If you have been in the AS400 industry for long, you have likely encountered myths like –
- RPG is a dead language
- RPG lacks flexibility and integration capacity
- RPG is incompatible with the cloud technology
- Finding RPG developers is difficult as its talent is shrinking
- Most AS400 users are shifting to other programming languages
Well, the reality is quite different.
- RPG is a programming language that refuses to die.
- It has evolved with time, offering flexibility and robust coding capabilities.
- Contrary to the misconception of scarcity, AS400 RPG developers still exist with multiple training avenues available to foster new talent.
- The AS400 iSeries application users have realized the strength of RPG with many businesses continuing to leverage the language for their critical business operations.
Thus, in essence, RPG continues to be a driving force in the AS400 ecosystem.
Are you an IBM i user, aiming to maximize efficiency and innovation in your AS400 environment?
If yes, then buckle up as you are going to explore how AS400 RPG revolutionizes your business operations in the modern business landscape.
Let’s dive right in.
But first, what is RPG in AS400?
RPG, an acronym for Report Programming Generator, is a high-performing programming language developed by IBM in 1959. It is a copyrighted module for users to access the majority of its version on IBM AS/400-based systems. RPG provides a structured and efficient way to create business applications for various industries such as Manufacturing, Inventory Control, E-commerce, Cryptocurrency, and Supply Chain Management.
What is RPG Programming Language Used For?
RPG programmers use the language to create, update, or maintain business applications on IBM computer systems. Some practical uses of RPG programming are-
- Enhancing the AS400 software
- Resolving technical challenges
- Automating business processes
- Managing the security and access control
From small to large, thousands of businesses are using RPG programming language for their AS400 based business apps.
Let’s uncover with modern RPG development, its business use cases, and more.
Getting Started with Modern RPG Development
Data Analytics Integration
Modern RPG development allows businesses to establish synergy between RPG and data analytics, a fusion that was just an idea in history.
Today, RPG developers can effortlessly integrate data analytics tools and techniques within RPG applications. As a result, data-intensive businesses are able to process large volumes of data, derive meaningful insights, and fuel data-driven decisions.
Web Services and APIs
RPG programming language, which was once limited to business application development, has now evolved as a dynamic tool which seamlessly integrates with a variety of web services and APIs.
Business leaders are benefiting from the synergy by connecting various internal RPG based applications with external systems, easily automating manual processes, and accessing real-time data.
This capability implies that the RPG programming language’s future is about limitless -newer trends and integration capabilities.
From fixed-format to free-format RPGLE, the programming language has come a long way.
Along with flexibility to write more intuitive, efficient, and modern code, RPG free-format offers a shallow learning curve for beginners and promotes effortless code development.
As opposed to the on-premises solutions, now the AS400 RPG programmers can seamlessly integrate with cloud technology and meet the modern demands of modern computing.
As a result, businesses are empowered to leverage the scalability, cost-efficiency, and flexibility that cloud offers without leaving the AS400 ecosystem.
Having discussed the modern capabilities of AS400 RPG programming, it’s time to discuss where leveraging RPG language is optimal and when it’s advisable to explore alternative programming languages.
RPG Language vs. Other Programming Languages: When to Choose AS400 RPG
RPG, although an old language, has its share of strengths, making it a compelling choice in most cases.
Let’s explore the scenarios when you should choose RPG.
Legacy AS400 System Modernization
RPG programming in AS400 is a great choice for legacy system modernization if your business is heavily invested in AS-400 systems. It has strong compatibility with IBM iSeries, enabling smoother transition and integration of new functionalities, strong security features, and more.
RPG is many businesses running business-critical applications on AS400 owing to its reliability and low-risk profile. It’s an ideal pick if your business cannot afford downtime or errors.
Are you looking for a programming language that excels in data-driven projects? Look no further than RPG.
With its brawny SQL capabilities, it efficiently manages large data processing and analysis, and smoother integration with multiple data sources, making it an ideal choice for data-intensive projects.
Does your business prioritize rapid development and faster time to market?
AS400 RPG programming makes it possible with its modern, free-format coding. It boosts productivity, facilitates faster project completion, and helps you stay ahead of the competition.
RPG is not just a programming language but an armor to stay ahead of the cut-throat competition.
Is your business in urgent need of development but is tight on budget? RPG has got you covered. Its streamlined, cost-effective development cycle ensures a competitive advantage even within your budget restrictions.
If not RPG then you can use different programming languages such as:
1. Python for general purposes
2. Ruby for scripting, automation
4. SQL for database management and querying
Now, that you know when to leverage RPG language and when to leverage other languages for effective and efficient development, let’s move on to explore the business use cases of RPG in diverse industries.
RPG in Business Case: Real-World Applications
Let’s look at the RPG use cases in real-world business world applications.
Retail Inventory Management Optimization
Let’s consider: A retail chain, ABC company is struggling to efficiently manage its inventory across 30 stores. There is a need for an end-to-end inventory management system that automates stock-level tracking, provides real-time insights, and offers centralized inventory control.
Solution with IBM RPG programming
The AS400 iSeries programmers build a unique RPG-based inventory management portal that connects with each point of inventory. This system tracks stock levels, automates order processes, generates reports based on the insights, and provides timely insights.
Healthcare Patient Records Management
Let’s consider: A busy healthcare facility called XYZ Medical Center needs a secure and faster way to manage appointment scheduling, billing, patient records, and more. They are seeking a one-stop solution to build a unique record system that will also meet compliance with healthcare standards.
Solution with AS400 RPG
The RPG programmers manage the A-Z of patient records securely. With the special domain expertise, the developers are successful in ensuring compliance with stringent healthcare rules, facilitating easy access to patient data, and boosting the efficiency in healthcare worker’s performance.
Manufacturing Process Optimization
Let’s consider a manufacturing company, PQC company is struggling to survive due to slow production processes and high operational costs. They are in urgent need of an efficient solution that will streamline manufacturing processes, optimize resources, and help them gain a competitive edge.
Solution with IBM RPG programming:
The AS400 RPG experts walk in with their deep technology knowledge to automate manufacturing workflow, track production progress, and monitor resource usage. The system also generates real-time insights enabling informed decision-making and identifying bottlenecks.
Remember, developing a custom RPG solution is more than solving the immediate challenges. It also involves considering a range of factors such as maintainability, cost-efficiency and ROI, and adherence to the best industry standards, that make it an ideal solution.
Moving forward, the notion about the scarcity of AS400 iSeries developers is definitely true.
AS400 iSeries developers are difficult to find at the rate of the 1990s. However, there still exists an agile, skilled, and knowledgeable workforce of AS400 professionals. Let’s see where you can find them.
Where do I find an AS400 RPG developer for my IBM i initiatives?
There are 2 ways you can find an RPG AS400 programmer for your next RPG project.
1. Hire a full-time AS-400 team member
- Great for long-term dedication
- Employee commitment and accountability
- Confidence in the security and quality of the development
- High cost to maintain staff
- Difficulty in finding suitable candidates
2. Outsource from a reliable AS400 development partner
- Suitable for short-term dedication
- Ability to Focus on core business needs
- Access to a vast talent pool of RPGLE developers
- Communication gap
- Limited control
- Landing on the wrong partner
Thinking about where will you find a reliable outsourcing partner with a proven record of successful projects, and satisfied clientele, who prioritizes your success at every step of the project?
Integrative Systems: AS400 RPG Partner of your Imagination is here
We are a leading AS400 iSeries partner with 20+ years of profound experience in serving a variety of AS400 RPG needs.
Whether you need a dedicated team of RPG AS400 developers for remote set-up or an on-site team, we cater to all sorts of needs for all types of industries.
What differentiates us from other AS400 service providers is we are an IBM Silver Business Partner and INC 5000 ‘One of America’s Fastest Growing Company’.
We employ years of knowledge with dedication to turn each challenge into a solution.
Ready to embark on your AS400 RPG journey?
Let’s join hands and start our journey toward AS400 success. Take the first step by reaching out to us at [email protected], and our experts shall get back to you within 2 business days
1. Is RPG and AS400 the same?
Ans: AS-400 and RPG are as different as canvas and paintbrush. AS 400 is a mid-range computer system by IBM, used to serve as a platform to build various applications. Moreover, RPG is a primary programming language used to develop, update, and maintain business applications on the AS400 iSeries platforms.
Currently, we are using RPG IV (also known as ILE RPG) for business programming.
2. How is RPG integrated with the AS400 (IBM i) environment?
Ans: RPG has been the primary language on the AS 400 platform for decades. It’s tightly integrated with the IBM i operating system and its associated development tools.
- Development Environment
- Error Handling and Messaging
- Integration with DB2 Database
- Integration with User Interfaces
- Integration with Other IBM i Components, and more.
3. How much does it cost to hire an AS400 RPG developer?
Ans: The cost of hiring an AS400 RPG programmer differs on multiple factors. Including –
- The developers’ expertise and experience
- Complexity of the project
- Length of the project
- Special requirement
- Type of engagement
Consider all factors impacting the final cost before you take the final call.