RDi 9.02 Delivers Full Support for Free-Format RPG
April 15, 2014 Alex Woodie
IBM signaled that it’s close to completing its latest effort to move RPG developers to free format coding last week when it announced Rational Developer for i (RDi) 9.0.2. The company also announced withdrawal dates for older releases of IBM’s flagship IDE and related products for developing RPG, COBOL, Java, and C applications.
When IBM delivered the bits for IBM i version 7.1 Technology Refresh 7 last fall, it transitioned nearly all of RPG IV to free format. The delivery of free-format capabilities for F and D specs (to go along with the existing free-format capabilities for C specs) helped to make RPG appear as a more modern language, and more similar to the C#, Java, and PHP code that’s familiar to many developers.
While IBM delivered the free-format support in the RPG compiler–which is sold via the Rational Developer Studio (RDS) for IBM i product–last fall, the free-format syntax was not yet supported in Rational Developer for IBM i (RDi), the flagship IDE used by RPG developers around the world.
RPG developers could still code free-format specs using RDi, SEU, notepad, or any other text editor. But if they were using RDi, they would not be able to take advantage of handy time-saving features, such as syntax checking.
IBM is rectifying that functionality gap between the compilers and the Eclipse-based IDE with the delivery of RDi version 9.0.2, which should be available in June with the rest of the IBM i 7.1 TR8 deliverables. (In the announcement letter, IBM also calls the new TR8 release of RDi version 9.1. Undoubtedly IBM will agree on consistent versioning prior to the actual release.)
There are also some end-of-life dates to be aware of with the Rational product line. On September 30, 2014, IBM will stop supporting the version 7.5.x releases of the Rational Business Developer and Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software offerings.
On April 30, 2015, IBM will stop supporting a whole slew of additional Rational products, including the version 8.0 releases and Rational Business Developer and several editions of Rational Developer for i for SOA Construction version 8.0. It will also stop supporting the precursor (and follow-on) to RDi, Rational Developer for Power Systems Software versions 7.5 and 7.6. That day will also be the last day of support for the version 7.5 releases of Rational Host Access Transformation Services (HATS) and Rational HATS for 5250 Applications, as well as the version 7.1 and version 7.5 releases of Rational Developer for i (the once and future RDi).