Upgrade AS400 RPG3 to IBM i RPGLE /FREE and beyond

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May 19, 2009

Upgrade AS400 RPG3 to IBM i RPGLE /FREE and beyond

By NickLitten

May 19, 2009

RPG, ILE, modernization, RPGLE, upgrade

Upgrade RPG3 before its too late

Many IBM Power i machines have been running steadily for years without business interruption. The hardware is incredibly resilient but development environments are in need of upgrading. The nature of the machine means applications written ten to twenty years ago are still running strong, so the need for change is rarely investigated.

Living with archaic applications might look cost-effective in the short term… but… it’s lazy, extends increasingly redundant systems and offers no benefit to the business.

Me. Obviously.

The iSeries Developer Road map can help developers deliver new application features such as browser based interfaces. The road map guides business thjrough the process of upgrading your applications into more efficient, easily maintained environments.

It’s simpler than you may think and the modern business benefits are clear.

This road map is from the IBM System i Developer Road Atlas

Although the road map is not dependent on any particular tool set, it is generally illustrated using IBM Web-Sphere Development Studio Client for iSeries (WDSc) because WDSc is packaged with the licensed program product IBM WebSphere Development Studio for iSeries (5722-WDS), which includes PDM and SEU. Therefore, most iSeries development shops have it installed whether they are using it or not.

Factors Influencing Road map Adoption

  • Several persuasive benefits are encouraging iSeries developers to implement the road map:
  • New user-interface alternatives address many user demands and give users the option to access iSeries information online.
  • New application design techniques improve maintainability and make it possible for developers to utilize new coding techniques as they emerge.
  • New technologies create the potential for communication between applications running on different platforms and written in different languages.
  • New tools and skills increase developer productivity and satisfaction.
  • At the same time, several powerful drawbacks are inhibiting iSeries developers from embracing the road map:
  • Infrastructure requirements, such as the need for upgraded PC and iSeries hardware, create a cost barrier.
  • Investments in training and the time required to assimilate new skills are not available.
  • Deployment complexity can make it difficult to ensure the performance, reliability, security, and scalability to which iSeries users are accustomed.

For example, it’s one thing to maintain some green-screen interfaces and quite another to develop new applications exclusively with 5250 interfaces. However, archaic code that is hard to understand and expensive to maintain can be replaced. Replacing code might entail anything from purchasing a new software package to rewriting selected portions of an application to replacing some parts of your RPGIII application with code written in RPG/FREE or Java.

Simple reusable code means less maintenance time, hence lower I.T. costs.

Overtime, the dollar savings far outweigh the cost of upgrade.

Business image is equally important – With web-based sales and customer interaction turnover is quicker, staff levels are lower and your business can truly be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,

Is your business Dynamic, Lean and Cost Effective?

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