Special Character Strings

To maintain a special characters as part of a string, enclose the string within bracketing characters. The bracketing characters are:

  • backslashes (\)
  • single quotation marks (‘ ’)
  • double quotation marks (“ ”).


Backslashes indicate a character string and are not maintained as part of the string at its final resolution. The following table indicates the platforms that accept backslashes:

Processes Submitted from Backslashes valid?
HP NonStop No
OpenVMS No
z/OS Yes
i5/OS Yes
Microsoft Windows No

Use backslashes to:

  • Continue a string containing special characters across multiple lines.
  • Ensure that quotation marks in the string are maintained.

Both backslashes must be on the same line. If a string containing special characters continues across multiple lines, each line containing a special character must be enclosed in backslashes and concatenated. For example, the following SYSOPTS parameter for Connect:Direct® for i5/OS is a quoted string and must be enclosed in backslashes when it continues across multiple lines:

SYSOPTS=    \"CMD(\           ||                  -
            \SNDBRKMSG\       ||                  -

Resolves to:


If the character string includes a backslash, precede it with an additional backslash. For example:

PACCT=	\xd4 DEPT\MIS\         ||	      -

Resolves to:


Single and Double Quotation Marks

Use single and double quotation marks to embed special characters or blanks within a parameter or subparameter value. For example:


Strings within apostrophes (single quotes) allow the parsing of parameters as entered. Strings within quotes (double quotes) allow the resolution of &values in a quoted string.

For Connect:Direct for i5/OS and OpenVMS: Enclose the entire SYSOPTS string in double quotation marks (“ ”).

For Connect:Direct for z/OS®: Enclose parameters in double quotation marks (“ ”).

For Connect:Direct for UNIX: Use double quotation marks, unless otherwise specified.

Special Character Parsing in the SUBMIT Command

Parsing of special bracketing and single and double quotes is performed differently in a SUBMIT command than in a SUBMIT statement within a Process.

For example, a SUBMIT command executed from DMBATCH, resolves:

SYMBOL  &BATCHID2=\'''\ || BATCHID || \'''\



A SUBMIT statement within a Process resolves the same string to:


This is important to remember when a SUBMIT is performed between different platforms and products, such as from Connect:Direct for UNIX to Connect:Direct for z/OS to IBM® Connect:Enterprise®.