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Working with %Status Values

When working with an API that returns %StatusOpens in a new tab values (a status), it is best practice to check the status before proceeding, and continue with normal processing only in the case of success. In your own code, you can also return status values (and check them elsewhere as appropriate).

This page discusses status values and how to work with them.


Status checking is not error checking per se. Your code should also use TRY-CATCH processing to trap unexpected, unforeseen errors.

Basics of Working with Status Values

Methods in many InterSystems IRIS® classes return a %StatusOpens in a new tab (%Library.StatusOpens in a new tab) value to indicate success or error. If the status represents an error or errors, the status also includes information about the errors. For example, the %Save() method in %Library.PersistentOpens in a new tab returns a status. For any such method, be sure to obtain the returned status. Then check the status and then proceed appropriately. There are two possible scenarios:

  • In the case of success, the status equals 1.

  • In the case of failure, the status is an encoded string containing the error status and one or more error codes and text messages. Status text messages are localized for the language of your locale. InterSystems IRIS provides methods and macros for processing the value so that you can understand the nature of the failure.

The basic tools are as follows:

  • To check whether the status represents success or error, use any of the following:

    • The $$$ISOK and $$$ISERR macros, which are defined in the include file This include file is automatically available in all object classes.

    • The $SYSTEM.Status.IsOK() and $SYSTEM.Status.IsError() methods.

  • To display the error details, use $SYSTEM.Status.DisplayError() or $SYSTEM.OBJ.DisplayError(). These methods are equivalent to each other. They write output to the current device.

  • To obtain a string that contains the error details, use $SYSTEM.Status.GetErrorText().

The special variable $SYSTEM is bound to the %SYSTEM package. This means that the methods in the previous list are in the %SYSTEM.StatusOpens in a new tab and %SYSTEM.OBJOpens in a new tab classes; see the class reference for details.


For example:

 Set object=##class(Sample.Person).%New()
 Set object.Name="Smith,Janie"
 Set tSC=object.%Save()
 If $$$ISERR(tSC) {
   Do $SYSTEM.Status.DisplayError(tSC)

Here is a partial example that shows use of $SYSTEM.Status.GetErrorText():

 If $$$ISERR(tSC) {
   // if error, log error message so users can see them
   Do ..LogMsg($System.Status.GetErrorText(tSC))

Some ObjectScript programmers use the letter t as a prefix to indicate a temporary variable, so you might see tSC used as a variable name in code samples, meaning “temporary status code.” You are free to use this convention, but there is nothing special about this variable name.

Variation (%objlasterror)

Some methods, such as %New(), do not return a %StatusOpens in a new tab but instead update the %objlasterror variable to contain the status. %New() either returns an OREF to an instance of the class upon success, or the null string upon failure. You can retrieve the status value for methods of this type by accessing the %objlasterror variable, as shown in the following example.

  Set session = ##class(%CSP.Session).%New()
  If session="" {
      Write "session oref not created",!
      Write "%New error is ",!,$System.Status.GetErrorText(%objlasterror),! 
  } Else {
      Write "session oref is ",session,! 

For more information, refer to the %SYSTEM.StatusOpens in a new tab class.

Multiple Errors Reported in a Status Value

If a status value represents multiple errors, the previous techniques give you information about only the latest. %SYSTEM.StatusOpens in a new tab provides methods you can use to retrieve individual errors: GetOneErrorText()Opens in a new tab and GetOneStatusText()Opens in a new tab. For example:

  SET st1 = $System.Status.Error(83,"my unique error")
  SET st2 = $System.Status.Error(5001,"my unique error")
  SET allstatus = $System.Status.AppendStatus(st1,st2)
  WRITE "All together:",!
  WRITE $System.Status.GetErrorText(allstatus),!!
  WRITE "One by one",!
  WRITE "First error format:",!
  WRITE $System.Status.GetOneStatusText(allstatus,1),!
  WRITE "Second error format:",!
  WRITE $System.Status.GetOneStatusText(allstatus,2),!

Another option is $SYSTEM.Status.DecomposeStatus(), which returns an array of the error details (by reference, as the second argument). For example:

 Do $SYSTEM.Status.DecomposeStatus(tSC,.errorlist)
 //then examine the errorlist variable

The variable errorlist is a multidimensional array that contains the error information. The following shows a partial example with some artificial line breaks for readability:

ZWRITE errorlist
errorlist(1)="ERROR #5659: Property 'Sample.Person::SSN(1@Sample.Person,ID=)' required"
errorlist(2)="ERROR #7209: Datatype value '' does not match 
PATTERN '3N1""-""2N1""-""4N'"_$c(13,10)_"  > 
ERROR #5802: Datatype validation failed on property 'Sample.Person:SSN', 
with value equal to """""

If you wanted to log each error message, you could adapt the previous logging example as follows:

 If $$$ISERR(tSC) {
   // if error, log error message so users can see them
   Do $SYSTEM.Status.DecomposeStatus(tSC,.errorlist)
   For i=1:1:errorlist {
       Do ..LogMsg(errorlist(i))

If you call DecomposeStatus() again and pass in the same error array, any new errors are appended to the array.

Returning a %Status

You can return your own custom status values. To create a %StatusOpens in a new tab, use the following construction:

 $$$ERROR($$$GeneralError,"your error text here","parm","anotherparm")

Or equivalently:

 $SYSTEM.Status.Error($$$GeneralError,"your error text here",                                      "parm","anotherparm")

Where "parm" and "anotherparm" represent optional additional error arguments, such as filenames or identifiers for records where the processing did not succeed.

For example:

 quit $$$ERROR($$$GeneralError,"Not enough information for request")

To include information about additional errors, use $SYSTEM.Status.AppendStatus() to modify the status value. For example:

 set tSC=$SYSTEM.Status.AppendStatus(tSCfirst,tSCsecond)
 quit tSC


The %SYSTEM.ErrorOpens in a new tab class is a generic error object. It can be created from a %StatusOpens in a new tab error, from an exception object, a $ZERROR error, or an SQLCODE error.

You can use %SYSTEM.ErrorOpens in a new tab class methods to convert a %StatusOpens in a new tab to an exception, or to convert an exception to a %StatusOpens in a new tab.

See Also

For more information, see the class reference for the %SYSTEM.StatusOpens in a new tab class and the %StatusOpens in a new tab (%Library.StatusOpens in a new tab) class.

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