RPG Modernization with WDSC was developed by Joe Pluta, a leading iSeries author, lecturer and trainer. Joe's unique skill set is what makes this course work: he not only has nearly 30 years of RPG programming experience, but Joe also literally wrote the book on WDSC. Joe designed this course specifically to help RPG programmers get both their programs and their own skills up to date
Here is what you will learn:
Once again, Joe is bringing the very leading edge of technology right to your desktop. This comprehensive guide to using WDSC to modernize your applications works on two levels: first it gives you a complete, concrete example of the steps required to move existing applications into the new world of free-format RPG, and second it shows you specific little-known tricks and techniques in WDSC that make this task as fast and easy as possible.
The process is broken down into two discrete phases, one which moves RPG III code to RPG IV, and another which takes RPG IV code and converts it to RPG /free. Each phase is divided into chapters which address individual tasks, and each task is explained in detail along with step-by-step instructions clearly illustrated on a working program. A set of source code members, one for each task, is provided so that you can always check your work, and also to allow you to pick up the course at any point without worrying about losing your place - great for down the road if you need to review a particular technique!
Please Note: If you currently program with RPG IV you can move directly to RPG /free with this course.
RPG Modernization with WDSC (RPG from III or IV to Free) is another breakthrough course from the author who brought you the best-selling WDSC for RPG Programmers. This course is designed specifically for those who need to move from legacy programming to the newest techniques. At the end of this course you will have all the skills needed to write the most advanced RPG syntax using the most advanced tooling available. Get started now.
Software and Hardware requirements for deploying WDSC
You need to have the IBM licensed program product (LPP) number 5722WDS on your machine. You will have this if you are at a relatively current version of the operating system (V5R1 or greater) and you have the RPG compiler, because since that time the compilers all became bundled. You will need the latest version of WDSC to take advantage of all the features in the course, because at least one step uses WDSC features only introduced in version 7 of the product.
This is not to say you cannot use this course with older versions of WDSC, or even with SEU and PDM. All of the steps can be performed using traditional tools, but many will be much slower. For example, manually converting RPG IV syntax to free-format RPG is a slow process.
WDSC requires a good PC; RPG development requires a 1.6GHz processor, about 768MB of RAM, 2GB of free disk space and you should have at a minimum a 7200 RPM drive. Note that most laptops have 5400RPM drives or less; these will work, but will be slower.
Skill Level Requirement: Some experience with computer programming and database. Any RPG programmer with 1 or more years of experience will be able to successfully complete this course. This course is not intended for end-users or for novice programmers.
Completion Time: 12 to 16 hours
Read the Table of Contents
RPG Modernization with WDSC (from III to IV to /Free)
Author: Joe Pluta
Moving from RPG III to RPG IV and on to RPG /FREE
by Joe Pluta
It's hard to believe but it's been over a decade since IBM introduced ILE RPG, and yet companies are still using RPG III coding techniques -- or worse! V6R1 is just around the corner; are your RPG skills still in the last millenium? What will you do if IBM decides to unbundle support for older compilers? Are you willing to pay extra just to be able to still write old code? Or are you ready to move forward into the next generation of RPG programming?
My new training course, RPG Modernization with WDSC (from III to IV to /Free), is the best way to modernize not only your applications but your skills as well. The first in a library of RPG modernization techniques, this course will help you bring your existing RPG III applications forward to RPG IV, and then continue on to the new world of free-form RPG programming: more productive, more powerful and more proficient. Unlike conversion tools, this library is designed to help you understand the "why" behind the conversion steps, so that your skills are upgraded along with your code.
This course builds on the WDSC tooling from IBM. WDSC is simply the best development environment available to RPG programmers, and this course takes advantage of that tooling and even provides you with examples of advanced techniques that aren't available anywhere else. And this course isn't just for RPG III developers! Using a unique two-phased approach, RPG Modernization with WDSC first moves your RPG III code into RPG IV syntax, and then shows you how to take RPG IV syntax and transform it into free-form RPG - so even if you've already made the move into RPG IV, this course will still help you on your way to /FREE. (And don't worry if you're not a WDSC expert; we include a chapter to help you set up your WDSC workbench like a pro!)
First: Moving from RPG III to RPG IV
Removing the MOVE Instruction
The single biggest change in free-form RPG is the deprecation of the MOVE opcode. In order to get you ready for the new MOVE-less world, the first thing you need to know is how to use the new EVAL opcode to replace all of your old MOVE instructions.
No More Arithmetic!
The arithmetic instructions, including Z-ADD and Z-SUB, as well as the traditional calculation instructions like ADD, SUB, MULT, DIV, these all need to be replaced by EVAL instructions as well.
No more MULT 100.00001! And no more messy data structures or any of the other time consuming and error prone date manipulations. Learn how to use the powerful date-related built-in functions to make darte manipulation simple and straightforward.
One of the last vestiges of the old 80-column card days, compile-time arrays need to go the way of the dinosaur. Learn how to replace them with powerful D-spec constructs.
Say Goodbye to Indicators
Perhaps the single most important part of this phase of the course is learning how to rid yourself of indicators, specifically the indicators used to communicate with your display file, and those used for other forms of file I/O. By the time you are done, the only standard indicator left in your program will be *INLR.
Now on to Moving from RPG IV to RPG /Free
Get Rid of RPG III Syntax
Two major holdovers of RPG III just aren't supported anymore in free-form RPG; calling programs via CALL/PARM and the very powerful CASxx/ENDCS flow control construct. PARMs are also used in *ENTRY PLISTs, but this course will show you how to get rid of PARMs via the prototype. This is not only a move into free-form RPG, but also your first introduction to the world of ILE RPG (look for more in later installations of the series). Also see how to repalce the unique proprietary CASxx with the more standard and even more powerful SELECT statement.
Convert to Free-Form
Now that you've moved all your syntax into the next generation, you can reformat it using the powerful capabilities of WDSC. Learn how to use regular expressions, filters and case conversion to update the look and feel of your source, not to mention the powerful free-form conversion utility built right into WDSC.
Now that you have room, it's time to remove those KLIST constructs. Like PLISTs, KLISTs were very powerful in their day but now there's really no reason not to use the alternatives, especially the inline field list. Powerful and self-documenting, this new syntax is a great boon to developers.
Other Bits and Pieces
Take a pass back through your code and do a little last-minute cleanup, whether it is cleaning up case or making expressions more readable, these little tidbits help you polish your code. Once you're done, you'll be ready to tackle the next phase of development, whether that's SQL in your shop or ILE.
One final note: To get your base skills ready for the new generation of RPG programming, get your copy of RPG Modernization with WDSC. You'll be more productive for less cost, and gain essential new programming skills at the same time.
RPG Modernization with WDSC (from III to IV to /Free)
Author: Joe Pluta