Connection parameters in database specification

Connection parameters can be provided in the database specification string passed to the DATABASE and CONNECT TO instructions.

Using connection parameters at runtime

In the database name specification of CONNECT TO or DATABASE instructions, a + plus sign starts the list of connection specification parameters.

The connection specification parameters override the dbi.database connection parameters defined in FGLPROFILE.

In this example, driver, source and resource parameters are specified in the database specification string of the CONNECT TO instruction:

  DEFINE db, un, up STRING
  LET db = "stores+driver='dbmora',source='orcl',resource='myconfig'"
  LET un = ...
  LET up = ...
  • Do not hard code connection parameters in programs to be installed on a production site. Instead, build the connection string at runtime, or consider using the indirect database specification method.
  • Do not specify the username and password parameters in connection specification parameters. Instead, provide the SQL user credentials with the USER/USING clause of CONNECT TO.
  • Consider backslash interpretation in connection strings, as described below in Connection parameter parsing.

Syntax for connection parameters

Each parameter is defined with a name followed by an equal sign and a value enclosed in single quotes. Connection parameters must be separated by a comma:


In this syntax, parameter can be one of the following:

Table 1. Connection parameters in the database specification string
Parameter Description

Specifies which 'dbi.database' entries have to be read from the FGLPROFILE configuration file.

When this property is set, the database interface reads* entries, where name is the value specified for the resource parameter.


Defines the database driver library to be loaded (filename without extension).


Specifies the data source of the database.

Defines the name of the database user.
Important: Consider using CONNECT TO with USER/USING clause instead!
Defines the password of the database user.
Important: Do not write clear user passwords in your sources! This parameter should be set from a variable value.

Passing a plus sign in a connection parameter

With some databases, the source connection parameter can take different forms, that may contain a + sign. When specified directly as default source in the database connection specification, this + sign will be interpreted as the starting character for connection specification parameters, and produce error -6373: Invalid database connection string.

To workaround the + sign interpretation, put the source parameter explicitly in the connection specification.

For example, with SQL Server, you can specify ODBC connection string parameters with the ?options syntax:
CONNECT TO "mydsn?APP=myappid;" USER un USING up

In the above example, the connection specification passed to the CONNECT TO instruction defines implicitely the "source" connection parameter. This string contains the ODBC data source name (mydsn), and, after the ? question mark, the ODBC connection string parameter APP=myappid; defining the SQL client application identifier.

When using a plus sign in the ODBC connection string parameters, it will produce the error -6373. This can happend for example when using authentication credentials, as with the CRED parameter in the next example:

CONNECT TO "mydsn?APP=myappid;CRED=ZXB+2A" USER un USING up
To solve this issue, use an explicit "source" parameter in the connection specification of CONNECT TO:
CONNECT TO "mydbc+source='mydsn?APP=myappid;CRED=ZXB+2A'" USER un USING up

The plus sign in the "CRED" ODBC parameter value will be considered as part of the "source" parameter value.

Connection parameter parsing

The parameters and values after the + sign are parsed, and backslashes are interpreted as in a string literal.

For example, \n becomes a new line character in the final value used in the database driver.

To pass a backslash to the driver (for example when specifying a Windows® path), it must be doubled in the string value.

Furthermore, a backslash in a string literal of the source code must be quadrupled.

Consider implementing a utility function to double backslashes in a string:
FUNCTION escape_backslashes(str)
    DEFINE buf base.StringBuffer
    LET buf = base.StringBuffer.create()
    CALL buf.append(str)
    CALL buf.replace("\\","\\\\",0)
    RETURN buf.toString()