The control language (CL) is the set of all commands with which a user requests system functions.

It is the primary interface to the operating system.

CL can be used at the same time by users at different workstations, in batch and interactive jobs and in CL programs and procedures.

Control language (CL) allows system programmers and system administrators to write programs using IBM i commands and other IBM-supplied commands.

A single control language statement is called a command.

Commands can be entered in the following ways:

  • Individually from a workstation. 
  • As part of batch jobs.
  • As source statements in CL program.

Commands can be entered individually from any command line or the Command Entry display.

All the commands use a consistent syntax.

Naming Convention of CL Command: command = verb + object acted on

For example, you can create, delete, or display a library; so the verb abbreviations CRT, DLT, and DSP are joined to the abbreviation for library, LIB. The result is three commands that can operate on a library: CRTLIB, DLTLIB, and DSPLIB.

The majority of all CL commands use one of these common command verbs. Verb abbreviation Meaning
ADD         add
CHG        change
CRT         create
DLT          delete
DSP         display
END         end
RMV         remove
WRK        work with

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