3 May 2017
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RPG Technology Releases for IBM i 7.1 and 7.2

IBM has announced it's latest round of "technology Refreshes" (aka PTF's or service packs) for the IBM i operating system. A couple of nice tweaks to RPG are included in TR9 for IBM i 7.1 and TR1 for IBM i 7.2. For RPG, we will have enhanced ALIAS keyword support, and a streamlined DataStructure I/O support making tihngs just a bit easier for us coders:

Extended ALIAS support for files

The ALIAS keyword can now be specified for any externally-described file.

If the ALIAS keyword is specified for a global file that is not qualified, the alternate names of the fields will be available for use in the RPG program.

In the following example, the field REQALC in the file MYFILE has the alternate name REQUIRED_ALLOCATION. The ALIAS keyword indicates that the name for this field within the RPG program will be REQUIRED_ALLOCATION.

dcl-f myfile ALIAS;

read myfile;
if required_allocation <> 0
and size > 0;
...

Relaxed rules for data structures for I/O operations

An externally-described data structure or LIKEREC data structure defined with type *ALL can be used as the result data structure for any I/O operation.

dcl-f myfile usage(*input : *output : *update);
dcl-ds ds extname('MYFILE' : *ALL);

read myfile ds;
update myfmt ds;
write myfmt ds;

When a data structure is defined for a record format of a DISK file using LIKEREC without the second parameter, and the output buffer layout is identical to the input buffer layout, the data structure can be used as the result data structure for any I/O operation.

dcl-f myfile usage(*input : *output : *update);
dcl-ds ds likerec(fmt);

read myfile ds;
update myfmt ds;
write myfmt ds;

Source: http://ibm.biz/rpg_full_alias_and_easier_ds_io

Finally we also get the ability to fire up the HTTP server in other subsystems (rather than being stuck in QHTTPSVR). We get a new Apache module for request timeouts. The web services wizard now supports REST as well as SOAP, adding Node.js support.

There are new database capabilities as well.

IBM® i 7.1 Technology Refresh 9 includes the following features and benefits:

  • IBM i Integrated Web Services Server (IWS) delivers support for REST-based web services, widely used by the industry.

  • IBM i Web Administration GUI for i streamlines configuration and management options and adds support for REST-based web services.

  • Enhancements to the IBM HTTP Server enable HTTP server jobs to run in a customized subsystem, isolating impact of HTTP workload from other work on the system.

  • 5770-DG1 now includes the open source node.js server side JavaScript runtime engine.

  • IBM Navigator for i includes new performance and usability enhancements, using the latest in web technology to improve the user experience.

  • IBM DB2® for i continues to focus on new and advanced SQL capabilities, productivity benefits for database engineers, and the ability to secure business-critical data in a production environment.

  • IBM i supports the latest improvements to the following products, helping you to realize the business benefits delivered by each product:

    • IBM WebSphere® Commerce V7 Feature Pack 8 includes the latest updates for social integrated online business.

    • Rational® Developer for i V9.1.1 simplifies the setup and management of development teams.

    • IBM WebSphere Portal V8.5 delivers updated and relevant, social, and multichannel digital experiences.

    • IBM Connections V5.0 CR1 helps you collaborate with customers and business partners using enterprise social software on IBM i.

    • IBM MQ for Multiplatforms, V8.0 (MQ V8) adds new Advanced Message Security options for IBM i as well as new packaging and delivery options for File Transfer.

  • Enhancements to Backup, Recovery and Media Services (BRMS) enable additional automation and ease of use.

  • Support is added for new Enterprise Power Systems™ built with POWER8™ architecture and processors.

  • Additional I/O options include a new PCI expansion drawer.

  • Support for the new IBM TS1150 tape drive machine type 3592 Models E08 and EH8.

  • Enhancements to RPG IV ALIAS include support for files and relaxed rules for data structures for I/O operations.

The 7.2 TR1 will have additional functionality above & beyond what the 7.1 TR7 will have. More details here:

http://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?subtype=ca&infotype=an&appname=iSource&supplier=877&letternum=ENUSZP14-0508

  • Nick Litten

    Nick Litten IBM i Software Developer

    Digital Dad, AS400 Anarchist, Software Modernizer, Alpha Nerd and Passionate Eater of Cheese and Biscuits.
     

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