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Rational Developer for IBM i

It's time to talk about IBM Rational Developer for IBM i

What is RDi?

An integrated development environment (IDE) built on the Eclipse platform, designed for creating and maintaining applications on IBM i systems.

Pointy heads at IBM

Course overview post 1

This basically means Rational Developer for IBM i (commonly known as RDi) is IBM’s flagship integrated development environment for the IBM i platform.

The product isn’t universally used across the IBM i community, because it’s not free. It's actually very expensive (IMHO of course) and those software developers that can afford it enjoy the productivity improvements they get from a graphical and modern IDE, particularly compared to older greenscreen coding environments like PDM and SEU.

In the past I may have answered something like “PDM and SEU are old and Rational Developer for i is a modern tool for RPG and COBOL development.” With the exception of a few leading-edge IBM i developers, this answer generally doesn’t go over very well (much the same way that I’ve learned “Because I said so” doesn’t work that well with my kids).

Over the past year I’ve transitioned to starting all RDi demos with two slides:

What is RDi and Why use RDi?

The short answer to both these questions can be summarized as:

  • Improve developer productivity
  • Common development tools platform
  • Improve developers skills

If you would like to investigate RDi in more detail then let's dive in:

Ready to learn?


IBM i Software Developer, Digital Dad, AS400 Anarchist, RPG Modernizer, Shameless Trekkie, Belligerent Nerd, Englishman Abroad and Passionate Eater of Cheese and Biscuits.

Nick Litten Dot Com is a mixture of blog posts that can be sometimes serious, frequently playful and probably down-right pointless all in the space of a day.

Enjoy your stay, feel free to comment and remember: If at first you don't succeed then skydiving probably isn't a hobby you should look into.