What Is Multi Occurrence Data Structure in Rpgle?


Heather Bennett

What Is Multi Occurrence Data Structure in Rpgle?

In the world of RPG programming, data structures play a crucial role in managing and organizing data. One such type of data structure is the multi-occurrence data structure, also known as an array.

It allows you to store multiple instances of the same type of data within a single variable. This article will explore what multi-occurrence data structures are and how to use them effectively in RPGLE.

Understanding Multi Occurrence Data Structures

A multi-occurrence data structure is a way to group related information together under a single variable name. It enables you to store and manipulate similar data elements efficiently.

Each individual element within the array is called an occurrence or an array element.

The key benefit of using multi-occurrence data structures is that they simplify programming tasks by providing a way to handle collections of related data with a single variable declaration. Without this feature, you would need to declare separate variables for each element, which can quickly become cumbersome and error-prone.

Declaring Multi Occurrence Data Structures

In RPGLE, you can declare a multi-occurrence data structure by specifying the number of occurrences using brackets after the variable name. For example:

dcl-s MyArray Char(10) Dim(5);

In this example, we declare a multi-occurrence data structure called MyArray that can hold up to 5 occurrences (or elements). Each occurrence has a length of 10 characters.

Accessing Elements in Multi Occurrence Data Structures

You can access individual elements within a multi-occurrence data structure using subscripts. Subscripts allow you to refer to a specific occurrence within the array.

The first occurrence is referred to as index 1, the second as index 2, and so on.

To access a specific element in the array, you can use the following syntax:


For example, to assign a value “Hello” to the third occurrence of MyArray, you can use the following statement:

MyArray(3) = 'Hello';

Working with Multi Occurrence Data Structures in RPGLE

Multi-occurrence data structures provide a powerful way to handle collections of data. They are commonly used for scenarios such as storing arrays of values, managing lists of records, or representing tables.

To make full use of multi-occurrence data structures in RPGLE, it’s important to understand various operations that can be performed on them. Some commonly used operations include:

Looping through Elements

You can loop through all the elements within a multi-occurrence data structure using a FOR loop. This allows you to perform actions on each element systematically. For example:

For i = 1 to 5;
    // Access and process each element here

Finding Maximum or Minimum Value

You may need to find the maximum or minimum value within a multi-occurrence data structure. RPGLE provides built-in functions like %Max() and %Min() to accomplish this.

These functions can be handy when working with numeric data structures.

MaxValue = %Max(MyArray);

Sorting Elements

If you need to sort the elements within a multi-occurrence data structure, RPGLE provides the %Sorta() function. This function sorts the array in ascending order based on the values of the elements.



Multi-occurrence data structures, or arrays, are an essential tool in RPGLE programming. They allow you to efficiently manage and manipulate collections of related data.

By declaring, accessing, and performing various operations on multi-occurrence data structures, you can enhance the functionality and readability of your RPG programs.

Now that you have a solid understanding of what multi-occurrence data structures are and how to utilize them effectively in RPGLE, you can leverage this knowledge to tackle complex programming tasks more efficiently.

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