It's time to move off of 5250 green-screens even if your shop enjoys them, you have only internal/home-grown applications, and the users don't seem to mind.
Why is it important? Because in today's acquisition economy, odds are your firm may be purchased or merged with another company in the next few days, months, or years. When this happens, the new CIO may come in, review your applications, see your green-screens, and conclude that your department is hopelessly behind the times. And away go the iSeries and your RPG job!
This is happening time and time again. The new CIO thinks green-screen apps are too old to maintain and must simply be replaced. Hence, the company throws out much of its IT assents, including the iSeries, and replaces it with crap (typically, a big, expensive software package that doesn't run on the iSeries).
And you're suddenly without a job.
Don't get caught with your hand in a green-screen! Dump the teal terminal apps now!
Solutions to this situation depend on the level of GUI/browser you want to use. But it is very easy to move 5250 applications to browser-based applications today. The free CGIDEV2 library is very popular, and if you need help and support, there is a great solution in RPG xTools' CGILIB (similar to and compatible with CGIDEV2). Both of these packages allow RPG IV applications to easily use browsers instead of green-screen DDS. In addition, if you utilize the emerging AJAX methodology and technologies, you can create 5250-style user interfaces and avoid all those "page rolls" that browser users tend to dislike.
To do this, you will need any of the following:
- A big resource-eating package from your hardware vendor
- A lightweight package, such as CGIDEV2 or RPG xTools' CGILIB
- One of those commercial "Server Pages" packages
So get off your dead-end apps and terminate the teal terminal!Bob Cozzi is a programmer/consultant, writer/author, and software developer of the RPG xTools, a popular add-on subprocedure library for RPG IV. His book The Modern RPG Language has been the most widely used RPG programming book for nearly two decades. He, along with others, speaks at and runs the highly-popular RPG World conference for RPG programmers.