This topic includes the following:


Commas have two functions:

  • Separate items within a list
  • Control the order of values specified as positional parameters

Use a comma to indicate omission of a positional parameter.

SIGNON USERID=(id,,newpswd)

Do not use commas to separate multiple symbolics in a Process. Separate multiple symbolics with one or more spaces.

Continuation Marks

Use a hyphen as a continuation mark when a statement continues on multiple lines. Separate the hyphen from the preceding characters by at least one blank.

For Connect:Direct® for HP NonStop: Both hyphen (-) and ampersand (&) are supported as continuation characters.

For Connect:Direct for UNIX, and OpenVMS: Continuation characters are not required.


Parentheses enclose lists and associate a group of values. For example, the FROM clause of the COPY statement is enclosed in one set of parentheses. Lists in the FROM clause are nested in subsequent pairs of parentheses.


Asterisks indicate generic specifications of parameters. With generics, you request information by specifying a single asterisk (*) or a character string plus an asterisk.

For example, the following FROM clause of a COPY statement selects all member names beginning with ACCT (the first four characters of the data set names) from the PDS named PDS.SOURCE.


For Connect:Direct for i5/OS Processes: Asterisks precede some subparameters and must be typed as shown in the statement format.