Zend Framework for RPG programmers 

 June 8, 2011

By  NickLitten

The Zend Framework is a neat thing for letting my RPG programmers brain run a little wild. Yes it’s object Oriented and not (necessarily) that easy to adapt to the linear model that us old schoolers may be used to. But does that mean we can’t adopt it?robbie was an rpg programmer

“Hell No!”

– “Adapt and Survive” is the motto of all us lucky people who have grown up through the AS400 years.

From the System/3x to Application System/400 to iSeries to Systemi to IBMi on Power our evoloution has been marked by the incredible expansion of the RPG programming language. RPG4/Free is so far removed from RPG2 as to be almost unrecognizable. But the fantastic thing about this language is the fact that its so easy to switch between these versions. It still galls me that I’ve worked with programmers who are still intimidated by RPG4 and even the thought of using an IDE for source code management. Can you believe that? It’s 2011 and modern programmers out there are not using an IDE or, indeed, have never used one. Notepad is the king of their world (or SEU in this case) 🙂

Anyway, <Deep-breath> I digress.

This morning I was talking to a few of my propeller headed colleagues about re-defining some coding standards for us to use during an upcoming project. Moving away from the old JBA Code style (fixed blocks of code comments, lots and lots of commented source code lines and no version control) to something more in line with other programming languages. At this stage we’re just thinking about how to structure RPG, CL, REX, WHATEVER in such a way that the source code and general program structure fits more easily into other Object Oriented languages (Java, C#, PHP, etc..) Obviously, I have to be very general here as there will never be a perfect fit.

Enter ZEND FRAMEWORK into our discussion.

Zend is a fabulously useful framework that comes integrated in IBMi and is for serving up PHP applications to the outside world.

I found this excellent PDF (attached) from Mike Pavlak – I hope you don’t mind me publicizing this Mike. Check out Mikes blog at http://mikepavlak.blogspot.com it makes some very interesting reading 😉

I’m excited about expanding my knowledge of PHP, JAVA and RPG4 – I presonally see them all fitting into the same programming niche. Ignore those software Zealots who will exclaim that one language is better than another and only some can do something. They all have strengths and weakness but only through education, self-expansion and continual intellectual evolution will we keep on top of the pile.


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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