Question: I just got done reading most of the tips in the September issue of MC. I found quite a bit of material that was new to me. I also came across a lot of things the AS/400 offers that the S/38 does not. We are still on the S/38 but plan on migrating in about a month or so to an E60. Could you tell me what I'm in for and what type of learning curve I'm looking at? I've been programming for about six years in RPG, and getting a little bored with this ancient piece of *$%.
Answer: I found that the learning curve was minimal. The thing that takes getting used to is using WRK instead of DSP (in most cases) and also the use of option 4 to delete. Option 4 to delete will be one that will get you, especially with spool files. The new commands are very useful and I don't think they are that hard to find. What I do is assume that a command is available and then see if IBM provided it. For the most part, you should have no problem. There are lots of areas that have changed and you will want to pay close attention to what you're doing, but it's not that bad. In RPG you will like the new op codes and features available. It is definitely worth taking the time to learn and use them.
Answer: There are three areas (maybe more) that will get you:
System values. The AS/400 has a number of new system values you have to learn, system values that are no longer used, and even some system values that are named the same as S/38 equivalents but have changed in format.
Security. It's my understanding that the S/38 adds the authorities given to a user to those given to the public. For example, if the public has *READ authority to a file and user JOE has *ADD authority to the same file, JOE can both read and add records to the file-on the S/38. The AS/400 short- circuits the public authority; if you give JOE authority to *ADD records, the system won't look any further than the user profile, resulting in a problem if JOE needs to read a record. It doesn't matter that the public has *READ. I have never worked on a S/38, so I may be mistaken. Still, this is what I remember reading a long time ago.
Qualified names. The S/38 uses the dot (.) but the AS/400 uses the slash (/) to separate object from library. Further, the order of the components is exactly opposite. Therefore, an object such as QPRINT.QGPL on the S/38 is referenced as QGPL/QPRINT on the AS/400. A job name such as DSP01.JOE.012345 is referenced as 012345/JOE/DSP01 on the AS/400. Still, OS/400 is nothing but a glorified CPF. You can feel at home very quickly.