Variable initializers

Variables can be initialized in their definition.

Syntax

Variable initializers must be placed after the type specification of a variable:
variable-definition = initializer
Where initializer is one of:
{ scalar-initializer
| record-initializer
| array-initializer
| dictionary-initializer
}
where scalar-initializer is:
{ integer-literal
| numeric-literal
| text-literal
| mdy-date-literal
| datetime-literal
| interval-literal
| boolean-literal
| NULL
}
where record-initializer is:
( identifier : initializer [,...] ) 
and array-initializer is:
[ initializer [,...] ]
and dictionary-initializer is:
( key : initializer [,...] )
  1. variable-definition is a DEFINE or VAR instruction.
  2. integer-literal is an whole number literal.
  3. numeric-literal is a decimal number literal.
  4. text-literal is a character string literal.
  5. mdy-date-literal is an MDY(mm,dd,yyyy) specification.
  6. datetime-literal is a datetime literal.
  7. interval-literal is an interval literal.
  8. key identifies a dictionary entry. It must be a string literal.

Variable initializer basics

To initialize a variable in the DEFINE instruction, add an equal sign followed by an initializer literal:
DEFINE v INTEGER = -800
Note: A variable initializer can not use expressions such as a value returned by a function, it must always be a static literal.
The compiler produces the error -6631, if the type of the initializer and the type of the variable are incompatible:
MAIN
    DEFINE v INT = "abc"
| incompatible types, found: 'CHAR', required: 'INTEGER'.
| See error number -6631.
END MAIN
Note: Local function variables of the first function in a module will be initialized before any WHENEVER statement.

See the DEFINE syntax topic for a complete description of the variable initializer syntax.

Initializing DATE variables

Date variables can be initialized with a MDY() literal:
DEFINE d DATE = MDY(12,24,2018)

Initializing RECORD variables

Record variables can be initialized with a list of identifiers followed by a colon and the literal value, surrounded with parentheses:
DEFINE r1 RECORD
        f1 INTEGER,
        f2 STRING 
    END RECORD = (f1: 99, f2: "abc")

An invalid record initialization value can produce compilation errors such as -8421, -8424, or -8425.

Variables defined with types can also be initialized:
TYPE Type1 RECORD
        f1 INTEGER,
        f2 STRING 
    END RECORD
DEFINE r2 Type1 = (f1: 99, f2: "abc")
Record members can be omitted, or specified in a different order:
DEFINE r1 Type1 = (f2: "abc")            -- f1 omitted
DEFINE r2 Type1 = (f2: "abc", f1: 99)    -- f2 before f1
Note: When a record member is omitted in the initializer, it will get the default value according to its type, as described in Variable default values.
Variables defined from database schema columns can be initialized by specifying the initializer after the LIKE clause:
SCHEMA stores
DEFINE customer RECORD LIKE customer.* = (fname: 'Peter', lname: 'Mango')
Initiliazers for nested records must specify the sub-record member name followed by parentheses including the values for the members of the the sub-record:
DEFINE r1 RECORD
          f1 INTEGER,
          f2 RECORD
             f21 STRING,
             f22 STRING
          END RECORD
    END RECORD = ( f1: 99,
                   f2: (f21:"abc", f22:"def") )

Initializing DYNAMIC ARRAY variables

Arrays can be initialized by specifying a list of elements separated by a comma, surrounded by square brackets:
DEFINE arr DYNAMIC ARRAY OF INT = [ 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 ]

An invalid array initialization value can produce compilation errors such as -8422.

Structured arrays can be initialized by combining the initializer syntax for arrays and records:
DEFINE pls DYNAMIC ARRAY OF RECORD
                id INTEGER,
                name VARCHAR(50)
           END RECORD =
         [
           ( id: 501, name: "Baxter" ),
           ( id: 502, name: "Folkap" ),
           ( id: 503, name: "Kirtshof" )
         ]

Initializing DICTIONARY variables

DICTIONARY variables can be initialized by using a comma-separated list of elements included in parentheses. Each element must be a key/value pair separated by a colon:
DEFINE mcs DICTIONARY OF DECIMAL(10,5) =
         ( "Pi"      : 3.14159,
           "Euler"   : 2.71828,
           "Golden"  : 1.61803
         )

Structured dictionaries can be initialized by combining the initializer syntax for dictionaries and records:

DEFINE pls DICTIONARY OF RECORD
                name VARCHAR(50),
                address VARCHAR(200)
           END RECORD =
         (
           "CB841" : ( name: "Baxter", address : "4 Baker Street" ),
           "CB112" : ( name: "Folkap", address : "234 Sunset Road" ),
           "CB233" : ( name: "Kirtshof", address : "76 Colmor Row" )
         )