RPG Programming Language

Know the Report Program Generator (RPG) Programming Language Better

Since their inception, RPG and IBM AS400 iSeries software simplify the development and execution of business apps. With time, the name and format of the language and operating system may have changed, but the pair have been necessary for smooth business processing for decades.

The Report Program Generator or RPG is a high-level programming language that serves a wide range of business applications. It is an IBM copyrighted module, and users can access the majority of its versions on IBM AS400 based systems.

The history of the RPG programming language is quite long. IBM developed the language in 1959 as the Report Program Generator. Back then, it was a tool designed as an alternative for the punch card processing system. After that, it was updated to the RPG II after the development of the IBM system/3. And since then, RPG has evolved into the high-level programming language like COBOL and PL/I.

According to Gartner- RPG, being “just another modern language,” is a fixed-format language for which various attributes are needed to be defined. If the correct code for the correct column will not be inserted, it will show an error. This is a foreign concept developed by IBM, and it was only experienced in other languages before its emergence.

In 1994, the (ILE) or RPG IV version of the RPG language allowed for some free-format expressions, but the code was still primarily fixed format in nature. In 2001, the logical portion of RPG programs could be written in free form, but declarations of data and procedures still required columnar code. That was a significant step in making the RPG syntax more akin to that of modern languages.

The same procedure was followed till 2012 when all the code of RPG became free from virtually. Just show an application written in modern RPG language to JAVA and C developer, and they will feel at home. And it does not mean they won’t need time to learn the language, but what it means is – the process will be completely different.

From then to today, RPG is a prevalent programming language, and RPG IV or ILE is its latest version. The language provides a highly enabling programming environment for IBMi AS400 developers.
In the initial stage after the development of RPG, the strong point was that it knows the program cycle. Even every RPG program executes within a hypothetical loop, and the same loop can apply the same RPG program to every on-record file.

At that time, there will be a difference between every single record and line in the program. Every line can be indicated on the form or not, depending on whether the line indicator has turned on or off. The entire idea of matching records is unique to the RPG II language.

After introducing System/38 in 1979, most of the RPG programmers did not make use of cycle and choose the controlling program flow. Furthermore, IBM also provided backward compatibility for the process.

What’s Special About AS400 RPG Programmers?

IBM AS400 iSeries programmers are specially trained professionals to use the RPG programming language and solve issues. Also, RPG programmers are employed by IBM AS400 development companies for the creation of codes. And those codes are integrated into business operations to ensure a high level of efficiency.

RPG programmers work on a wide array of tasks daily; they perform functions like- the creation of new codes, ensuring proper maintenance of existing codes. (However, existing regulations might be different from the written RPG codes)

Analysis, designing, development, and maintenance of the IBM AS400 can be done with the software written in a wide range of languages like – RPG, RPG IV, and SQL and can also be used to create technical documentation and develop pseudo-codes. Either it’s about creating a new RPG setup or strengthening the existing ones, the organization needs a player that can troubleshoot your business issues within no time.

Hope we have increased your knowledge about the RPG programming language. In case you need any help, do not hesitate to connect now!

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