IBM Delivered An RDi Update, Too
November 4, 2020 Alex Woodie
Next week, IBM is planning to deliver the PTFs that include the functionality contained in the Technology Refreshes it just unveiled for IBM i 7.3 and 7.4 last month. You will want to stay on the lookout for those updates. But some of the capabilities that IBM “announced” in the TRs shipped months ago, including those for Rational Developer for i (RDi).
The latest release of RDi, or version 126.96.36.199, was included as a feature for IBM i 7.3 TR9 and IBM i 7.4 TR4. IBM, of course, announced those TRs on October 6 and says it plans to deliver them on November 13. However, that particular release of RDi was actually delivered back in late April, as you can see from Doug Bidwell’s IBM i PTF Guide.
So while RDi 188.8.131.52 isn’t exactly new, for the sake of completeness, we are giving it some virtual ink in these pages. Considering the speed at which the IBM i community sometimes adopts new technology, it’s quite possible that the capabilities contained in this release of RDi are new, at least to some of you.
RDi 184.108.40.206 isn’t a bombshell announcement, but it does include a host of minor new capabilities and updates that were requested by RPG and COBOL developers.
At the top of the list is support for the new RPG language features that IBM introduced with IBM i 7.3 TR9 and IBM i 7.4 TR4, which we told you about last week. This includes the FOR-EACH opcode (as well as %RANGE and %LIST built-in functions); the DEBUG(*RETVAL) control keyword; the EXPROPTS keyword enhancement; and the new REQPREXP command parameter. These RPG language features are delivered in the compilers, which are included in Rational Development Studio (5770-WDS) product.
IBM is also giving users the ability to launch Access Client Solutions (ACS) from RDi without requiring a separate Java runtime environment to be installed. This update is expected to help customers avoid a certain degree of Java runtime aggravation when dealing with RDi and ACS, which has become a critical tool for accessing IBM i functions, including open source software.
This release also brings the ability to open “/copy” and “/include” files from ILE RPG source code that’s stored on the IFS.
Developers that have run into problems with content assist autoformatting their SQL code will be pleased to hear that SQL is no longer autoformatted. Formatting now only occurs when the user invokes the format action, IBM says.
IBM has fixed myriad other mostly minor issues with RDi 220.127.116.11, including: the “display whitespace characters” that makes it hard to see RPGLE source code; incorrected values in the properties view for a referenced field; embedded CRLF sequencies in SQL not being handled by the Remote Systems LPEX editor, and problems with editing RPGLE members that reference a copy member with DBCS characters.
You can view the complete list of fixes in RDi 18.104.22.168 at this IBM website.