There are three types of activation groups: 1. The default activation group (*DFTACTGRP) 2. Persistent or named activation groups (also called static activation groups) 3. Non-persistent or *NEW activation groups (also called dynamic activation groups) Activation groups are boundaries between running programs/applications within one job. One or more programs can run within an activation group, and there can be one or more activation groups for any job. Activation groups are assigned to each compiled program or service program at compile time, using the ACTGRP parameter of the CRTPGM, CRTSRVPGM, or CRTBNDxxx command. With the exception of the *DFTACTGRP, activation groups are automatically created when a program is called. An activation group name is associated with all program objects. When a program is called, if its associated activation is not active, the system creates the activation group and then loads the program. If the activation group is already activated, the program is loaded immediately. This provides much faster program loading.

Default Activation Group
When a job is started on the iSeries or AS/400, *DFTACTGRP is created, and it cannot be terminated until the job ends. *DFTACTGRP is where all original OS/400 program objects run. For example, RPG III and CL programs run in *DFTACTGRP along with QCMD, QCMDEXC, PDM, and most other system programs. However, the ILE debugger runs in a named activation group. In addition, limited-function RPG IV programs can run in *DFTACTGRP. Limited function is defined as programs that don't contain any procedures, don't call any procedures, and use no contemporary built-in functions (BIFs) as well as any features that require procedures not supported by *DFTACTGRP. Effectively, an RPG III program that is converted to RPG IV with the CVTRPGSRC command is considered a limited-function RPG IV program. These programs can run in *DFTACTGRP or any other activation group.

a new activation group is created each time. This does two things: (1) It allows the program to be subsequently loaded more quickly. the system generates a temporary activation group name. *CALLER is useful for job streams in which you may have programs that are used in multiple applications and you want them to all run in the same activation group. they automatically close down when the program that started them ends. Use any name you like as the name of the activation group. *NEW activation groups are not persistent. That name is used as the activation group in which the program is run. If the activation group is already active. *NEW Activation Groups *NEW activation groups are created when a program compiled with ACTGRP(*NEW) is called. It causes the system to create a unique. . Each time the program with ACTGRP(*NEW) is called. In fact. The values for the ACTGRP parameter are as follows: *NEW--This is the default for the CRTPGM command. it is loaded into the activation group of the program that called it. If the program is called recursively. a new activation group is created and the program is loaded into that activation group. This is a correct assumption. the new activation group is automatically destroyed. In this situation. and (2) It allows other programs that are compiled with the same activation group name to be loaded into the activation group. No new activation group is created. This implies that recursive calls are supported under ILE. the activation group does not have to be reactivated. The ACTGRP parameter of the CRTPGM and CRTBNDxxx commands identifies the name of the activation group in which the program runs. This occurs regardless of the status of the *INLR indicator in RPG IV programs. Assigning an Activation Group Activation groups are assigned to programs and service program when the program or service program is created.Named Activation Groups A named activation group is an activation group that is created by the system when a program associated with it is run. Named Activation Group --This allows you to give an activation group a specific name. If the activation group is not already active. they do not close down when the last program in the invocation stack has ended. activates the activation group. Named activation groups are persistent--that is. a new activation group is started for each invocation of the program. and loads the program into it. Whether that calling program's activation group is *NEW or a named activation group is irrelevant. new activation group name whenever the program is called. Other programs called by the program can be loaded in this activation group by specifying ACTGRP(*CALLER) when they are compiled. it is activated when the program is called. When the program ends. if the program is called multiple times in the same job. *CALLER--When a program with an activation group of *CALLER is called. the program is loaded into it.

. CRTBNDRPG supports this capability with two parameters: DFTACTGRP and ACTGRP. such as during development. Starting and Ending Activation Groups The activation group name associated with a program is automatically started when the program is called. By real activation group. although sometimes I wish there were. or named activation group. a new copy of it is loaded into memory and run. however. Named activation groups are handled differently. take care of themselves. Unlike the CRTPGM command. One of the advantages of named activation groups is also one of the biggest disadvantages--they are persistent. This name is simply a default and has no implicit value. Although RPG IV provides no integrated function for terminating a named activation group. there is an API (CEETREC) that allows RPG IV or any ILE language to terminate its activation group. There is no way to end *DFTACTGRP. they do not go away until the job in which they are active has ended. *CALLER. Any name may be specified for the activation group. IBM provides several methods to end an activation group. When a program running in a *NEW activation group is called a second time. you might consider using the QILE activation group name until you become familiar with activation groups. It ends when the job ends. the ACTGRP parameter is ignored. DFTACTGRP (*YES | *NO) Parameter *YES--The program runs in *DFTACTGRP. The program is checked for any features that are not compatible with *DFTACTGRP. Sometimes. is it important to end the named activation group so that you can load a new/fresh copy of the program on the next call to the program. They are automatically destroyed when the program that started the *NEW activation group returns to its caller. *NO--The activation group name specified on the ACTGRP parameter is assigned to the program. *YES is the default for the this parameter. CRTBNDRPG allows you to specify whether the program runs in *DFTACTGRP or a real activation group. I mean a *NEW. so if this option is selected. This deactivation is performed regardless of the setting in RPG IV programs of the *INLR indicator. ACTGRP (QILE | activation-group-name | *NEW | *CALLER) QILE is the default name for a named activation group on the CRTBNDxxx command. The methods you can use to end an activation group depend on which activation group you're using. There is no Start Activation Group command. including the following: • • • • Use Use Call End the Reclaim Activation Group (RCLACTGRP) command a language feature such as STOP RUN in COBOL an ILE API the job .The CRTBNDRPG Command The CRTBNDRPG command (PDM option 14) allows you to control the activation group for the program. That is. For simplicity. *NEW activation groups.

This ends the process for the set of COBOL procedures. the QILE activation group is not eligible for termination. RPG IV and CL support bound calls. causes the current activation group to be deactivated. STOP RUN also ends the named activation group and returns to the caller. Using STOP RUN in COBOL RPG programmers tend to not use other programming languages. however. ILE APIs Along with ILE. several years ago for an introduction to ILE. While a prototype may be useful for completeness. And don't feel bad if you don't understand them right away. In ILE. we called them aggravation groups. you will need to get used to it. Unfortunately. Inactive activation groups are named activation groups that are no longer in use. A group of us were in Rochester. COBOL. In RPG IV. must be called with a bound call operation--either a CALLB or CALLP to a prototype that references CEETREC. you can end all named activation groups by specifying ACTGRP(*ELIGIBLE). CEETREC. The CEETREC API is an ILE procedure. An example of where QILE would not end is if QCMD is called from a program that is running within QILE. it isn't necessary to call CEETREC. and this article only scratches the surface. therefore.The RCLACTGRP Command The RCLACTGRP command can be used to terminate (close down) inactive activation groups. so COBOL may not be installed on your system. so they can call CEETREC. IBM provided several APIs that perform certain tasks. and. Regardless of the setting. This is effectively the same behavior as the STOP RUN statement in COBOL. as the term implies. and all programs running in that activation group are terminated. Minnesota. C Eval *INLR = *ON C CallB 'CEETREC' Setting on LR does not impact the results. We developed a pet name for this new technology. as shown below: RCLACTGRP *ELIGIBLE While "eligible" may not be a familiar word to the CL language. RPG IV does not have a similar function. a bound call can be performed with either a prototype call (CALLP) or the CALLB operation code. adding more to your applications as you become accustomed to using them. One API. CEETREC can be called with *INLR on or off. . The activation group name being closed down is specified on the ACTGRP parameter of the RCLACTGRP command. Clear as Mud? Activation groups are complex. has a longstanding STOP RUN statement. A prototype call. provided all program invocations have returned. Use them progressively. then. Optionally. requires a prototype. The following is another example of the RCLACTGRP command: RCLACTGRP ACTGRP(QILE) This command will end the QILE activation group. the program is still removed from memory.