OS/400 Edition
Volume 2, Number 45 -- December 3, 2002

Midrange Consulting Updates Programmer Productivity Tools

by Alex Woodie

Midrange Consulting Enterprises, a Grovetown, Georgia, company that started developing software to make its consulting engagements more efficient, has issued new releases of its two programmer utilities. The company has updated its disk space management utility, CATalog, with new capabilities. RapidFire/400, its ILE RPG program generator, also has new capabilities, as well as a big price cut that drops licensing costs by about 90 percent.


Midrange Consulting founder David Arbuckle said he developed CATalog to answer some basic questions about disk use on OS/400 servers, such as "How much disk space is tied up in test libraries? Can anyone tell me what files have not been accessed in years? Why am I running out of disk space? How can I avoid buying more expensive disk?"

What he came up with was a new utility based on the old IBM System/36 CATALOG command. CATalog, for OS/400, allows programmers to generate reports that show list files by name, by date last used, or by file size. With CATalog 3.1, announced last month, two new features were added. The utility now displays the reports as a full function display screen, in addition to providing printouts, which was supported in previous releases. Version 3.1 also adds a new report that shows the owner of the files and the authority assigned. A license for CATalog costs $195.

Midrange Consulting's flagship offering, RapidFire/400, has also seen enhancements in the last month. RapidFire/400 was conceived in 1999 as a way to save customers the time and expense normally required to convert prototype applications, which are manually built using IBM's AS/400 Query facility, into full-blown RPG programs. "Our objective was to capture the AS/400 Query definitions and, using those definitions, build the source programs that would accomplish the same tasks," Arbuckle says. "It sounds easy enough, but it turned out to be a tremendous task. It took us two years to get our package ready for release."

RapidFire/400 became generally available in 2001. Last month Midrange Consulting issued RapidFire/400 Version 2.6, which fixes a few minor problems found in earlier releases. This new release also includes functionality released earlier this year, including the capability to have the output specification sent to an external print file or to a display file, as well as support for automatic generation of parameter passing code, Arbuckle says.

Midrange Consulting has also drastically reduced the cost of RapidFire/400. Last month it announced that users can purchase a license for the software by paying only the yearly maintenance fee, which is $495, instead of the full license fee, which was $4,995. For more information on Midrange Consulting's products, go to

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Midrange Consulting Updates Programmer Productivity Tools

News Briefs and Product Shorts

Alex Woodie

Managing Editor
Shannon Pastore

Contributing Editors:
Dan Burger
Joe Hertvik
Shannon O'Donnell
Timothy Prickett Morgan

Publisher and
Advertising Director:

Jenny Thomas

Advertising Sales Representative
Kim Reed

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Last Updated: 12/3/02
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