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ABL Reference
ABL Syntax Reference : VALIDATE statement

VALIDATE statement

Verifies that a record complies with mandatory field and unique index definitions.


The name of the record you want to validate.
To validate a record in a table defined for multiple databases, you must qualify the record's table name with the database name. See the Record phrase reference entry for more information.
Suppresses ABL errors or error messages that would otherwise occur and diverts them to the ERROR-STATUS system handle. If an error occurs, the action of the statement is not done and execution continues with the next statement. If the statement fails, any persistent side-effects of the statement are backed out. If the statement includes an expression that contains other executable elements, like methods, the work performed by these elements may or may not be done, depending on the order the AVM resolves the expression elements and the occurrence of the error.
To check for errors after a statement that uses the NO-ERROR option:
*Check the ERROR-STATUS:ERROR attribute to see if the AVM raised the ERROR condition.
*Check if the ERROR-STATUS:NUM-MESSAGES attribute is greater than zero to see if the AVM generated error messages. ABL handle methods used in a block without a CATCH end block treat errors as warnings and do not raise ERROR, do not set the ERROR-STATUS:ERROR attribute, but do add messages to the ERROR-STATUS system handle. Therefore, this test is the better test for code using handle methods without CATCH end blocks. ABL handle methods used in a block with a CATCH end block raise ERROR and add messages to the error object generated by the AVM. In this case, the AVM does not update the ERROR-STATUS system handle.
*Use ERROR-STATUS:GET-MESSAGE( message-num ) to retrieve a particular message, where message-num is 1 for the first message.
If the statement does not include the NO-ERROR option, you can use a CATCH end block to handle errors raised by the statement.
Some other important usage notes on the NO-ERROR option:
*NO-ERROR does not suppress errors that raise the STOP or QUIT condition.
*A CATCH statement, which introduces a CATCH end block, is analogous to a NO-ERROR option in that it also suppresses errors, but it does so for an entire block of code. It is different in that the error messages are contained in a class-based error object (generated by the AVM or explicitly thrown), as opposed to the ERROR-STATUS system handle. Also, if errors raised in the block are not handled by a compatible CATCH block, ON ERROR phrase, or UNDO statement, then the error is not suppressed, but handled with the default error processing for that block type.
*When a statement contains the NO-ERROR option and resides in a block with a CATCH end block, the NO-ERROR option takes precedence over the CATCH block. That is, an error raised on the statement with the NO-ERROR option will not be handled by a compatible CATCH end block. The error is redirected to the ERROR-STATUS system handle as normal.
*If an error object is thrown to a statement that includes the NO-ERROR option, then the information and messages in the error object will be used to set the ERROR-STATUS system handle. This interoperability feature is important for those integrating code that uses the traditional NO-ERROR technique with the newer, structured error handling that features error objects and CATCH end blocks.


This procedure prompts for an item number. If an Item with that number is not available, the procedure creates a new Item record and lets you supply some Item information. The VALIDATE statement checks the data you enter against the index and mandatory field criteria for the Item record.
PROMPT-FOR Item.ItemNum.
ASSIGN Item.ItemNum.
UPDATE Item.ItemName Item.Price.
    DISPLAY Item.ItemName Item.Price.


*Because validation is done automatically, you rarely have to use the VALIDATE statement. The AVM automatically validates a record when a record in the record buffer is replaced by another, a record's scope iterates or ends, the innermost iterating subtransaction block that creates a record iterates, or a transaction ends.
*The AVM automatically validates mandatory fields when those fields are modified.
*If the validation fails on a newly-created record, VALIDATE raises the ERROR condition.
*The AVM performs validation when it leaves a field.
*For complex validations, it might be easier to use the IF...THEN...ELSE statement instead of the VALIDATE statement.
*You cannot use the VALIDATE statement to test fields that are referenced in SQL statements, since validation is not performed for these fields.
*If a field or table has been modified, the VALIDATE statement causes WRITE events and all related WRITE triggers to execute.

See also

IF...THEN...ELSE statement