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Top RPG programming books

A look at the most popular books on RPG programming

If you're unable to take a course or attend workshops on RPG programming, then the next best place to start is with a book. We did some digging and found some of the most popular books on the subject.

The Modern RPG IV Language -- Second Edition
Author: Bob Cozzi

The Modern RPG IV Language has been a bestseller ever since its first edition was published in 1988. Then it was simply The Modern RPG Language, but like the language itself, the book has grown and expanded over the years as new features and function have been added to RPG. It has become the comprehensive text used by tens of thousands of RPG developers worldwide.

Now, in this 3rd edition, internationally recognized RPG expert Bob Cozzi has updated his classic work on RPG IV to cover all the new functions and features that have been added to the language since 1999, including explanation of all the alternate syntax options and the more than 30 new op codes and built-in functions.

The Modern RPG IV Language, 3rd Edition takes you through RPG IV, from its foundation to its most advanced techniques. At the core of this book are its chapters on built-in functions and op codes. In these chapters, Bob details each built-in function and op code with syntax tables that give you all the information you need at a glance.

This is much more than just a book on theory and rules, however. Bob includes more than 100 charts and tables, showing how those rules apply and providing more than 350 real-life code samples of functions and operations.

Re-engineering RPG Legacy Applications
Author: Paul Tuohy

Re-engineering AS/400 Legacy Applications and companion CD-ROM provide a tutorial aimed at showing you how to modernize your applications by taking you step by step through the re-engineering of a sample application. Author Paul Tuohy covers conversion of RPG IV programs, as well as re-engineering them to take full advantage of RPG IV and ILE. He also covers triggers, referential integrity and APIs so that your applications can take advantage of all the new technology that is available today.

iSeries and AS/400 RPG IV at Work
Authors: Doug Pence, Ron Hawkins

This book is practically mandatory for any RPG programmer. If you're a novice programmer, you will be able to learn from the experts how to do things right the first time. If you're a veteran, you will find fresh, new ideas and techniques that will help you continue to grow in your career. RPG IV at Work opens doors and unlocks information, helping you take full advantage of the complete range of RPG IV capabilities.

Doug Pence and Ron Hawkins have spent the last two decades accumulating tips, tools, and techniques that make RPG the best that it can be. From designing software to attaining maximum performance to using advanced problem-solving tools, this book presents a wide range of important topics. It offers in-depth, practical coverage of basic subjects -- such as data structures, string handling and subfiles -- and also tackles the more intricate subject areas, such as APIs, prototyping, and journaling as a debugging tool. It covers built-in functions (BIFs), data types, and subprocedures. From coding to compiling, this book has tips for RPG programmers of every level. There are even tools and utilities from Doug and Ron's own toolbox -- tools they have designed to improve their productivity and extend their effectiveness as programmers.

Subfiles in RPG IV: Rules, Examples, Techniques, and Other Cool Stuff
Author: Kevin Vandever

This book begins with easy-to-understand explanations of subfile concepts, then goes on to offer a bounty of practical examples, advanced techniques and other cool stuff never before seen in subfile books. It is a comprehensive resource you will use over and over as you advance from basic subfile usage to guru-like mastery of subfile programming.

For each topic, the book offers concepts, explanations, and practical examples you can use as templates for further development. These templates are fully functioning programs that include both DDS and RPG IV code from basic single-page display subfiles to powerful techniques like recursion, data queues, and embedded SQL. As an added bonus, each example is included on an accompanying CD-ROM, ready to copy to your AS/400.

The iSeries & AS/400 Programmer's Guide to Cool Things
Author: Mike Faust

Bored with the same old look for the same old programs in the same old RPG? Consider this book your guide to "cool things" that you can program on the iSeries and AS/400. OS/400 may be one of the most reliable platforms available for business users, but face it, the same old green-screen applications are boring. It's time to change all that with techniques that can completely revitalize the look and feel of your applications.

This book shows you how to use some unique techniques to give a whole new face to your iSeries and AS/400 applications. To start off, you'll get a suite of techniques you can use with your green-screen programs: Query Manager/400, advanced display DDS functions, user-defined ILE functions, and Advanced Function Printing. Section II gives you tools that you can use to give your PC client applications and interfaces more function and usability with ADO, OLE DB, and FTP. And finally, you'll dive into the world of the Internt in Section III to explore the possibilities of using your iSeries or AS/400 as you develop Web pages, implement e-mail, and even use ActiveX Data Objects to develop applications in Visual Basic. This book will add a whole new set of weapons to your iSeries development arsenal.

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