RPG Advantages and Disadvantages

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We are going to assess our old RPG based software. The software is pretty old but still seems effective. Can you point me in a direction to find information on the future of RPG along with the advantages and disadvantages of staying with our current RPG program?

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Here is a link to an article on RPG

http://www.mcpressonline.com/programming/rpg/practical-rpg-the-future-of-rpg.html

Now as to staying with the current application.
First question is what is the driving force behind the thought of changing?
If it is something that can be replaced with a new package, you need to weigh the total cost of replacement: Software, Hardware, Data Conversion, Parallel processing, Training, etc.
If this is something you just want to rewrite from scratch, then I ask WHY since you say the current software is still effective.

Unlike applications on other boxes, RPG code written over 20 years ago still can run fine. Granted there are new techniques that may make it run faster, but the end result would be the same.

Are you looking for new features that your current software does not provide?
That is a different question.
You may chose to buy or write something in RPG or another language on this box of a different one. Intergration should be relatively easy.

So it it not just what to do, but more important is WHY do you want to do it.
Just because it is “OLD” is not an acceptable reason.

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  • TomLiotta
    ...our old RPG based software. The software is pretty old but still seems effective. Can you point me in a direction to find information on the future of RPG along with the advantages and disadvantages of staying with our current RPG program? Please describe your "current RPG program". Is it RPG II? RPG III? RPG IV? Does it run as OPM or ILE? In general, if it is not RPG IV running as ILE, the future is flat. No future development seems planned by IBM. The OPM compilers have been broken out as a separately chargeable feature and toolsets (e.g., SEU) have been announced as stabilized with no support for language features beyond i 7.1. However, the ILE languages, especially RPG IV, have been actively enhanced and apparently have budgeting for continued future enhancements. Few sites have been able to keep up with how fast and far the language has been taken in the past 15 years. It will take a few more years before the majority of sites will take significant advantage of what's already been built in, much less anything still to come. You probably should look through the lists of discussions and of articles on IBM's RPG Café for a couple days. Then decide if posting a question or two there about the future will be helpful to you. Consider -- If your "current RPG program" isn't up to the topics you find there, it will be hard to determine anything about how long before you need to think about running out of uses for RPG. Like many of us, maybe it's all you can do to stay in one place. However, I will slightly disagree with CharlieBrowne on his final point. It's reaching a point where maintaining old software is an increasing cost item. It will only become more so, at an increasing rate. But current and recent releases of RPG IV aren't old. Tom
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  • CharlieBrowne
    Tom's last point is correct. I was not specific enough in my response. When I said being OLD is not enough, I should have given more details. Bottom line in all business decisions is ROI.That includes cash flow and time. If the software is running and there is little or no maintenance being done AND it is accomplishing what you need within and acceptable timeframe, then I ask why replace it,
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  • Humphrey
    [...] 8. CharlieBrowne and TomLiotta discuss RPG advantages and disadvantages. [...]
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