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Rewriting old RPG III programs

We plan to rewrite old RPG III programs of one large application. The data is declared in the programs -- no external declaration. What are the best methods and tools to do achieve this?

Depends... This depends so much on what you have access to, your levels of expertise, what you can afford if you want to buy in tools.

I know that there are some quite good source conversion utilities FREE -- one I use myself is based on a converter written by Craig Rutledge, which may be available in Search400.com or on a related site.

But the first task should be to externalize the data. If all your files are 'flat' (no fields defined in DDS), then you may have a problem -- but you can get round that by using 'dummy' DDS just to define external fields over the flat records – the example below has fields defined in 'dummy' file AS_REC01 :

 
      D formatAS      E DS                  ExtName(AS_REC01) 

When you read your flat file, read in into the data structure formatAS and all the 'external' fields will be filled.

If your files have 'proper' DDS, then not so bad! Just set "E" for Externally-Described in your current F-specs and remove/tidy up the internally-defined field names and I-specs before running any converters.

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This was last published in September 2004

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