Cozzi Updates RPG xTools, Partners with Linoma
July 26, 2005 Alex Woodie
RPG programmers looking for an alternative to working directly with IBM‘s OS/400 APIs may want to consider Bob Cozzi’s RPG xTools, a collection of more than 200 pre-written RPG IV utilities and subprocedures that that provide wrappers for OS/400 APIs. Earlier this month, Cozzi issued the version 5.0 release of his xTools, which adds more than a dozen new functions, including enhanced encryption/decryption, CGI development, and IFS file management. Cozzi has also partnered with Linoma Software to market, sell, and support the xTools.
Bob Cozzi is renowned in the OS/400 community for his expertise in RPG, which has made him a successful and sought-after consultant, author, and trainer. By productizing some of his RPG know-how into the RPG xTools toolset, OS/400 shops around the world have been able to take advantage of Cozzi’s superior RPG programming skills. It’s not the same as having Cozzi himself whip up some lightning-quick custom code for your OS/400 server, but it’s probably the next best thing (not to mention a few thousand dollars cheaper).
With RPG xTools version 5.0, which became generally available yesterday, Cozzi has added 20 new subprocedures to the product set. Like all of the RPG xTools subprocedures, the new functions shield developers from working with underlying APIs. Programmers are only required to write a procedure call, as opposed to working with potentially dozens of variables in an API.
One of the most important new features in RPG xTools 5.0 is the new AES encryption and decryption function, enabling OS/400 shops to encrypt and decrypt text strings, and thereby comply with new security mandates, such as Visa’s Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP). The new release also offers subprocedures for encrypting and decrypting text strings using the RC4 encryption algorithm.
Need to compare two text strings for equality, while ignoring upper or lower case letters? There’s a new subprocedure in RPG xTools called CompNoCase that does exactly that. It’s also easy now to calculate the duration between two dates or two time values with the new DateDiff and TimeDiff functions.
There is new IFS functionality in RPG xTools 5.0, too. The new ifsLoadFile subprocedure is handy for reading an IFS file into a user-provided return variable, while functions like ifsGetCrtDate and ifsSetAttr are useful for retrieving the date an IFS file was created, or turning the “read only” attribute of an IFS file on or off. There is also the new ifsGetRecCount function, which identifies how many records currently reside in an IFS text file.
CGI-based Web applications can also be developed with RPG xTools, and this area has been enhanced with version 5.0, the developer says. For a full list of new functions delivered with RPG xTools version 5, click here.
Looking forward, Cozzi will continue to develop RPG xTools. But as of August 1, he will no longer be directly responsible for sales, marketing, and support functions. Instead, he has partnered with Linoma Software, an Ashland, Nebraska, developer and marketer of iSeries software.
“With Linoma concentrating on selling RPG xTools, I can focus on adding more enhancements,” Cozzi says. “Linoma Software has long been recognized as a leader in developer tools and it just seemed to make sense to have them sell and market RPG xTools instead of myself.”
Pricing for RPG xTools is tier-based, and ranges from $995 per iSeries processor for P05 and P10 machines to $1,995 per processor for P50 and P60 machines.