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TUG
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March 1997: Volume 12, Number 4


VisualAge for RPG Does Windows

By George Farr and Claus Weiss

nce again we would like to talk to you about the New VisualAge for RPG (hereafter referred to as VARPG) to inform you about the latest and greatest in this product. [At the time,] Version 3 Release 7 [was] the newest release of VisualAge for RPG and CODE/400 which make up the Application Development ToolSet Client Server for AS/400 product. Most commonly referred to as ADTS/CS. The most important feature for this release for both VARPG and CODE/400 is the support for Windows 95 and NT. In this brief article we will give you an overview of what new features and enhancements the VARPG product contains. In the meeting on Mar 19, 1997, we will [gave] a more detailed explanation and examples of these enhancements as well as a live demo.

In addition to having both build time and run time versions of VARPG available on Windows 95 and NT, significant new enhancements have been made to the VARPG product. The two main components of the VARPG product are the GUI designer and the RPG compiler. In this release, both of these components got a good share of enhancements. First from the GUI designer side the following list summarizes these enhancements:

Moreover, while compiling and building your VARPG, the builder allows you to monitor the build/compilation progress as well as cancel it if you wish. In addition, one of the most commonly asked enhancements by our customers is the ability to disconnect from the AS/400 and still be able to compile applications that have externally described files. Well, with this release we introduced the CACHEing support which allows the user to tell the system to cache or save the description from the AS/400 to the local PC.

On the other hand, from the compiler side, we had the challenge of bringing the level of function for the VARPG compiler to similar level as ILE RPG or RPG4. Well, this release brings in the following set of enhancements to the VARPG compiler:

In addition, the biggest enhancements to this release is the introduction of procedures in VARPG. With this enhancement a new specification, the 'P' spec. has been introduced to define a procedure or function (Procedure that returns a value). With the introduction of procedures, the VARPG user can now define Global data as well as local data. In the upcoming TUG meeting we will show you few examples of these enhancements and we will explain them in more detail. One thing to remember is the fact that the VARPG level of function in the compiler is identical to the level of function in the RPG4 compiler on the AS/400 as of Version 3 release 7. This will make it a lot easier for portability and reuse of code on both platforms.

In addition to all these functional enhancements to the product, VARPG is now being shipped with CODE/400 as one single product. In fact, from a pricing point of view, you pay one price ($950.00 USD) and you get both VARPG and CODE/400. (Buy one get one free!) This is great deal for these two products that compliment each other.

With the introduction of VARPG on Version 3 release 7, we now have VARPG truly on Multiple platforms. We now have support, build and run time, on OS/2, Windows95, and Windows NT. In addition, run time support is available for Windows 3.1. If you don't already know, we have been making both VARPG and CODE/400 available through our beta program. Information about getting a free copy of our pre-release version can be found on the world wide web at: http://www.software.ibm.com/ad/varpg/

In summary, the March '97 TUG meeting was an ideal one to talk to you about what was coming in VARPG since the General Availability for it was scheduled for the end of April '97. In this article, we intentionally did not go into detailed description of all the new enhancements - to save some surprises for the TUG monthly meeting! T < G