What is the language of the AS400:

What is it? AS400

Topics Covered in the Article

Report Program Generator (RPG) is the programming language traditionally associated with IBM’s best-selling mid size system, the AS/400. Over the past year, IBM continues to be attracting AS/400 into line with its servers. AS/400 programmers in future will utilize Java, XML and Websphere. The move will take time, however. The majority of AS/400 business programs are written in RPG, closely integrated with DB2 UDB/400. Most of those which are not are in Cobol or C/C++.

What’s it for?

RPG was built for heavyweight business applications. It was also designed from the beginning to coexist together with other programming languages. IBM’s plan is to e-business-enable existing RPG applications without touching the core code, so they may be extended using more contemporary tools.

What is the language of the AS400 for
What is the language of the AS400 for

Where did it originate?

The System/3x range was replaced by the AS (Application System)/400 at June 1988.

What makes it special?

Even though the majority of RPG applications are still written to the original program model, an increasing number are moving to the Integrated Language Environment (ILE). ILE supports a number of programming technology, including RPG, Cobol and C/C++.

Extensions to ILE RPG will enhance integration between runtime environments and supply direct access to programs, for example Java programs, running in additional AS/400 environments.

How difficult is it?

IBM has been adding tools like the Program Call Mark-up Language (PCML) toolset, including a GUI builder. PCML insulates the application from fluctuations in client GUI technology.

Where can it be used?

Nine of the 10 top ERP packages, including SAP, Baan, JD Edwards, Peoplesoft and SSA, run on the AS/400. There continue to be many AS/400-only stores that rigidly adhere to the green-screen surroundings, and also a smaller but growing community which uses AS/400 for e-commerce.

Not to be confused with

What does it run on?

Earlier models of RPG run on residing S/3x versions, which many people just refuse to give up.

Few can comprehend

IBM’s new server names. AS/400 is currently the e-server iSeries and also the mainframe that the zSeries. Perhaps it should call the whole lot the y?Series.

What’s coming up?

In future, all graphical, compiler, text-based and Web-facing tools for the AS/400 will be delivered as a single integrated package. Websphere Development Tools is an open, standards-based product which supports all the languages available on AS/400, utilizing the Software Development Tool Set (ADTS), ILE RPG, ILE Cobol and ILE C/C++.

Rates of pay

RPG/400 has slipped from their Computer Weekly/SSP top 25 skills. The end of Y2K, mergers and acquisitions, and logical partitioning – which divides many AS/400s to a – have helped decrease the need for AS/400-qualified staff.

Analyst programmer: $28,333

Senior analyst programmer: $34,708


IBM Global Services offers courses, workshops, and self-study for RPG/400. IBM training sites include Basingstoke, London South Bank, and Dublin…

ATS: 020-8648 4000

DCS e-integration: 01623-726380


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