What are the advantages of using RPG over C/C++ at IBM i?

195 pts.
AS 400
What specifically RPGLE is good at doing, that'd be cumbersome/difficult with ILE C/C++? Also, how RPG differs from modern high-level languages? About me: I've studied C and C++ during high-school, and now working as an entry-level RPG/CL developer.

Software/Hardware used:
5770SS1 V7R3M0 160422

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A lot depends on the application being created. RPG is fine for creating simple data entry/review/maintenance screens and reporting.If I were creating web based apps I tend to lean towards vb.net and some c++. To get the most out of RPGLE you can use embedded SQL and the RPGLE built-in functions. RPG code has evolved a long way since I started with it in 1980..

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  • WoodEngineer
    There was an experienced RPG programmer in our shop who would agree with ToddN2000's comments.  When he developed web-based apps he used the same tool set ToddN2000 mentions.
    He commented that there were a lot of similarities between free-form RPG and C++.
    Both are important tools for the IBM i programmer each with its own pros and cons.
    8,225 pointsBadges:
  • TheRealRaven
    Probably the biggest advantage is market penetration. Most shops I've worked with since the AS/400 line of systems was announced developed applications almost exclusively in RPG and then ILE RPG.

    I have been involved with large scale C/C++ app development on the platform. There are cases where it makes sense and may even  be required. A significant factor that may swing language choice to C/C++ is performance.

    When high performance is a heavy requirement, C/C++ can be the best choice. However, this factor tends to be important primarily for particular kinds of commercial products rather than in-house apps. C/C++ has had long development for its various optimizers, and they can be very efficient.

    For most business apps, performance is merely desired. Reasonably error-free functionality for minimal cost is usually more important. Development in (ILE) RPG is commonly faster and results in fewer initial errors. Since performance is also adequate, the potential complexities of dealing with C/C++ bugs are too risky in terms of costs in both money and time.

    And that is where RPG advantages are, in time, money.

    There are very few things that C/C++ can do on these systems that ILE RPG can't do. Essentially all C/C++ library functions are as available to ILE RPG as they are to C/C++. (In fact, they're available to all ILE languages, even CL.)

    Given the wide penetration across system sites, and the relative familiarity for the vast majority of developers on those systems, RPG is most often the best choice by far. Only in a small percentage of cases will C/C++ be objectively better. For most business processes, RPG is a better fit.
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