Documentation on RPG Free-Form
RPG is now free. I am sure most of you are certainly aware of this exciting change to the RPG language. Now that this support has been out and available for almost a year now, developers are really starting to take notice. This is about normal with our IBM i community, seems with most thing, it often takes at least a year before we really start to see tractions. Recently I have been getting asked if there is some ‘best’ place to learn about how to use Free-Form. I figured this would be a great blog topic. I have reached out to a number of leading experts in this space as well as some searching on the Web to see where best places for free-form info may be.
I was pleasantly surprised to see all the content already out there. This includes things you might expect like the programing guide as well as many articles from both IBM and external sources. I have tried to organize what I found to help you easily get to the right content to help you become successful with free-form RPG.
ILE RPG Programmer’s Guide – In Chapter 1 of the ILE RPG programming guide there is a very detailed section describing all the changes to the RPG language as a result of this new update.
IBM Articles, Information and Wikis
There are several great sources of information from IBM. There are articles, as well as a forum that allows you ask specific questions or see questions and answers from the greater RPG Community. There is also a great chapter in the New Modernization Redbook.
Modernizing IBM i Applications from the Database to the User Interface and Everything in Between – Chapter 7 contains a detailed explanation of the changes for free-form, why you should consider leveraging, as well as many code examples to help you really understand.
RPG Café Free-Form RPG landing page – All the details on what you need get started with free-form in your shop
RPG Café Forum – get answers to your most difficult RPG question from the leading industry experts.
DeveloperWorks – Overview of RPG free-format – The IBM i zone of developersWorks contains many articles about best coding practices for IBM i as well as the latest technology for our platform. This article takes a look at the many aspects of free-form RPG including many code examples.
There have been a number of articles that written but several industry experts. Some are more general in nature, others have a far more practical view point with lots of examples and reasons Free-Form is for you.
ITJungle – The Geezer’s Guide to Free-Form RPG – Jon Paris
iProDeveloper – Write an Entire RPG Program in Free-Form – Barbara Morris
mcPressOnLine – More Free-Form for RPG – David Shirey
IBMSystems Magazine – Surprises in the New Free Format RPG – Jon Paris and Susan Gantner
This is in no way an exhaustive list of articles or information, but rather a starting point. This information is primarily targeted at just using the language. There are plenty of additional things we need to consider things like tooling being a primary consideration. Stay tuned for the latest details on tooling.