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What’s the best Free RPG Editor? 

 July 30, 2017

By  NickLitten

IBM Rational Developer (RDi) is good but bloody expensive!

If you are reading this blog then chances are you are (a) an RPG Programmer and (b) using SEU to edit your code and (c) you are frustrated that SEU wont syntax check new RPG anymore! It’s time to leap into an RPG EDITOR or be pushed… RDi is a nice tool but its a bit bloaty and also a very expensive code editor.

For freelance programmers like me – the thought of having to pay nearly a thousand dollars just for a source code editor really grinds my gears. But, I still hope that one day, IBM will release a lightweight, desktop Free RPG Editor?

But until that glorious day, this begs the question of “Which RPG Code Editor should a RPG developer use?” or

What is the best free alternative to RDi (Rational Developer)

Free RPG Editor

SEU’s syntax checking has been frozen at IBM V6 level and, sadly, this means that good old green screen SEU will not recognize any of the 7.1 RPG enhancements and will flag all these new features as errors.

As far as I know SEU has been stabilized by IBM. This is also known as “declared dead and will be given no future updates”. IBM clearly want people to adopt their flagship code editor for IBM i Software Developers — RDi is Rational Developer for i

RDi is an Eclipse based code editor for IBM i Developers used for writing modern RPG, CL, XML, JAVA, PHP etc code. Ten years back we used it’s predecessor called WDSC “WebSphere Development Studio Client”. If you are not using a code editor then your developers are probably stuck with the twenty year old text based code editor SEU “Stoneage Editing Utility” šŸ˜‰

There are other code editing tools out there ranging from older opensource and freeware solutions to modern commercial products, but IBM’s RDi is by far the best. IMHO

Free RPG Editor

What's the best Free RPG Editor? 1
ILEditor - ILEditor is an editor for development of ILE applications on IBM i. ILEditor will support development with any ILE language, be it CL, RPG, COBOL, C or C++. Error listing and syntax highlighting is available for all ILE languages. This is my preferred choice for free RPG editing.

ORION – The latest FREE offering from IBM

(DEPRECATED)

Websphere Development Tools – although its free it’s also very old, doesnt support new RPG code and replaced by RDi

RPG Next Gen – I really liked this and used it after WDSC and before moving to RDi. The author has moved to a commercial route, checked out it’s replacement (Mi Workplace)

Paid Alternatives

Mi Workplace – it’s not free but it’s cheap! Consider that Rdi is close to $900 and MiWorkplace is close to $40 – but it’s a full featured editor and priced correctly. If you cant get RDi this is your best best

NickLitten


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.

Nick Litten

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