Focal Point Banner

As of December 1, 2020, Focal Point is retired and repurposed as a reference repository. We value the wealth of knowledge that's been shared here over the years. You'll continue to have access to this treasure trove of knowledge, for search purposes only.

Join the TIBCO Community
TIBCO Community is a collaborative space for users to share knowledge and support one another in making the best use of TIBCO products and services. There are several TIBCO WebFOCUS resources in the community.

  • From the Home page, select Predict: WebFOCUS to view articles, questions, and trending articles.
  • Select Products from the top navigation bar, scroll, and then select the TIBCO WebFOCUS product page to view product overview, articles, and discussions.
  • Request access to the private WebFOCUS User Group (login required) to network with fellow members.

Former myibi community members should have received an email on 8/3/22 to activate their user accounts to join the community. Check your Spam folder for the email. Please get in touch with us at for further assistance. Reference the community FAQ to learn more about the community.

Read-Only Read-Only Topic
Silver Member
I am having a problem all of a sudden that seems to be a result of changing a char(30) field in an Informix database, to a varchar(30).

It seems that the data field isn't being cleared out for each record read, so if the field of the current record is shorter than the field of the prior record, part of the prior record's field is in the current record's field (got you confused yet?).

For example, if the field in the first record is:
Jones, George.................

(the dots are the null character) and then, if the field in the next record should be 'Allen, Tom', it comes out as:

and on and on, until the entire table is read.

Why am I getting these nulls, and prior record field data being carried over to later records?



(oh, this is the old text based Focus 6.8.5 on HP-UX with Informix 7.30)
Posts: 40 | Registered: March 10, 2004Report This Post
posted Hide Post
Did you re-gen the master file description for the table after you made changes?
Posts: 346 | Location: Melbourne Australia | Registered: April 15, 2003Report This Post
Silver Member
posted Hide Post
Yes, sorry, I should have stated that I re-gen'd the master file definition. But it didn't change. It still shows up as a USAGE=A30, ACTUAL=A30.

The thing is, I believe the ACTUAL value should be a variable now, because a varchar will return the actual number of characters in the field rather than a fixed length. But I can't find where you are allowed to put anything else in that location. I've tried USAGE=TX30, ACTUAL=TX, and various other mixes, but this version of Focus doesn't like that.

Thanks for the reply.
Posts: 40 | Registered: March 10, 2004Report This Post
<Pietro De Santis>
There are commands to resolve certain problems with text fields in Oracle:


There may be the same type of commands for Informix.

When you generate the masters, are you using the WebFOCUS console? What did you set the "SET CONVERSION LONGCHAR" setting to? You have the option of Text or Alpha. Text will put the TX format in the Master, Alpha will put the A format.
Report This Post
Silver Member
posted Hide Post
Well, I'm not using WebFocus, but the old text based version 6.8.5. And the Informix interface looks as if it was developed in 1992 !!

I couldn't solve this problem by the time I needed it, so I just re-wrote it using isql and awk. And we may start migrating over to Perl and Python anyway, so I don't know if I will be spending too much time on this.

Thanks anyway,

Posts: 40 | Registered: March 10, 2004Report This Post
Silver Member
posted Hide Post
Well, I'm back on this varchar() problem again, and have tracked it down to $FOCHOME/focbin/infint and/or $FOCHOME/focbin/infint5.

Based on my personal experience developing ESQL programs, it seems that when IBI developed this Informix interface module, they defined character fields using the $char field type, instead of the $string field type. This NULL problem I am running in to is exactly what I have experienced when doing this. I can access the same database using the same master file description using WebFocus, and do not have a problem.

So, is it possible to get corrected versions of these files? Again, I am using FOCUS 6.8.5 on HP-UX 10.20, so I know they are old, and probably not even supported any more, but I sure would like to resolve this.

Posts: 40 | Registered: March 10, 2004Report This Post
Hi TerryW:

The Informix interface hasn't been upgraded to handle true 'variable' length character strings, either because it's a new feature for that product, or because no one has requested it before.

Please open a HOTTRACK case with Tech Support. Programming is aware of the issue, and has already solved it for Oracle, so they should be able to provide a 'new' interface in short order.

Hope that helps.

Report This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  

Read-Only Read-Only Topic

Copyright © 1996-2020 Information Builders