Blog Food for the RPG Programmer: Tastes a Bit Like .NET
March 10, 2009 Dan Burger
Mixing creative and strategic and then applying it to the delivery of information is important in the communication business. People want to feel welcome and comfortable with the places they go for information. And, they want that information to be valuable, insightful, and entertaining. Beyond all that, there’s an increased desire to be interactive. For all these reasons, and others that apply to individual software companies and their relationships with their customers, ASNA has recently raised the curtain on RPGDevNet, the company’s new road to two-way conversations with its customers and prospects.
What you’ll find at RPGDevNet is basically a Web site that relies primarily on the blogs of ASNA’s key personnel. It’s sort of like an open office door policy that adds accessibility to the company president, the vice president of technology and services, the head of customer support and education director, the director of software services, software engineers, application developers, and technical advisors. It’s a nine-man blogger team of ASNA experts. Some have deep technical knowledge and others have leadership roles in other areas.
If you’re not familiar with ASNA, it’s a San Antonio, Texas, software company that specializes in modernizing IBM System i applications to RPG on the Microsoft .NET platform. The key products are designed to build Web and Windows applications, database connectivity for applications developed in Microsoft .NET, conversion of RPG applications into native .NET applications, and conversion of System i database to SQL Server. It was bought by mainframe modernization specialists BluePhoenix Solutions in 2007.
ASNA’s products are distributed worldwide and used by more than a million end users. Connecting with those users has the potential to keep this newly assembled blogger team pretty busy.
The format allows anyone to comment on existing blog topics and to initiate discussion topics as well. In this sense, it is similar to the traditionally popular Web forums, but perhaps more user friendly. Sometimes forums seem like smoke-filled back rooms where only a secret knock on the door gets you inside. It’s too early to tell, but this seems a bit more like a town hall meeting.
Members of the RPGDevNet team are on a schedule to blog at least once a month on the topic of their choice. I suspect there will be some (Anybody know Roger Pence?) who will contribute more frequently.
The content will be primarily focused around development techniques and tools and more general but widely talked about topics like the future of the System i platform. Expect subjects like cloud computing, Google (both already in the archives), and maybe things like software as a service, green computing, secure computing, and mobile access to get some attention.
In addition to the blogging, the site contains links to such things as ASNA case studies, industry news, and podcasts. There is also a blogroll that links to other blogs that you might find of interest.
Things are just getting under way on this almost brand new site. The content is still a bit skinny, but it will likely put on some weight real soon.