IBM has announced the anticipated Technology Refresh 7, commonly called IBM i TR 7.
It includes what IBM describes as a "major enhancement to RPG IV" with the introduction of free format F- and D-Specs. Having worked with the current RPG/free the new /free operations for the F- & D-Specs does look a bit strange:
ctl-opt dftactgrp(*no); dcl-pi *n; caller_name char(10) const; end-pi; dcl-c RECORD_LEN 80; dcl-f qprint printer(RECORD_LEN); dcl-ds prtDs len(RECORD_LEN) qualified; *n char(6) inz('Hello'); name char(50); end-ds; prtDs.name = transform(caller_name); write qprint prtDs; *inlr = '1'; dcl-proc transform; dcl-pi *n varchar(50); name varchar(10) const options(*trim); end-pi; return '*** ' + name + ' ***'; end-proc;
This leaves just the I- and O-Specs in fixed format.
This should be available as a PTF in November 2013.
More details can be seen on IBM's developerWorks website here.
In stories on other IBM i websites, mention that there will be a conversion tool to take RPG III and column based RPG IV source code and convert it to the new free format. But I could find that in the IBM announcement. As the two stories are so similar I presume that they come from the same (IBM?) source.
There are also enhancements to SQL.
Part of the announcement states "improved SQL Generate DDL support for Keyed DDS files". More details can be found here.
And there is a promise of SQL pre-compiler support in all RPG specification, see here.
There also appears to be a change to the QCMDEXC API, which is being changed to no longer require the Command Length parameter, see here. It refers to QCMDEXC in QSYS2, will this be a new command as the QCMDEXC API on my IBM i is found in only the QSYS library?
The announcement document can be viewed here.
While not part of this announcement IBM announced at LinuxCon 2013 that they are going to invest $1 billion in new Linux technologies for IBM Power Systems.
Below are two stories I found on other IBM i websites that give more information about TR7 that I cannot find in the IBM document: