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ABL Reference
ABL Syntax Reference : SUBSTRING function
 

SUBSTRING function

Extracts a portion of a character string from a field or variable.

Syntax

SUBSTRING ( source , position [ , length [ , type ] ] )
source
A CHARACTER or LONGCHAR expression from which you want to extract characters or bytes.
position
An integer expression that indicates the position of the first character you want to extract from source.
length
An integer expression that indicates the number of characters you want to extract from source. If you do not use the length argument or specify -1 as the length, SUBSTRING uses the remainder of the string from the specified position.
type
A CHARACTER expression that directs ABL to interpret the specified position and length values as character units, bytes, or columns. A double-byte character registers as one character unit. By default, ABL interprets the specified position and length values as character units.
There are four valid types: "CHARACTER," "FIXED," "COLUMN," and "RAW." The expression "CHARACTER" specifies character units. The expression "FIXED" specifies that position is in character units and the length is in bytes, but directs SUBSTRING to yield only whole characters. That is, if the last byte or bytes represent part of, but not all of, a multi-byte character, these bytes are excluded. The expression "COLUMN" specifies display or print character-columns. The expression "RAW" specifies bytes. If you specify the type as a constant expression, ABL validates the type specification at compile time. If you specify the type as a non-constant expression, the AVM validates the type specification at run time.
Note: If source is a LONGCHAR expression, "CHARACTER" is the only valid type and the default type.

Example

The r-substr.p procedure uses the SUBSTRING function to create invoice numbers. You supply a starting invoice number. The first SUBSTRING function produces the first two characters of today's date; the second SUBSTRING function produces the last two characters of today's date. The procedure concatenates these four characters to a hyphen and the number you entered to produce an invoice number.
r-substr.p
DEFINE VARIABLE inv-num AS CHARACTER NO-UNDO FORMAT "x(11)"
LABEL "Invoice Number".
DEFINE VARIABLE snum    AS INTEGER   NO-UNDO FORMAT "9999"
LABEL " Starting Order Number".
DEFINE VARIABLE enum    LIKE snum    NO-UNDO
  LABEL " Ending Order Number".
DEFINE VARIABLE num     LIKE snum    NO-UNDO
  LABEL "Starting Invoice Number".

UPDATE " Creating Invoices"
SKIP(2) snum SKIP(1) enum SKIP(2) num SKIP(2)
WITH SIDE-LABELS CENTERED NO-BOX.

FOR EACH Order WHERE Order.OrderNum >= snum AND Order.OrderNum <= enum:
inv-num = SUBSTRING(STRING(TODAY),1,2,"CHARACTER") +
SUBSTRING(STRING(TODAY),7,2,"CHARACTER") + " - " +
STRING(num,"9999").
DISPLAY Order.OrderNum inv-num WITH CENTERED.
/* Do creation and printing of invoice here */

num = num + 1.
END.

See also

OVERLAY statement, SUBSTRING statement