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RPG Programming

List of Best IBM iSeries Code Editor Tools for RPG Programming in 2021

(Last Updated On: September 16, 2021)

Many companies and RPG developers migrated from SEU (Stoneage Editing Utility) to RDi (Rational Developers) in order to edit RPG codes. But there are many other code editors available. In this post, we have described various advanced integrated RPG code editors. Let’s go back to the old days of terminals when there was no internet, and the green screen was only accessible. In that era, IBM’s code editor SEU, and the green screen 5250, remained supreme for decades.

Every RPG programming and development services provider must have been familiar with SEU. Although it was introduced around fifty years ago, but it was the standard code editor for IBM AS400 and iSeries.

In 2008, with the launch of IBM i V6.1 in a significant OS upgrade process, IBM announced to withdraw the support for old SEU. This move was intended because IBM wanted people to adopt their flagship code editor, i.e., RDi. But SEU has not ended completely, it is still in use, it’s just that updates are longer available for the same. For more than a decade, SEU syntax checking was part of IBM V6, and now it is a nightmare to write new IBMi codes on SEU, as it counts the latest features as an error.

IBM RDi is also a code editor for RPG developers. Earlier, RD was known as WDSC (WebSphere Development Studio Client), but after the complete revamping of IDE, it was re-branded by the name of RDi. If you are not using IDE code editor for RPG programming, your RPG developers are probably stuck with years-old text-based code editors. In this modern era, it’s time for you to make a switch to modern code editing software.

There are various IBM iSeries codes editing solutions available (Opensource, Freeware, and Modern), let’s have a look at them:

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    GREEN SCREEN 5250 CODE EDITORS

    IBM SEU (Source Entry Utility)

    The STRSEU command is used to create, display, change or print a member. Also, IBM SEU is a part of the RDi licensed program.

    If you use SEU to enter the source in a database file, it will add the sequence number and data field to every record. Also, you can edit or delete that record anytime.

    Let’s understand this with an example – Suppose you are adding a source record between 0002.00 and 0003.00, then the record sequence will be 0002.01. SEU will automatically make entries for the newly added records. Sadly, IBMi ended all the enhancement of SEU with IBM I v6.1. But still, it’s commonly used by various IBMi service providing companies.

    PC CODE EDITORS

    IBM Rational Developer for IBMi

    Rational Developer for IBMi or RDi is the official tool for RPG development. It’s a good tool, but very expensive and very extensive. IBM rational developers is IBM’s code editor used in the software development process. It provides an integrated development environment (IDE) to develop, maintain, and modernize IBM iSeries software. It is integrated with development tools, like – search, built, edit, and code debugging. RDi is built on the Eclipse framework and offers faster and easier application development.

    IBM continuously releases the RPG programming language enhancement, so rational developers is the only tool that can allow RPG developers to stay updated with IBMi Services syntax changes and enable rapid code development.

    Visual Studio Code

    VS Code is fast and lightweight. It feels like NOTEPAD++ on steroids. It’s free, open-source, and comes with multi-OS compatibility. Through its plugin, you can work on various languages within the same IDE. Most importantly, all the major programming languages are supported by VS Code. It supports – RPGLE, SQL, PHP, Python, HTML, JavaScript, C++, and many more. Visual Studio Code also has a complete Git Integration.

    The popularity of Visual Studio Code is increasing rapidly, but it is not limited to IFS. Its plugins can enhance the code capabilities and allow access to native IBM iSeries RPG web services and the database structure of LIBS and files. At Integrative Systems, we can integrate several RPG plugins.

    Visual Studio Code (IBM iSeries Language Syntax Checking Plugin)

    This is a decent plugin for highlighting languages like RPG, MI, RPGLE, CL, and DDS.
    NOTE: This plugin was separated from RPG Language Plugin

    Visual Studio Code – Plugin for RPG Language

    This plugin offers RPG source highlighting and ILE syntax checking for free if you have RPG version 7.1 and above.

    ILEDITOR 2 – Code for IBMi

    This is the best IBM iSeries software development plugin. With this code from Visual Studio, you will be able to manage your RPGLE, COBOL, CL, and C/CPP. It comes with various excellent features like:

    • Object Browser
    • IFS Browser
    • Errors are shown up automatically
    • Member browser and Editor
    • Easy Settings

    MiWorkplace

    MiWorkplace is a great alternative to RDi and comes at a very lost cost. It cost you €99 per year. Although it misses some features compared to RDi, it’s a good alternative in terms of price for RPG programming language code editing.

    Moreover, the software provides a free version to the users of PUB400. That means PUB400 offers an alternative to RDi, without any cost. With the free version of MiWorkplace, you’ll get a pre-configured connection on the IBMi server.

    Orion

    Orion is a streamlined code RPG code editor, and it is completely browser-based. IBM has integrated this open-source Editor to IBM iSeries services and incorporated syntax highlighting for RPG, COBOL, etc. Orion automatically saves your source of data whenever you make changes.

    If the source is in the IFS, you can use this code editor. It’s a little lean but can give competition to Notepad++. It has been included in the 5733OPS option and has built-in support for Git.

    Notepad++

    This is a notepad editor and not an IDE (interactive development environment). Furthermore, this is a multi-tab layout and can extend functions with plugins. It’s an alternative to SEU.

    Also, there is a plugin available for free-format RPG, which extends notepad++ availability into the world of basic RPG editing.

    Conclusion

    After reading the blog, you must have gained some insights about RPG programming language editing tools. The field of RPG is evolving continuously, and RPG development services providers are here for you in case you need any help. If you have any queries or need assistance regarding any code, feel free to connect with our team of experts at contact@integrative-systems.com.

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