Called Program Status

I have a perl script that calls another program in such a way that it records the results of the command in a string. i.e.

$program_results = `program $ARGV[0] `;

I would like to have perl check the status of the command, for instance did it complete with a non-error of zero - or did it error out somehow. Is there a way of checking the status of  a program that is run while capturing the output?
stakorAsked:
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clockwatcherCommented:
Try $?.

$program_results = `program $ARGV[0] `;
$program_retval = $? >> 8;

perldoc perlvar:

       $?      The status returned by the last pipe close, backtick ("``")
               command, successful call to wait() or waitpid(), or from the
               system() operator.  This is just the 16-bit status word
               returned by the traditional Unix wait() system call (or else is
               made up to look like it).  Thus, the exit value of the
               subprocess is really ("$? >> 8"), and "$? & 127" gives which
               signal, if any, the process died from, and "$? & 128" reports
               whether there was a core dump.
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sjklein42Commented:
To get the return status, use the system function instead of back-ticks:

$program_results = system("program $ARGV[0] >nul: 2>nul:");

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I added code to prevent other output produced by program from also being returned, but this is up to you.
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stakorAuthor Commented:
I don't fully understand.  I am hoping to capture everything that program would normally print to screen in $program_results. I would also like to have the ability to run a check on another variable to see the exit status. I didn't know if there was a variable built into perl that would show the exit status of the last command or something along those lines.

If I understand the program snippet above, $program_results is the exit variable?
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stakorAuthor Commented:
So if everything ran correctly, $program_retval should be equal to zero?

if ($program_retval != 0) {
   <freak_out>
};

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sjklein42Commented:
clockwatcher gets it right with $?

Learn something every day.
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