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Query 400 in 2007?

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For years, i5 shops have been using the old Query/400 tool as well as the myriad third-party application generators and report writers. The IBM Query products (I'm not sure what those IBM product names are anymore, but I'm sure they have the word "Query" in them) seem to be relegated to the end-user community.

Many AR and AP departments as well as other end-user departments use IBM's Query products or one of the more powerful and pervasive third-party options such as mrc's Productivity Series or BCD's ProGen Plus.

(Editor's note: For a list of query tools and report generators, click on the link to the MC Showcase Buyer's Guide. Look for Query Tools under Product Categories.)

What I'm wondering is why IBM doesn't offer a native, integrated interface that does simple Query-style reports that are output to the Web browser rather than to the green-screen. I could probably write it for them in a few weeks or months if prompted.

Today, creating a spool file as the output media for a report seems somewhat passé. Most the third-party tools, particularly those I mentioned, added Web output years ago, yet Query/400 (or whatever its called today) still has the same interface and output capabilities I first saw nearly 20 years ago. This type of limitation today is like limiting Query/400 to reading 80-column punch cards, which was the case when IBM first introduced the AS/400 back in the late 1980s.

OK, I just looked it up. I can say IBM has updated Query/400. They've done to it what they do best; they changed its name. It is now known as Query for i5/OS. Yippee!

I'm fortunate enough to have access to a third-party tool, mrc Productivity Series, on my i5, so I didn't realize Query/400 was so many decades behind the rest of the universe. Certainly, with hundreds of thousands of i5 shops out there, this product, BCD's product, or one of the other third-party tools should be offered as a standard-install feature with the operating system—displacing Query/400 (I mean Query for i5/OS), or IBM needs to spend a few dollars supporting a small team of a few developers to design and develop Query/2007.

Bob Cozzi is host of iSeriesTV.com, an audio and video podcast/netcast Web site dedicated to the iSeries/System i world. Bob is also the author of several books, including The Modern RPG IV Language and RPG TNT: 101 Tips 'n Techniques for RPG IV. He is also the producer of RPG World, an annual conference for RPG IV programmers.

BOB COZZI

Bob Cozzi is a programmer/consultant, writer/author, and software developer. His popular RPG xTools add-on subprocedure library for RPG IV is fast becoming a standard with RPG developers. His book The Modern RPG Language has been the most widely used RPG programming book for more than a decade. He, along with others, speaks at and produces the highly popular RPG World conference for RPG programmers.


MC Press books written by Robert Cozzi available now on the MC Press Bookstore.

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