Learn about Merlin for IBM i

IBM MerlinYou may have heard about IBM’s new Merlin tools for modern RPG development methodology. But what is it, really, and how would it benefit your shop?

Seiden Group’s Jack Woehr, one of the top Merlin advocates in the country, will be presenting three talks on Merlin at COMMON NAViGATE on Oct. 4–5, 2022:

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Visual Studio Code for IBM i: A Resource Guide

Code for IBM iJust over a year ago, a group of developers led by Liam Allan presented the IBM i community with a new, free IDE—an IBM i extension to the popular Visual Studio Code.

VS Code for IBM i offers an alternative to RDi, the heavy-duty, fee-based graphical IDE for IBM i, and SEU, the native greenscreen IDE. It’s faster than RDi and easier to learn than either RDi or SEU. It supports development in RPGLE, COBOL, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Node.js and other languages. For these reasons, Code for IBM i is a great solution for:

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Update: Code for IBM i Language Tools

Code for IBM iCode for IBM i and its RPGLE language tools have come a long way! I am excited to share some of the language tools improvements with you today. They are absolutely worth talking about. Language tools are what makes writing code fun and exciting, and we can be better developers with them.

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Visual Studio Code and 5250

With our latest version of Code for IBM i, developers have access to virtually everything they need when writing both RPG and open source applications, all in a single editor.

Version 0.8.4 provides your choice of a 5250 terminal or a PASE shell right in the editor—with a new, faster launch process.

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RPGLE Linting and Content Assist with VS Code for IBM i

vscode-rpgle extensionA great IDE contains features that increase your coding speed and accuracy so you can focus on your program’s logic. One of my favorite productivity enhancers, content assist, has been bundled in Visual Studio Code for IBM i since its inception. Content assist gives you autocomplete options for code as you write it, reducing syntax errors.

Today we’re announcing a new killer productivity tool for Code for IBM i—a built-in linter!

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Git for All Your Code

IBM i + GitGit has become the de facto standard for open source version control. Nevertheless, while your team may be using Git for open source code, your traditional IBM i programs and other code may use no version control at all, or be stuck in a repository that is difficult to access.

In this article, we’ll cover why you might want to move code to Git and suggest tools that make the move practical for IBM i teams.

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VS Code for IBM i — Tips and Extras

Visual Studio Code 1.35 iconVisual Studio Code is a widely used IDE in the non-IBM i world. Recently we released Code for IBM i, a freely available extension for VS Code that supports RPGLE and COBOL development for IBM i. You can read about the basics of Code for IBM i and about code coverage functionality in my previous posts.

Today I’m going to cover three additional tips for using Code for IBM i. Of course, for any of this to work, you need to install Code for IBM i.

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Visual Studio Code, RPG and IBM i

Visual Studio Code 1.35 iconVisual Studio Code is an IDE and platform for developers to write backend, progressive web apps, frontend, and everything on the spectrum of development. I have created an extension for VS Code, called Code for IBM i, that allows users to work on and maintain their IBM i code. VS Code is the best IDE for extensibility, which is why I wanted to take on such a task.

While Visual Studio Code was built to work with all languages, in my opinion it didn’t have much support for RPGLE or COBOL on IBM i until this point. We’re streamlining RPGLE development in terms of tools and speed for our users. We want to make developing RPGLE and COBOL easy for everyone in the most efficient way possible.

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Using PHP with Rational Developer for IBM i

open phpIf you’re using Rational Developer for i (RDi) for most of your development tasks, you might want to use it for PHP, too. RDi is based on Eclipse, so we can use the Eclipse PHP Development Tools (PDT) with RDi.

However, there are some additional steps to take and quirks to be aware of. This post provides the steps for a trouble-free installation of PDT, with tips to resolve common issues.

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State Sales Tax Ruling Spurs IBM i Integration

IBM i integrationIBM i integration via APIs has been central to many of our development projects, especially those involving web/mobile applications, software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, and cross-platform data sharing.

Lately we’ve been helping customers prepare for new state sales tax rules on internet sales by integrating APIs with their IBM i systems.

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