IBM i | AS400 | iSeries

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Programming - CL (Control Language)

What is CL?

IBM i Control Language (CL) is a powerful scripting language for the IBM AS/400, IBM iSeries and IBM i Systems. It's got roots in the older IBM Job Control Language and it works as a simple way to script commands, instructions and other functions into an easy to understand programs. Sometimes we can create simple business functions purely in CL - without the need for more complex RPG logic.

  • CL source program is a set of CL source statements that can be compiled into either an original program model (OPM) program or an Integrated Language Environment® (ILE) module.
  • CL program or CL procedure is a group of CL commands that tells the system where to get input, how to process it, and where to place the results.
  • The program or procedure is assigned a name by which it can be called by other procedures or bound into a program and run.
  • As with other kinds of procedures, you must enter, compile, and bind CL source statements before you can run the program or procedure.
  • When you enter CL commands individually (from the Command Entry display, for instance, or as individual commands in an input stream), each command is separately processed.
  • When you enter CL commands as source statements for a CL program or procedure, the source remains for later modification if you choose; the commands are compiled into a module if you use the ILE compiler. This module remains as a permanent system object that can be bound into other programs and run. Thus, CL is actually a high-level programming language for system functions.
  • CL program or procedure ensure consistent processing of groups of commands.

CL Programming for Beginners

  • If you are a complete programming noob then this CL Programming course might be useful
  • If you are a software developer looking to add CL (Control Language) to your skillset then this might not be completely useless
  • If you are an old school RPG programmer looking to add some broader programming style to your skillset then this might be for you
  • If you've dabbled in CL but never really looked at some of its more advanced features then this is definitely for you!

Hopefully anyway 🙂

Ready to learn?


IBM i Software Developer, Digital Dad, AS400 Anarchist, RPG Modernizer, Shameless Trekkie, Belligerent Nerd, Englishman Abroad and Passionate Eater of Cheese and Biscuits.

Nick Litten Dot Com is a mixture of blog posts that can be sometimes serious, frequently playful and probably down-right pointless all in the space of a day.

Enjoy your stay, feel free to comment and remember: If at first you don't succeed then skydiving probably isn't a hobby you should look into.