Select/Query From ... Where


1. Open, Read and Query Records:

     SELECT iolist [,REC=string$ ] FROM { [ TABLE ] filename$ | chan}[ ,KNO=num | name$ ]


[ BEGIN key$ [ : key$ : ... ] ]


[ END key$ [ : key$ : ... ] ]


[ [ STATIC ] WHERE expression ]


[ WITH [ REQUIRED ] select ]


[ ,ERR=stmtref ]

2. Return Full Record Contents:

     SELECT RECORD var$ FROM { [ TABLE ] filename$ | chan}[ ,KNO=num | name$ ]


[ BEGIN key$ [ : key$ : ... ] ]


[ END key [ : key$ : ... ] ]


[ [ STATIC ] WHERE expression ]


[ ,ERR=stmtref ]

3. Return Key Portion of the Record:

     SELECT KEY var$ FROM { [ TABLE ] filename$ | chan}[ ,KNO=num | name$ ]


[ BEGIN key$ [ : key$ : ... ] ]


[ END key$ [ : key$ : ... ] ]


[ [ STATIC ] WHERE expression ]


[ ,ERR=stmtref ]

An ERR= can be added after an END=, as well as before and after a WHERE.



Channel or logical file number to be read from.


Condition must return true or false. Numeric or string expression.


Name of the file to be opened and read from. String expression.


List of variables to be read from the file. The order in which the variables are specified (A$, B$, C$, ...) corresponds to how the fields are read from each record (1st, 2nd, 3rd, ...). If you use an * (asterisk), then all fields defined by the embedded data dictionary will be returned. You can use an IOL=iolref as your iolist.


String variable. Receives the contents of the record or key being read. If you use an * (asterisk), then the record or key contents will not be saved.

KNO=num | name$

File access key value (num) or name (name$).

BEGIN key$ [ : key$ : ... ]

Starting key of the range to select. key$ is a string expression. Multiple colon-separated segments may be specified if needed.

END key$ [ : key$ : ... ]

Ending key of the range to select. key$ is a string expression. Multiple colon-separated segments may be specified if needed.


Record prefix. (REC=VIS(string$) can also be used.)


Another SELECT directive used to define a join. See Join Select.


Program line number or statement label to which to transfer control.

(STATIC WHERE was added in PxPlus 2017.)
(WITH and WITH REQUIRED were added in PxPlus 2018.)


Use the SELECT directive to open, read and query records from the specified data file or just to read data from a specified file number. As each record is read, the system processes any logic you include following the SELECT directive up to the NEXT RECORD. When a NEXT RECORD statement is encountered with no records found for a nested SELECT, it will locate the corresponding SELECT statement.

If you include a WHERE clause, the loop will process only those records WHERE the condition is true.

The BEGIN and END clauses are supported only for keyed and memory files. You can use these clauses with WindX-connected files. Note that if you are using BEGIN and END in SELECT statements for files with descending keys, the END value must be lower than the BEGIN value.

Every SELECT must have a corresponding NEXT RECORD directive and must be in the correct sequence. A mismatched number of SELECT and NEXT RECORD directives can result in either an Error #27: Unexpected or incorrect WEND, RETURN or NEXT, or an Error #28: No corresponding FOR for NEXT.

Because the system pads descending keys to their full length with $FF$, the BEGIN value is item$+$FF$ and the END value should be item$+$00$ so that the ending key is less than the beginning key; i.e. the correct format is currently SELECT * FROM filename BEGIN item$ END item$+$00$.

Although the incorrect statement SELECT * FROM filename BEGIN item$ END item$+$FF$ may have worked in prior versions, it no longer does as of version 4.20. You must either include a NEXT RECORD directive to end the SELECT loop or instruct the system to exit the loop early (with an EXITTO directive). When an EXITTO directive is used, the file will be closed if SELECT specified a data filename rather than a channel.

In earlier versions of the language, the CONTINUE and BREAK directives (and corresponding *CONTINUE and *BREAK labels) were not supported for use with SELECT/NEXT RECORD directives. As of version 4.20, it is currently possible to include BREAK and CONTINUE commands in SELECT structures.

The keyword TABLE before the name$ indicates that the value provided is the logical table name for the file as defined in the currently opened data dictionary file. See OPEN DICTIONARY.

For non-join selects on Keyed or EFF PxPlus data files, you can enable select optimization via the 'SO' system parameter.

(The TABLE option was added in PxPlus v6.30.)

External Database Access

If you are working with an external database such as MySQL or Microsoft SQL Server, PxPlus will use the WHERE clause to filter the results before they are returned to PxPlus. Filtering the results before they are returned to PxPlus is generally much faster, as this reduces the number of file reads and writes, as well as network traffic.

PxPlus will filter before if the WHERE expression consists of the following format:

field [$] comparison_op literal [ {AND | OR} field[$] comparison_op literal ]...


SELECT addresses WHERE city$="Toronto" OR city$="Markham"

If the WHERE expression contains any variables that do not match database table field names or has any arithmetic or functions calls, then PxPlus will use the WHERE clause to filter the results after they are returned to PxPlus:



SELECT addresses WHERE city$=search_city$

In this case, the results must be filtered after because PxPlus does not know if the variable's value will change for each row processed by the SELECT. You can, however, use the STATIC WHERE syntax to force PxPlus to use the WHERE clause to filter the results before they are returned to PxPlus. STATIC WHERE will use the beginning value of any variables in the expression that do not match database table field names to filter the results.

STATIC WHERE can only force the results to be filtered before they are returned if the only reason it was not filtered before was the use of any variables that do not match database table field names. If any arithmetic or function calls are used in the WHERE expression, the results will always be filtered after. You can easily do the function calls and/or arithmetic before the SELECT call and store the result in a variable, and then use the variable in a STATIC WHERE expression to accomplish the same thing.

(Support for the WHERE clause to filter results was added in PxPlus 2017.)

Join Select

You can use a single select to join data from multiple tables. Two types of joins are supported: left join (WITH) and inner join (WITH REQUIRED). For left joins, all the records from the first (left) select table will be returned along with any matched records from the joined (right) select table. For an inner join, only the records that meet the join condition are returned.

Joins are done by chaining together SELECT directives using a WITH [REQUIRED]. It is possible to join three or more tables together. The WHERE expression of the first SELECT directive will filter all joined results. The WHERE expressions of joined SELECT directives are used to determine which records from the joined tables match records returned by any prior SELECT directives.


Suppose you need to print the Employee Name and Department Name of all U.S.-based employees; however, that information is stored in two tables, the Employee table and the Department table. The Employee table contains Employee Name and Department ID. The Department table contains Department ID and Department Name.

A single SELECT can be used to join the Employee and Department tables on the Department ID and filter the results of the join based on the country:

SELECT *,REC=empl$ FROM "employee" WHERE$="US" WITH SELECT *,REC=dept$ FROM "department" WHERE empl.dept_id=dept.dept_id
     PRINT$ + " " +$

Join selects are supported for both PxPlus data files and external database tables.


For join selects on Keyed or EFF PxPlus data files, select optimization is always enabled, regardless of the 'SO' system parameter.

For join selects on external databases where all tables in the select join are from the same database, the system will attempt to optimize the SQL query. The SQL query will be optimized by generating a single join SQL query instead of multiple SQL queries. Executing a single SQL query to do the join is significantly faster than doing the join with multiple SQL queries and then having PxPlus join the records. PxPlus cannot optimize the join select if any of the external database tables was opened with any of the following options set:  IND=, TYP=, RECDATA=, KEYDATA=, and TSQL=.

If using join selects on external databases, the WHERE expression of the first SELECT directive may be sent as part of the SQL query if it is optimizable. For joins, only comparisons involving fields from the first (left) select table can be optimized. If you have any comparisons involving fields from other select tables and are doing an inner join, you can move those comparisons to a join condition WHERE expression. See External Database Access.

For the best performance, minimize the number of tables joined.

(Support for a single select to join data from multiple tables was added in PxPlus 2018.)

Formats 2 and 3


The SELECT .. NEXT RECORD statement can include syntax for full record contents or key portion of the record. SELECT RECORD allows the specification of a single variable as per the READ RECORD directive. SELECT KEY reads the file and treats the key contents as if it were the data. A single variable can be specified to receive the key value.

For both formats, you can specify * (asterisk) instead of a variable to ignore the actual read record or key. This is useful, for example, if you are using the SELECT to count the number of records within a certain key range but you do not need to actually read in the data.



See Example.

Read Next Physical

If you specify KNO=* on the SELECT directive, the system will read and return the next physical record from the file. The read will not utilize any of the key tables to access the data. This significantly reduces the overhead involved in the data retrieval process.

Using the SELECT directive with the KNO= option to access records by a logical position is not supported on FLR files because the key blocks are randomly intermingled with the data and deleted records are not distinguishable from live data.

Use of the Read Next Physical capability can greatly reduce the time it takes to process a file where the order of the data is not important.

(The ability to read next by physical location was added in PxPlus v6.30.)

See Also

BREAK Immediate Exit of Loop
CONTINUE Initiates Next Iteration of Loop
EXITTO End Loop, Transfer Control
Structured Error Handling Using ON ERR
'SO' Select Optimization


The following example illustrates use of the SELECT WHERE clause:

0010 select iol=0100 from "VEND_FILE",kno=1 begin "ABC CO." end "THAT CO." where CITY$="CLARENDON"
0020 print rec(iol=0100)
0030 next record
0110 print "DONE"; end

In the following example, SELECT KEY is issued to return the key portion of the record:

select key cst_name$ from "cstfile",kno=1 begin StartName$ end StartName$+$FF$ where cst_name$<>SkipName$
     print cst_name$
next record

The following example uses the SELECT RECORD directive to return the full record contents:

select record r$ from "cstfile",kno=1 begin "D" end "D"+$FF$
     print r$
next record