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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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 Code Coverage

This is the second post in my series on RPG and COBOL development using Visual Studio Code and Code for IBM i. Today’s topic is Code Coverage.

What is Code Coverage?

This stackoverflow answer explains precisely what Code Coverage is:

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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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Integrate Python into CL & RPG on IBM i – 2021 Update

python trainingPython on IBM i has proven itself as a tool for building utilities to create/read Excel files, transfer data, automate processes, call REST APIs such as Salesforce and ServiceNow, monitor applications, and more. What was missing was an easy way to use the power of Python from CL and RPG.

In 2019 we introduced you to the PYRUN command for running Python scripts from CL and RPG programs.

In this post we introduce you to QSHPYRUN, the next generation of PYRUN and part of Richard Schoen’s open source QShell on i Library – QshOni. QSHONI makes it easy for traditional CL and RPG programs to call Python utilities and use their output. This is supported via the QSHPYRUN command. QSHONI also supports general calls to other QShell, PASE and bash calls via the QSHEXEC and QSHBASH commands. This means QSHONI commands support calling Python, Node, PHP, Java and all things open source, making QSHONI much more versatile than the standalone PYRUN command was. The QSHONI commands can safely live side-by-side with the PYRUN command because they live in different IBM i libraries. This allows for migration to QSHPYRUN to  happen as needed. Read more

Tutorial: Integrate Node.js with RPG without a Connector

Node.js IBM iWe’ve been hearing from clients wondering whether they need commercial connectors to integrate open source technology with Db2, RPG, and COBOL data.

Liam Allan has shown the power of using open source tools that are available to everyone. He recommends accessing IBM i business logic and data using open source tools, without proprietary connectors.

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