Tuesday, June 20, 2017

IBM VP reaffirms commitment to RPG and IBM i

ibm vp reaffirms future of rpg

In my opinion it is always good when IBM publishes something about their future commitment to PowerSystems servers, IBM i operating system, and the RPG programming language. Steve Pitcher sent me a copy of a letter, from June 9 2017, by Steve Sibley, the Vice President of IBM Cognitive Systems, that hits this trifecta.

At the start of his letter Steve leaves us in no doubt IBM's regard for RPG:

I would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm the commitment that IBM has made with regard to RPG, COBOL, and the IBM i Development suite of tools.

He continues:

IBM Power Systems is committed to the success and ongoing development of IBM i. This includes the ILE RPG and ILE COBOL and associated development tools. This ongoing commitment has been illustrated with such enhancements as RPG Open Access, and Free Format RPG.

After these affirming statements he goes on to describe IBM's commitment to our beloved trifecta.

You can see the letter in its entirety here.

If you know of anyone who doubts the future of RPG you need to share this letter with them.


  1. excellent, now if IBM marketing can change the perception of the name from AS400 to IBMi, see job postings that list AS400 Mainframe, makes me laugh

  2. While I agree that it always provides a warm and fuzzy reassurance when IBM makes these types of statements about the i platform, I also think that continuing to emphasize a commitment to RPG only furthers the (albeit wrong) stereotype of IBM i being an antiquated system. The hardcore RPGers don't need convincing, so which demographic is this statement meant to woo? No young programmer is going to get excited by this and declare RPG as the primary concentration of their career efforts. At best, they have to deal with the language and may come to appreciate it and the things that are unique about it. I see that the language continues to evolve, so talk up those features instead of repeating 'your commitment to RPG'. As someone who has come from 0 knowledge to becoming pretty familiar with the i platform (even a fanboy at times) in just 3 years, I can safely say at no point during this journey have these types of statements convinced me to appreciate the platform. They've actually made me think twice, as you don't see other platforms or languages trying to reassure their customer base that they're not dying...unless they're actually dying. IBM i is solid, DB2 for i is out of this world, and RPG is...there too. How about an equal focus and emphasis be put on the newer features like open-source support? To me that's the stuff that really proves to me that IBM is invested in IBM i.


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