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This function is useful to count the number of times a substring is repeated in each element of a dynamic array. The result is a new dynamic array whose elements are the counts corresponding to the elements in the dynamic array. It takes the general form:

COUNTS (dynamic.array, substring)


  • dynamic.array specifies the dynamic array whose elements are to be searched.
  • substring is an expression that evaluates to the substring to be counted. substring can be a character string, a constant, or a variable.


Each character in an element is matched to substring only once. Therefore, when substring is longer than one character and a match is found, the search continues with the character following the matched substring.

No part of the matched element is recounted toward another match. If substring does not appear in an element, a 0 value is returned. If substring is an empty string, the number of characters in the element is returned. If substring is null, the COUNTS function fails and the program terminates with a run-time error message. If any element in dynamic.array is null, null is returned.

An example of use is as:


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