ARCAD Software, leading vendor in Enterprise Modernization and DevOps solutions for IBM i, today announced the inclusion of two key ARCAD modernization solutions within IBM’s Configurator e-config (AAS) ordering system, automating the conversion of RPG source code and the analysis of existing IBM i applications.
This extension of IBM’s modernization portfolio is welcome news to existing IBM i customers, where diminishing IBM i skills is a primary concern. By converting legacy columnar RPG code to the modern Free Form syntax - which resembles languages such as Java and PHP – the ARCAD RPG Converter for IBM i opens software development on IBM i to a younger generation of software developers.
Alison Butterill, IBM's Worldwide Product Manager for IBM i, described why IBM originally decided to partner with ARCAD in the provision of modernization tooling: “Our IBM i clients had been asking for a long time to have a completely free-format RPG language. IBM delivered that, and in concert ARCAD has delivered a transformation tool [ARCAD RPG Converter for IBM i] that takes the old-style RPG code and converts it into this free-form. This is a game-changer. This is a big deal for our clients.”
Another common challenge for organizations hosting their core business applications on IBM i is the understanding of legacy code and databases which can be decades old. Now with ARCAD Observer for IBM i, analysts and developers can view and navigate application structure graphically without reading reams of source lines.
Philippe Magne, ARCAD Software CEO explains IBM’s strategy behind the inclusion of these two tools in the Configurator: “IBM’s e-config ordering system is used by all Hardware BPs throughout the world. The fact that IBM have included our modernization tools means that many IBM i systems will now be delivered and upgraded with modernization tools by default. This naturally extends the lifetime of applications on the platform. This is vital for the existing IBM i customer base who have built their core business applications in RPG/DB2, and are facing skill shortages today. Tools for modernizing and analyzing source code are strategic for any IBM i shop that needs to transition their applications to a new generation of young developers.”
ARCAD Observer for IBM i integrates directly within Rational® Developer for i (RDi), from where developers can immediately visualize application architecture in diagram form, and view deep dependencies from anywhere in the application. The tool auto-generates documentation including database relationship model, calling chains, I/O diagram, workflow diagram and functional “macroscopic” views. This metadata facilitates modernization projects, and improves accuracy and productivity in all stages of the application lifecycle.
Magne adds: “We are celebrating our 25 years in business this year. As a company we have built our technology around the modernization of IBM i and we fiercely believe in the strength and the future of this platform. We are proud to serve the IBM i community by providing a concrete and pragmatic answer to what is one of the top concerns of this community: the onboarding of a new generation of developers”.