the age of one, you took your first steps. Perseverance and practice led to a
balanced, easy stride. Later, when you learned to run, you enhanced the
movement. Writing application software is a bit like learning to walk. At
first, you squeal with delight when your program compiles. Soon, you are determined
to make it work dependably. Then you add bells and whistles! But before you
know it, technology changes, and your application is left wearing armor-clad boots instead
of gel-filled athletic shoes. What to do?
Convert. Not in the religious sense, but in the technological sense. Automated conversion
of applications can result in cost-effective, native- mode AS/400 applications from what
were once S/36 programs. Further- more, these converted applications can be brought into
production at less cost and in less time than a manual redevelopment project or an
application rewrite if you use the right tool.
TARGET/400 is a conversion tool that enables
the S/36 user to convert S/36 applications to native mode on the AS/400. The applications
may be converted directly from the S/36 or, alternatively, from the S/36 environment on
the AS/400. Conversion capabilities exist for RPG II to RPG III and OCL to CL.
TARGET/400 can convert menus, screen formats, message members, sorts, queries, data
dictionaries, and files (DDS generation).
A Good Relationship
Native mode RPG III applications on the AS/400
give you the advantage of maintaining your programs in a relational database environment,
so record descriptions are external to the applications and need not be coded in the RPG
programs that use them. Not only does this reduce the coding requirements during program
development, but also it ensures record-format integrity.
TARGET/400 emphasizes the creation of a
well-structured and defined relational database environment. The software generates
comprehensive, consistent, and detailed DDS specifications for converted database files.
These definitions form the foundation for any future developments or enhancements to your
converted applications. The definitions also allow you to take advantage of the
advanced database file functions available to the AS/400 native mode user.
TARGET/400 offers the ability to automatically optimize your converted applications for
performance, which can improve application response times as well.
If conversion is accomplished directly from
the S/36, you need only save the libraries and files you wish to convert from the S/36
using the SAVELIBR and SAVE commands. The saved media then is used as input to the
OCL procedures are converted to CL programs;
typically in excess of 98 percent of the OCL is converted. Sort parameters are
extracted from OCL and converted to native mode sort source members for use by the native
Format Data (FMTDTA) command in the converted CL programs. TARGET/400 supplies the
Sort Data (SRTDTA) command , which permits the use of parameter and substitution
expressions in the native mode sort statements.
S/36 screen format specifications are
converted to DDS specifications.
Field reference file processing automatically
updates any application field reference file with the field specifications of any file
description processed by the DDS generator. An interactive logical file creation
feature allows you to quickly and easily build any logical files (alternate indexes) and
TARGET/400's interactive learning module
enables the user to create detailed CL programs. The software accomplishes this by
using familiar S/36 OCL statements.
Two post-conversion features of TARGET/400
should also be highlighted. First, the RPG file description externalization feature
enables you to optionally replace internal RPG III file, screen, and printer descriptions
with their corresponding external definitions. This process implements field name
standardization throughout the converted RPG III code. Second, TARGET/400's change
analysis functions permits you to plan ahead by providing impact-analysis reporting to
help you effectively manage any changes to your native mode applications.
Like a new pair of athletic shoes, TARGET/400
should put some spring back in your step while helping you to trim seconds off your time.
Janet M. Fraser is the products editor for Midrange Computing.
She can be reached by E-Mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org