SQR Questions





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What is SQR used for ?

Ans:  It is a Reporting Tool for creating customised reports to be run from PeopleSoft panels for formatting reports, data transfer, data uploading/downloading etc.


How SQR identifies where we keep sqr files (Path of  SQR files)?

Ans: It is specified in Configuration Manager.


3) Which SQC file is used for From Date and To Date.

Ans: AskEfdt.sqc


How do we Debug SQR ?

Ans: a)  by using #Debug, or #Ifdef Debugx #endif.

using Show or Display command.


How do you Optimise SQR ?

Ans: a) You can optimise SQR by breaking big sql statements into simple sql  statements.

b)   Using LoadLookup command.

Using an Array or flat file instead of database tables.

Examining Cursor Status by using -S flag while executing sqr.


What is a difference between Ask & Input command ?

Ans: Ask is a compile time substitute variable which is defined in  Begin-Setup. It is used to take an input at compile time. For example you want to accept a printer from user at compile time. Input command is used to accept user input at runtime.


How do we Convert Number to String in SQR ?

Ans: Using Tochar function or even by assigning. #var is numeric, $var is string.


How do you accept Date variable as an Input from a user ?

Ans: Input $Fieldname type-date format ‘dd/mm/yyyy’


How do you Fetch values from Arrays in SQR ?

Ans: Get & Put is used for inserting values in array.


How to find out Which SQL is running in SQR ?

Ans: Using -S flag while executing SQR at runtime.


What is Extract in SQR ?

Ans: Extract copies a portion of string into a string variable & substring is to extract a string from a string variable.


What are Open & Read functions of file opening in SQR ?

Ans: Open ‘Vendor.dat’ as 1 for-reading record=50:vary

         Open ‘C:\sqrtemp\vendor2.txt’ as #1 for-writing record=93:FIXED

         If #filestat=0 (file opened successfully)

                        Write #1 FROM $iSalVCode:3



How do we Concatenate String in SQR ?

Ans: Using Concat function or || as pipes.


How do we work on Effective dated rows on SQR ?

Ans: Write a subquery to get current effective date & then write an outer query for matching effective dated rows from a record.


How do I Reference Global variable in a local procedure in SQR ?

Ans: I can access Global variable with #_VariableName from local procedure.


How do you Declare a local procedure in SQR ?

Ans: Using Begin-Procedure <procedurename> local


How do you Place a Date into Heading Section of SQR ?

Ans Use Date-Time function in SQR & Page-Number.


How do you trap Errors in SQR ?

Ans: a) Using BEGIN-SELECT ON-Error=ErrorProcedureName

        b) In procedure display #SQL-Error to show ErrorNumber & $SQL-Error to display  message.


What the use of  ON-Break in SQR ?

Ans: Syntax: ON-Break Level=1 skiplines= 4 After = ProcedureName vcc

        Usage: It is used to group set of records for each level & break at each level.


What is a syntax of LoadLookup ?

Ans: It is declared in Begin-Setup.

         Syntax: Load-Lookup Name=<name>

                                             Table = <tablename>

                                             Key = <primarykey>

                                             Return_value = <FieldName>

                                             Where = FIELDNAME= <fieldname>


What are the statements used in Begin-Procedure ?

Ans: Begin-SQL, Begin-Select, Begin-Document etc.


21) What is a difference between Begin-Select & Begin-SQL ?           

Ans: BEGIN-SELECT has only one SQL statement.

         BEGIN-SQL can have any number of  DML statements & it can also have PL- SQL statements for oracle & each statement should end with double semi colon (;;).


22) Can Multiple Columns be retrieved in LoadLookup command in SQR ?

Ans: Yes, it has to be joined by a double pipe symbol ( || ).


23) Which SQC tells you that some Job is completed ?

Ans: Eoj.sqc tells you about that.


24) Which SQC is responsible for system memory allocations ?

Ans: AllMaxes.max


How do you control the number of iterations or fetch records firing SQL statement in SQR.

Ans: By using Begin-Select Loops=<number> statement.


What SQC’s you have written while customisation.



How do you Enter a line in an SQR ?

Ans: Print ‘-’ (y,x,100) FILL


How do you know in SQR on which cursor position you are residing ?

Ans: #Cursor-pos


How do you Use XLATT table in SQR ?

Ans: a) Include ReadXlat.sqc.

         b) Put values into $fieldName, $fieldValue

         c) Call procedure read-translate-table

         d) Get $XLATLongName & $XLATShortName from XLATTABLE of PeopleSoft database.


How do you Define arrays in SQR ?

Ans:  Syntax:  #define array-size 50


                                    CREATE-ARRAY NAME=<arrayname> SIZE=<size>




How do you differentiate printing a database column & any other variable in a select statement ?

Ans: Database fields should start with the 1st column.

         Indent other print statements with at least one column right.


How do you print a document/letter using SQR ?

Ans: Using Begin-Document, End-Document in a procedure.

         Call this procedure before From Clause in Begin-Select to print for each record.


What is a difference between EDIT & Format in SQR ?

Ans: EDIT is used for formatting while printing & Format is used while Input specially for date.


How do you put a blank line in Begin-Document End-Document ?

Ans: Using .b


What is STOP QUIET used for in SQR ?

Ans: Stops execution of SQR & come out of it.


How do you refer to a Constant in SQR ?

Ans: A constant is referred in curly braces { }.


How do you Execute SQR using Process Scheduler ?

Ans : a) Include some RunControl panel having OperatorID & RunCntlID.

b) This panel includes PRCSRUNCNTRL table & RUNCNTRL  table having  OperatorID & RunCntlID.

        c) Add your own input fields to this RunControl record & also drag drop it onto your panel.

d) Write PeopleCode OPRID = %OperatorID; in RowInit event of OPRID field.

Write procedure into SQR code which would have an SQL statement to fetch you fields from RUNCNTL table. Remark all input fields. Execute this procedure in else part of If $prcs_process_instance = ‘’ which means that this sqr is to be executed from Process Scheduler.


How to Avoid double declaration of an SQC file ?

Ans: To check this write all procedure of an SQC in the following :

#Ifdef  <constant>

     #define <constant>

     <write all procedures of an sqc file>



What Commands are used to show Output on Screen of an SQR at runtime ?

Ans: Display & Show are the commands for that.


Difference between SQR/Crystal/nVision ?

SQR ReportCrystal ReportNVision ReportGUI It does not provide GUI interface to create reports. It provides GUI Interface for creating reports. It provides GUI Interface for creating reports. Interface writing. Uploading/Downloading data from flat file to PS & vis-a-versa.Cannot be used for Interface writing.Cannot be used for Interface writing.Programming Language SQR language for reporting is a programming language in which you can create your own SQC’s libraries for reusability & also you can hold intermediate data for processing etc. You cannot write complex programs, at the most you can use few If-Else statements based on the data fetched. You cannot hold intermediate data.Only prints reports based on  PSQueries. Excel Specific Output  SQR Report output can be on text file, word document etc. Crystal Report output can be of any type.It provides output only for Excel spreadsheets.

What are the Common Flags used for SQR’s ?

-A           : Causes reporting output to be appended to an existing file of the same name.

-C           : Cancel dialog box appears so that user can terminate the program.

-DEBUG: Used in conjunction with #debug command to display additional information         when troubleshooting SQR programs.

-E           : Specifies that an error file be created and allows you to specify the filename.

-I            : Location of *.SQC or other include program files.

-F            : Specifies a file or directory where the *.lis file should be created, instead of in   the default location.

-O           : Filename for the log file.

-RS         : Creates a runtime version of your SQR. Creates a file with the *.sqt extention.  PeopleSoft does not use runtime SQR programs.

-M           :SQR configuration file. Used to modify default SQR properties(AllMaxes.max)

-PRINTER : Causes printer type to be specified.

-S             :Displays the status of the all cursors at the end of the run. This is used for   troubleshooting SQR programs.

-Tnn    : Specifies you to run SQR in test mode for the specified(nn) number of pages.

-CB     : Forces communication box.

-XCB   :Do not use communication box. Request for input will be made in Windows  dialog boxes.


42) How can I suppress display of the SQR banner line when running SQR ?

 Ans: Use the -XB flag.


43) Are SQR commands and variables case sensitive ?

Ans: No. Commands can be spelled with any case combination. The SQR variable $string is equivalent to $STRING.


44) Do SQR programs require a .sqr extension? Do SQR runtime files require a .sqt extension ?

Ans: SQR programs do not require a .sqr extension. SQR runtime files require a .sqt extension.


45) Can a .sqt file be "de-compiled" into the original SQR code ?

 Ans: No. This is not possible.


46) What is the limit for SQR command line length on PC/Windows ?

Ans: The limit is 128 characters. This is a PC limitation not an SQR limitation.You may want to have the SQR BINW directory on your PATH so that the full pathname to the SQRW executable is not needed. Arguments can be put into a report argument file that is specified with @file on the command line.


47) Can I set the current page number in an SQR program ?

Ans: Yes. Move the desired value to the SQR variable #page-count.


48) What is the maximum record length for the OPEN command ?

Ans: The maximum is 32K bytes (32767).


49) How can I read in variable length delimited fields from a sequential file ? An example format would look like this: field1|field2|field3|...

Ans: Instead of reading a record into individual fields, read the entire record into one field and then use the SQR unstring command to separate the delimited fields.

Example :


 open 'test.dat' as 1 for-reading record=80:vary

 while 1

  read 1 into $record:80

  if #end-file



  unstring $record by '|' into $field1 $field2 $field3 ...

  show $field1 ' ' $field2 ' ' $field3 ...


 close 1



50) How can I insert a null value into a numeric field in the database ? I tried not giving a #variable a value but that did not work, 0 was inserted.

Ans: When doing the insert, list only the fields for which a value is known. All other fields will get the null value.


51) If I get a duplicate key warning message when SQR loads a lookup table, will the lookup table still work correctly.

Ans: No. Use of a lookup table is dependent on not having duplicate keys.


52) How can I find out if rows are selected by a BEGIN-SELECT paragraph? Can I use the SQR variable #sql-count?

Ans: #sql-count indicates the number of rows affected by a DML statement (insert, update, or delete). It cannot be used for a BEGIN-SELECT paragraph. The solution is here below:


begin-procedure main1

 move 0 to #count   ! This is optional unless main1 is called more than once





 add 1 to #count

from table1


 if #count > 0

  show 'Number of rows selected was ' #count edit 999


  show 'No rows selected'


end-procedure main1


53) What is the value used with -C flag of BEGIN-SELECT?

Ans: BEGIN-SELECT -Cflag (Oracle, Ingres, SQL Base) - sets query buffer size. If the value of the -C flag is up to 256 it is in kilobytes, any number over 256 is in bytes only.For Oracle the default is set by the context_area parameter in the init.ora file - the default is 4096.


54) Can I write a matrix report in SQR ?

Ans: Yes. Example of a SQR cross-tab (matrix) report



 Page-Size 60 133

 declare printer      

  type = postscript

  orientation = landscape

  line-size = 8

  char-size = 6



55) Can I use 'dynamic column names' in Begin-Select (versions prior to v3.0)?

Ans: Yes, see following workaround. This SQR report will actually write another SQR code with column names supplied by the user and execute it. Note that in SQR Version 3.0, dynamic columns are directly supported.


begin-procedure main

 move 'DEPTNO' to $col1       ! You might use INPUT here to prompt the user

 move 'ENAME'  to $col2        ! to enter the column and table names instead.

 move 'EMP'    to $tab

 move 'sqrout.sqr' to $sqrpgmnam

 let $syscmd = 'sqr '||$sqrpgmnam||' user/password'

 move 100 to #flatfileid

 open $sqrpgmnam as #flatfileid for-writing record=132

 write #flatfileid from 'BEGIN-REPORT'

 write #flatfileid from '   DO MAIN'

 write #flatfileid from 'END-REPORT'

 write #flatfileid from 'BEGIN-PROCEDURE MAIN'

 write #flatfileid from 'BEGIN-SELECT'

 write #flatfileid from $col1 ' (+1,1)'

 write #flatfileid from $col2 ' (,30)'

 write #flatfileid from 'from ' $tab

 write #flatfileid from 'END-SELECT'

 write #flatfileid from 'END-PROCEDURE MAIN'

 close #flatfileid

 call system using $syscmd #status

 display 'Status of call is ' noline

 display #status



56)How can I prevent the printing of the empty page at the end of every

.LIS file?

Ans: Delete the last line in the .LIS file through an editor or this can be automated with CALL SYSTEM USING command which would execute the following SQR code.This program reads an ASCII file, removes the last line (the line having the Form Feed) from it and writes the output to another ASCII file.


57) In BEGIN-SELECT do the FROM and WHERE clause have to be aligned to the left margin ?

Ans: No. Only the selected columns have to be.


58) How to use the -F command line flag for multiple reports ?

Ans: Lets look at the following example. The program "ex20a.sqr" creates 3 reports.


sqr ex20a tutorial/secret -Flabel.lis -Fletter.lis -Flisting.lis


59) In the above example, what would be the names of the SPF files if we use a -keep command line flag ?

Ans: The names will be:





60) How many DECLARE-PRINTER commands can a program have ?

Ans: At the most, one for each printer type (lp, hp, ps) for each report plus one declaration for 'default-lp', one for 'default-ps' and one for‘default-hp'. SQR will produce an error message if you declare two hp printers for the same report (or two ps printers, etc.). SQR will issue an error if you define 'default-ps' twice, etc.


61) Do I have to have the DECLARE-LAYOUT before a DECLARE-REPORT that uses it?

Ans: No, you can have them in any order.


62)How do I have different reports generate output for different printers in the same program ?

Ans: You have to place an appropriate USE-PRINTER-TYPE after the corresponding USE-REPORT. For example:



 use-report listing

 use-printer-type ps

 use-report labels

 use-printer-type hp

 use-report form_letter

 use-printer-type lp

 do main



63) What's the effect of the -PRINTER command line flag in a multiple report program?

Ans: It overrides the printer type for all the report.


64) How can unique temporary file names be generated in SQR ?

Ans: One technique is to combine the report name (minus the extension) with the system process ID. The SQR pre-defined variables $sqr-report and #sqr-pid are used. The following example will create a temporary file named techtip1234.tmp for program techtip.sqr ran as process ID 1234. The temporary file is deleted at the end of the procedure.


65) How can I reset the page number that is printed with the PAGE-NUMBER command?

Ans: Move the desired value to the #PAGE-COUNT reserved variable. For example:

move 1 to #page-count.


66) How do I right justify a text string ?

Ans: Use the LPAD function of the LET command to add blanks to the start to the string. For example: let $s = lpad($s, 80, ' ')


67) Standard SQCs

·        Askftd.sqc - This asks from/thru date for reporting of heading

·        Askaod.sqc - Procedure to call is Ask-As-of-Date

·        CurDtTim.sqc - Gets the Current Date Time from System

·        DateTime.sqc - Convert date from system format calling InitDate-Time procedure to set format.

·        DateMath.sqc - Converts Native Date format to YYYY-MM-DD.

·        Eoj.sqc - determines End of job for an SQR report.

·        FSHdg01.sqc,FSHdg04.sqc - for Standard Headers for PS Financials.

·        Number.sqc     - Provides Number related Functions

·        Opsys.sqc - Operating system settings.

·        PrcsApi.Sqc - Used in Process Scheduler SQR Programs, to get Run control parameters

·        RDBMS.sqc - Database Settings. These files uses #DEFINE command to set the variables.

·        ReadXlat.sqc - Read the Translate Table for the desired values (Very Important)

·        Reset.sqc - Used for Footing Section that prints ‘End-of-Report’.

·        SetEnv.sqc - Sets Environment for Country, Printer-Paper, Language, Date,  Platform specific parameters, It also contains Opsys.sqc, RDBMS.sqc

·        Setup01.sqc - This is generally called from Begin-Setup section for Portrait Size

·        Setup02.sqc - This is generally called from Begin-Setup section for Landscape Size

·        STDHDGTR.sqc  - Performs Language Conversion

·        STDHDG01.sqc - Provides Standard heading for language conversion

·        StdApi.sqc - Gets Std API calls

·        Trancntrl.sqc - Purpose is to COMMIT, ROLLBACK etc. across DB platforms


·        Convertcurrency.sqc


·        AllMaxes.max - It is used for dynamic memory allocations before the execution of SQR.


68) What is Declare-Layout <layoutname> used for ?

Ans: It is used for defining Page Layout & includes Paper Size, Margins in Begin-Setup. Such as Left-Margin = 1, Top-Margin=1.


69) What is Master Detail Report ?

Ans: Report where tables with one to many relationships are involved.

Project, Tasks, Resources, Efforts. On-Break Level =1 etc.


70) How do you run SQR Report from DOS Prompt using a Batch File ?

Ans: C:\FDM75SU\sqrbinw\SQRW.EXE c:\sqrtemp\%1.sqr EPDMO/SYSADM/SYSADM -Ic:\FDM75SU\sqr\ <IncludeFile Path>

-Mc:\FDM75SU\sqr\AllMaxes.max -Oc:\SQRTEMP\sqr.log(LogFile)

-Fc:\sqrtemp\%1.lis(Output File)

-ZIFc:\FDM75SU\sqr\Pssqr.ini -lockrl

REM -XCB (do not display Communication Box)


71) What is a Syntax for using SQC's in SQR ?

Ans: #include 'setenv.sqc'.


72) What is #, $, & used for ?

Ans: #Numeric, $String, and &Database field values.


73) How to print current date in SQR ?

Ans: Print $current-date (1,1) EDIT ‘DD/MM/YYYY’ or use internal function or DateNow for current date & time.


74) How to Define Constant & its usage in Begin-Select:

Ans: #define MAX_LABEL_LINES 10


75) Functions (Most commonly used)


Isnull- Returns a value of 1 if source_val is null, otherwise returns a value of 0.

Instr- Returns the numeric position of sub_value in source_value or 0 if not found.

Length- Returns the number or characters in source_value.

Lpad- Pads the source_value on the left to a length of length_value using pad_value and returns the result.

Ltrim- Trims characters in source_value from the left until a character is not in set_value and returns the result.

Nvl- Returns y_value if the x_value is null, otherwise returns x_value.

Example: let $city = nval(&city, ‘-- not city -‘)


Substr- Extracts the specified portion of source_value.

To_char- , To_Number,

String-This creates a string, Opposite of this is Unstring

Extract-Copies a portion of a string into string variables generally used in file manipulations. Example: EXTRACT $area_code from &home_phone 0 3

Print is most commonly used stmt. Show and Display are also used


Example: EVALUATE<variable>

WHEN = <value>

WHEN = <value>


<default  SQR command(s)>



SQR provides internal, reserved variables with values maintained & updated by SQR.

#Current-Line : Current physical line on a page

$Current-Date : Current date time on the local machine when sqr is running.

#Current-Column : Current column on page.

#Page-Count : Current page number (can be reset).

#End-File : set to 1 if end of file occurs.

#Return-Status : value returned to operating system when sqr exits.

#Sql-Count : The # of rows affected by an SQL DML statement.

#Sql-Status : Status value from database after each query is compiled/executed. This value is database dependent.

$Sqr-Database: The database type for which SQR was compiled. Valid values are ORACLE, INGRES, DB2, INFORMIX, SQLBASE,SYBASE and ODBC.

$Sql-Error: Text message of error returned from DBS.

$Sqr-Locale : The name of the current locale being used.

#Sqr-pid: The process ID of the current SQR process.

$sqr-platform: The hardware/operating system type for which SQR was compiled. Valid values are WINDOWS, VM,MVS,WINDOWS-NT, UNIX, VMS.

$sqr-program: The name of SQR program file.

$sqr-ver: The text string shown with -ID flag.


Mostly used Format commands in SQR:

CENTER: Center text

EDIT: uses masks to control the format of the output

FILL : fills the specified length with characters specified.

ON-BREAK: allows you to specify an action/procedure in tabular reports when break occurs in the value of the field.

BEGIN-SETUP includes following commands:

Ask : Prompts the user for substitution variable.

BEGIN-SQL : Begins an SQL paragraph.

CREATE-ARRAY: Creates an array of fields to store and process data

DECLARE-CHART: Defines attributes of a chart.

DECLARE-IMAGE: Defines the type, size and source of an image.

DECLARE-LAYOUT: Defines attributes of a report layout.

DECLARE-PRINTER : Overrides the printer defaults.


DECLARE-REPORT: Defines reports and their attributes.

DECLARE-VARIABLE : Allows user to explicitly declare a variable name.

LOAD-LOOKUP : Loads columns into an internal array.

USE : Overrides default database (Sybase and MSSQLServer only)


SQR consists of 5 Sections:

Report or program






Processing sequence of SQR

Compile Stage

All #Include external source file (SQCs) are inserted into the source.

All #commands are evalueated. The #DEFINE text substitution variables are placed into the program source.

The SETUP section is processed, including allocation and population of memory arrays created by the Load-Lookup and Array commands.

Work buffers are allocated.

Optimization of the SQL data access path is determined.

Syntax of SQR source program is checked.

Execution Stage

Processes data for the Body section

Processes HEADING section

Processes FOOTING section

Writes entire page buffer to file.


What is Process Monitor used for ?

Ans: A centralized utility allowing you to monitor the status of process requests that you have submitted, by displaying a list of currently logged requests waiting to be processed. From this list you can view the active list of Process Scheduler Servers and stop their execution depending on your level of security.


What is the only required section of a SQR Program ?

Ans: The only required section of SQR program is BEGIN-PROGRAM with its corresponding END-PROGRAM.


How does SQR calculate the number of rows available for the body of the page ?

Ans: The rows available to the body of your report are calculated from the rows defined in PAGE-SIZE minus the number of rows reserved by the BEGIN-HEADING and BEGIN-FOOTING sections.


How do you make a zero value blank on a report ?

Ans: Print #varname (+1,1,10) EIDT bbb9


What types of SQR variables are “read only” ?

Ans: Database column variables and most internal reserved SQR variables are Read Only.


What is the difference between the parameters for the EXTRACT command versus the LET/SUBSTR command ?

Ans: The EXTRACT command uses the offset 0 as the first position. The LET/SUBSTR command uses 1 as the first position.


What is the BREAK command used for within a WHEN clause of the EVALUATE command ?

Ans: The BREAK command ends the EVALUATE at that point.


What must you remember to program into a WHILE loop ?

Ans: You must increment your WHILE loop counter.


What are the restrictions governing where a GOTO label can be placed ?

Ans: GOTOs and their labels must be in the same Section or Paragraph. Labels must be left justified and GOTO label must end with Colon(:)


What SQC is found in every PeopleSoft SQR program ?

Ans: SetEnv.sqc


What SQC files are commonly included in almost all PeopleSoft SQR programs?

Ans: CurDtTim.sqc, Number.sqc and Reset.sqc.


Which SQC file should be modified to include your standard company heading ?

Ans: xxHDG01.sqc where xx is for either HR for Human Resource or FN for Financials.


What are the most common uses of SQC files ?

Ans:     a) Setup Section

b) Standard Headings

Footing Section

User prompts

Get related data

Process Scheduler processing


Which SQL command is not allowed in the BEGIN-SQL paragraph ?



What will happen if you do not include an ON-ERROR=procedure in a BEGIN-SQL if your program encounters an SQL error or warning ?

Ans: SQR program will abort.


Which table stores the translated static report values ?

Ans: The Strings Table.


How does SQR provide you the ability to verify that a file was opened successfully ?

Ans: f you assign a numeric variable to the STATUS=in a file OPEN, you may check the numeric variable after the OPEN. If the OPEN fails, this variable will contain -1.


What restricts the size of LOAD-LOOKUP memory arrays ?

Ans: Available memory.


What PeopleCode must be on all Run Control Records ?

Ans: On the PRCSRUNCNTL record, the RowInit on OPRID and the SaveEdit on RUN_CNTL_ID.


What type of variable does the INPUT command use ?

Ans: The INPUT  command always inputs into a TEXT variable.


Where should you place user prompts for non-Process Scheduler execution ?

Ans: In the Init-Report procedure, in the following code:

If $prcs_process_instance=’’

            !prompts go here



What PeopleSoft tool is used to change the value of your SQR environment variables ?

Ans: The Configuration Manager.


What procedures are defined in PRCSAPI.SQC & PRCSDEF.SQC ?

Ans: PRCSAPI.SQC : Get-Run-Control-Parms(), Get-Process-Language(), Update-Prcs-Run-Status().

PRCSDEF.SQC: Define-Prcs-Vars() This procedure will define and initialize the various process scheduler variables.