’s capabilities to modernize and enhance your IBM i database. List Price \$79.95 Now On Sale

• ### TRIAL SOFTWARE

• #### White Paper: Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization

- Modernize on-time and budget - no more lengthy, costly, disruptive app rewrites!
- Retain your IBM i systems of record
- Find and hire new development talent
- Integrate new Node.js applications with your existing RPG, Java, .Net, and PHP apps
- Extend your IBM i capabilties to include Watson API, Cloud, and Internet of Things

• #### Profound Logic Solution Guide

More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation.
Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects.
The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the companyare not aligned with the current IT environment.

Get your copy of this important guide today!

• #### 2022 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results

2022 marks the eighth edition of the IBM i Marketplace Survey Results. Each year, Fortra captures data on how businesses use the IBM i platform and the IT and cybersecurity initiatives it supports.

Over the years, this survey has become a true industry benchmark, revealing to readers the trends that are shaping and driving the market and providing insight into what the future may bring for this technology.

• #### Brunswick bowls a perfect 300 with LANSA!

Brunswick is the leader in bowling products, services, and industry expertise for the development and renovation of new and existing bowling centers and mixed-use recreation facilities across the entertainment industry. However, the lifeblood of Brunswick’s capital equipment business was running on a 15-year-old software application written in Visual Basic 6 (VB6) with a SQL Server back-end. The application was at the end of its life and needed to be replaced.
With the help of Visual LANSA, they found an easy-to-use, long-term platform that enabled their team to collaborate, innovate, and integrate with existing systems and databases within a single platform.
Read the case study to learn how they achieved success and increased the speed of development by 30% with Visual LANSA.

• #### Progressive Web Apps: Create a Universal Experience Across All Devices

Progressive Web Apps allow you to reach anyone, anywhere, and on any device with a single unified codebase. This means that your applications—regardless of browser, device, or platform—instantly become more reliable and consistent. They are the present and future of application development, and more and more businesses are catching on.

• How PWAs support fast application development and streamline DevOps
• What makes progressive web apps so versatile, both online and offline

• #### The Power of Coding in a Low-Code Solution

When it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed.
Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

• Discover the benefits of Low-code's quick application creation
• Understand the differences in model-based and language-based Low-Code platforms
• Explore the strengths of LANSA's Low-Code Solution to Low-Code’s biggest drawbacks

• #### Why Migrate When You Can Modernize?

Business users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.
In this white paper, you’ll learn how to think of these issues as opportunities rather than problems. We’ll explore motivations to migrate or modernize, their risks and considerations you should be aware of before embarking on a (migration or modernization) project.
Lastly, we’ll discuss how modernizing IBM i applications with optimized business workflows, integration with other technologies and new mobile and web user interfaces will enable IT – and the business – to experience time-added value and much more.

• #### UPDATED: Developer Kit: Making a Business Case for Modernization and Beyond

Having trouble getting management approval for modernization projects? The problem may be you're not speaking enough "business" to them.

This Developer Kit provides you study-backed data and a ready-to-use business case template to help get your very next development project approved!

• #### What to Do When Your AS/400 Talent Retires

IT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators is small.

This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn:

• Why IBM i skills depletion is a top concern
• How leading organizations are coping
• Where automation will make the biggest impact

• #### Node.js on IBM i Webinar Series Pt. 2: Setting Up Your Development Tools

Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. In Part 2, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Attend this webinar to learn:

• Different tools to develop Node.js applications on IBM i
• Debugging Node.js
• The basics of Git and tools to help those new to it
• Using NodeRun.com as a pre-built development environment

• #### Expert Tips for IBM i Security: Beyond the Basics

In this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

• Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
• Establishing object-level security
• Overseeing user actions and data access

Don't miss this chance to take your knowledge of IBM i security beyond the basics.

• #### 5 IBM i Security Quick Wins

In today’s threat landscape, upper management is laser-focused on cybersecurity. You need to make progress in securing your systems—and make it fast.
There’s no shortage of actions you could take, but what tactics will actually deliver the results you need? And how can you find a security strategy that fits your budget and time constraints?
Join top IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he outlines the five fastest and most impactful changes you can make to strengthen IBM i security this year.
Your system didn’t become unsecure overnight and you won’t be able to turn it around overnight either. But quick wins are possible with IBM i security, and Robin Tatam will show you how to achieve them.

• #### Security Bulletin: Malware Infection Discovered on IBM i Server!

Malicious programs can bring entire businesses to their knees—and IBM i shops are not immune. It’s critical to grasp the true impact malware can have on IBM i and the network that connects to it. Attend this webinar to gain a thorough understanding of the relationships between:

• Viruses, native objects, and the integrated file system (IFS)
• Power Systems and Windows-based viruses and malware
• PC-based anti-virus scanning versus native IBM i scanning

There are a number of ways you can minimize your exposure to viruses. IBM i security expert Sandi Moore explains the facts, including how to ensure you're fully protected and compliant with regulations such as PCI.

• #### Encryption on IBM i Simplified

DB2 Field Procedures (FieldProcs) were introduced in IBM i 7.1 and have greatly simplified encryption, often without requiring any application changes. Now you can quickly encrypt sensitive data on the IBM i including PII, PCI, PHI data in your physical files and tables.
Watch this webinar to learn how you can quickly implement encryption on the IBM i. During the webinar, security expert Robin Tatam will show you how to:

• Use Field Procedures to automate encryption and decryption
• Restrict and mask field level access by user or group
• Meet compliance requirements with effective key management and audit trails

• #### Lessons Learned from IBM i Cyber Attacks

Despite the many options IBM has provided to protect your systems and data, many organizations still struggle to apply appropriate security controls.
In this webinar, you'll get insight into how the criminals accessed these systems, the fallout from these attacks, and how the incidents could have been avoided by following security best practices.

• Learn which security gaps cyber criminals love most
• Find out how other IBM i organizations have fallen victim
• Get the details on policies and processes you can implement to protect your organization, even when staff works from home

You will learn the steps you can take to avoid the mistakes made in these examples, as well as other inadequate and misconfigured settings that put businesses at risk.

• #### The Power of Coding in a Low-Code Solution

When it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed.
Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

• Discover the benefits of Low-code's quick application creation
• Understand the differences in model-based and language-based Low-Code platforms
• Explore the strengths of LANSA's Low-Code Solution to Low-Code’s biggest drawbacks

• #### Node Webinar Series Pt. 1: The World of Node.js on IBM i

Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.
Part 1 will teach you what Node.js is, why it's a great option for IBM i shops, and how to take advantage of the ecosystem surrounding Node.
In addition to background information, our Director of Product Development Scott Klement will demonstrate applications that take advantage of the Node Package Manager (npm).
Watch Now.

• #### The Biggest Mistakes in IBM i Security

The Biggest Mistakes in IBM i Security
Here’s the harsh reality: cybersecurity pros have to get their jobs right every single day, while an attacker only has to succeed once to do incredible damage.
Whether that’s thousands of exposed records, millions of dollars in fines and legal fees, or diminished share value, it’s easy to judge organizations that fall victim. IBM i enjoys an enviable reputation for security, but no system is impervious to mistakes.
Join this webinar to learn about the biggest errors made when securing a Power Systems server.
This knowledge is critical for ensuring integrity of your application data and preventing you from becoming the next Equifax. It’s also essential for complying with all formal regulations, including SOX, PCI, GDPR, and HIPAA
Watch Now.

• #### Comply in 5! Well, actually UNDER 5 minutes!!

TRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms.

Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product.

• #### Backup and Recovery on IBM i: Your Strategy for the Unexpected

Robot automates the routine tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:
- Simplified backup procedures
- Easy data encryption
- Save media management
- Guided restoration
- Seamless product integration
Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Try the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution FREE for 30 days.

• #### Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events?
Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:
- Automated message management
- Tailored notifications and automatic escalation
- System-wide control of your IBM i partitions
- Seamless product integration
Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

• #### Easiest Way to Save Money? Stop Printing IBM i Reports

Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing.
Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

- Automated report distribution
- View online without delay
- Browser interface to make notes
- Custom retention capabilities
- Seamless product integration
Rerun another report? Never again. Try the Robot Report Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

• #### Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

For over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i.
Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:
- Automated batch, interactive, and cross-platform scheduling
- Event-driven dependency processing
- Centralized monitoring and reporting
- Audit log and ready-to-use reports
- Seamless product integration
Scale your software, not your staff. Try the Robot Job Scheduling Solution FREE for 30 days.