Disadvantages of an AS/400

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tsn...@pssd.com

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Mar 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/6/98
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Hello everyone. I am doing some research on the AS/400. What I am looking
for is any information about the disadvantages of an AS/400. Any information
would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Todd Snyder
tsn...@pssd.com

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Joost

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Mar 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/6/98
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>Hello everyone. I am doing some research on the AS/400. What I am looking
>for is any information about the disadvantages of an AS/400. Any information
>would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

The main disadvantage: it's price. It's one of the best machines
around (depending on the functions you need, that is) but IBM earns a
bit too much.


=== THE TOUGHEST MAIL FILTER EVER - MY DELETE BUTTON ===

Tom Ruta

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Mar 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/6/98
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tsn...@pssd.com wrote:

>Hello everyone. I am doing some research on the AS/400. What I am looking
>for is any information about the disadvantages of an AS/400. Any information
>would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
>

Only a few...

- it is too damned much money (but an extremely reliable
machine that probably offsets the higher purchase price)

- there's still too much JCL-like cryptic stuff
( WRKSYSSTSJHJSJSDKSKJDHSJKSK&SDKHKSHKS&R when you can click
a button or type an english command)

- not the same kind of application choice as with standard
Wintel

That all said, we have a couple and they make my life
easier.

Tom

Jeff Carey

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Mar 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/6/98
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I'd disagree. The inital outlay is large, but the cost of ownership is
MUCH less than a LAN or UNIX system of similar size.

Joost wrote:
>
> >Hello everyone. I am doing some research on the AS/400. What I am looking
> >for is any information about the disadvantages of an AS/400. Any information
> >would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
>

MStone24

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Mar 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/6/98
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os/400 is a rock-solid operating system and the "cryptic" CL commands are
actually fairly logical (and powerful) once learned.
I do agree that the expense is a factor though, especially for a smaller
business. NT is also a tried and true platform and can be rolled out for far
less.

regards, Mike

Bill Guenthner

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Mar 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/6/98
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This "question" is obviously posted to start a flame war. Why do so many
people fall for these phony "Which is the better (platform, OS, etc)"
questions?

tsn...@pssd.com wrote in message <6dplag$dka$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>...


>Hello everyone. I am doing some research on the AS/400. What I am looking
>for is any information about the disadvantages of an AS/400. Any
information
>would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
>

>Todd Snyder
>tsn...@pssd.com


Bill Guenthner

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Mar 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/6/98
to

Oh, Yeah. And just what would prompt such a question?
I think I'll go over to alt.autos.ford and post some silly
message like
"I don't know anything about Fords can someone tell me if they suck?"
That ought to be good for about 500 responses.

Joost wrote in message <35009760...@news.xs4all.nl>...


>>This "question" is obviously posted to start a flame war. Why do so many
>>people fall for these phony "Which is the better (platform, OS, etc)"
>>questions?
>

>For your information, this thread didn't start as an ordinary "what OS
>is better" war. The original poster wanted to know some deficiencies
>of a system. No other OS was mentioned to compare with.
>
>Sincerely,
>
>Joost

Joost

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Mar 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/7/98
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Larry Shove

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Mar 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/7/98
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One of the main disadvantages of the AS400 is that it has no native
graphics
or sound support.

This may change in the future. The Java porting to AS400 does not include
the AWT Package so you can have 100% Java clients, but the server can not
run alot of Java applications - via OS/400.

If IBM gave OS/400 a GUI instead of spending millions on OS/2, it could of
killed NT4 before it was born!

Cheers
Larry

tsn...@pssd.com wrote in article <6dplag$dka$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>...


> Hello everyone. I am doing some research on the AS/400. What I am
looking
> for is any information about the disadvantages of an AS/400. Any
information
> would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
>
> Todd Snyder
> tsn...@pssd.com
>

L

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Mar 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/7/98
to

I agree, for me the lack of GUI functionality is perhaps the AS400's
main disadvantage.

The AS400 appears to be expensive to new users but the support costs
should be a lot less than alternatives available. Unfortunately the
real costs of a solution tend to be hidden and/or not found until the
user is committed to their chosen platform.

If GUI/object-oriented functionality were to be added to the AS400
without impacting it's reliability and "ease of support" I am sure it
would sell to an even wider market - but maybe it's the GUI nature of
the alternatives that makes them so unstable/difficult to support?

Of course the real answer is that most options have advantages and
disadvantages and these tend to have different significance depending
on what your application(s) is/are.

There is no right answer for everyone (yet?).


Lynn

(PS contrary to an earlier view that this subject should not be
discussed because it will lead to "flaming" - I think a mature
discussion should be possible and beneficial - but then I'm new to
this "newsgroup" lark.)

Ray

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Mar 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/7/98
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tsn...@pssd.com wrote:

> Hello everyone. I am doing some research on the AS/400. What I am looking
> for is any information about the disadvantages of an AS/400. Any information
> would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
>
> Todd Snyder
> tsn...@pssd.com
>
> -----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==-----
> http://www.dejanews.com/ Now offering spam-free web-based newsreading

The AS/400 is the result of man-year centuries of totally coordinated effort.
This costs. In fact I think that a 'Golden Era' of massive visionary IT
developments may have passed, barring to some extent Sun's work on JAVA.
OS/400 also has evolved over many years and across architectures and maintained
the same feel, and unity. It was designed for business, runs businesses, and is
programmed by business-men (they are not the most technical in the world).

Some disadvantages are that you can't stack 'em high and sell 'em cheap, play
solitaire or impress your friends with how easy it is to point and click your
way around simple configuration dialog boxes with a mouse.

Also you don't tend to come accross them in educational establishments (although
they may be running the administration) and without 3D spinning graphics it is
difficult to keep the attention of students even if they were.
This means that only a few students leave college with OS/400 exposure, and only
a few bread-heads (like myself) go the extra mile to get the experience that is
a prerequisite before any enterprise will take you on.

Also employers and even many 'technical' people in the AS/400 world outside IBM
don't really have a clue about technical issues (for many even SQL is rocket
science). Most AS/400 programmers I've met come from a business/accounting
background and write some absolutely awfull code, largely because of lack of
interest or exposure to other programming languages or even because they
actually don't really have a programming aptitude and are obviously attracted by
the cash incentive.
Many bosses and middle managers often have low expectations from their staff and
again are largely ignorant of how even small technical issues (like 6 digit
dates for instance) may drastically affect bottom-lines.
With the massive skills shortages we've seen in the last few years these people
go on to produce masses of almost unmaintainable commercial code. They work
(they MUST!), but which long-necked giraffe is going to risk upgrading or
improving them?

In a nut-shell it fits well for many of todays commercial entrerprises, that is
an advantage and disadvantage I suppose.

Imagine if some of those UNIX gurus that were tired of riding the wave came to
roost in the AS/400 camp and learnt more about commercial realities, exuse me,
I've started dreaming...


Thomas Raddatz

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Mar 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/7/98
to tsn...@pssd.com

On my opinion there are no great disadvantages with an AS/400. Some
people mention the price but they should remember the reliability of the
AS/400, too.

The only disadvantage known by me is that you can not run an AS/400 24
hours over 7 days a week. From time to time you have to do an IPL to
allow the AS/400 to reorganize temporaly used adresses. If you forget to
do an IPL you will run out of free adresses and the system will stop. At
this point you MUST do an IPL!
A customer of our company owns a Model 320 and he has to do one IPL per
week. But I think that this is independant of the model. Other people
may correct this.

Kind regards
Thomas Raddatz, Germany

tsn...@pssd.com schrieb:

Donald Charles Kuenz

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Mar 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/7/98
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Warning -- a slight glitch caused the following message, which really belongs
to alt.tasteless.jokes, to be posted here instead.

MStone24 (msto...@aol.com) wrote:
: I do agree that the expense is a factor though, especially for a smaller
: business. NT is also a tried and true platform and can be rolled out for far
: less.

Daniel Côté

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Mar 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/7/98
to

Being in competition with Microsoft's sht...


tsn...@pssd.com wrote:

> Hello everyone. I am doing some research on the AS/400. What I am looking
> for is any information about the disadvantages of an AS/400. Any information
> would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
>
> Todd Snyder
> tsn...@pssd.com
>
> -----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==-----
> http://www.dejanews.com/ Now offering spam-free web-based newsreading

--
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Pat Vaughan

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Mar 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/7/98
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I know places that do IPLs every 3 months. It depends on system usage and such.
They seem to run a long time without slowing to a crawl like other systems.

But, they can be difficult for PC users to get used to. For the most part, the
system has roots in the system 36 days, so the applications are almost all text
based. Windows users have fits when you tell them they have to use up to 24
function keys in a text window :) Lots of apps are going to HTML interfaces
though, there are even nice applications that make HTML front ends on the fly for
text based applications.


And, the total cost of ownership isn't that high compared to other systems, its the
initial investment that gets ya. They need very little support once they're
running. PC's take huge resources, some big companies say they spend between $8k
to $12k per PC per year to maintain. That sounds like a lot, but by the time you
figure the box, software, techs to support it, and so on.....

They also aren't real prone to virus's. Some of the organizations that have been
hit by a nasty virus love that :) Oooh, you can run them from network stations,
that makes your PC upkeep a TON easier, but you can still offer Windows type apps.

They're a ton more secure that most systems. Much better than Windows based
systems... IMHO if your running TCP/IP, UNIX systems can be setup more secure; but
TCP is relatively new and immature on the 400.

I better stop or I'll go on all day :)

> On my opinion there are no great disadvantages with an AS/400. Some
> people mention the price but they should remember the reliability of the
> AS/400, too.
>

> A customer of our company owns a Model 320 and he has to do one IPL per

danh...@millcomm.com

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Mar 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/8/98
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In <01bd4985$9b38f080$b32c63c3@landar1>, "Larry Shove" <La...@landar.co.uk> writes:
>One of the main disadvantages of the AS400 is that it has no native
>graphics
>or sound support.
>
>This may change in the future. The Java porting to AS400 does not include
>the AWT Package so you can have 100% Java clients, but the server can not
>run alot of Java applications - via OS/400.

V4R2 includes a Remote AWT implementation that allows full GUI
applications to be run on the AS/400, with a PC serving as the display. I
don't know offhand what level of sound support might be present -- sound
in Java has been a little iffy in the first few versions.

Dan Hicks
Hey!! My advice is free -- take it for what it's worth!
http://www.millcomm.com/~danhicks

danh...@millcomm.com

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Mar 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/8/98
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In <35017F37...@online-club.de>, Thomas Raddatz <Thomas....@online-club.de> writes:
>On my opinion there are no great disadvantages with an AS/400. Some
>people mention the price but they should remember the reliability of the
>AS/400, too.
>
>The only disadvantage known by me is that you can not run an AS/400 24
>hours over 7 days a week. From time to time you have to do an IPL to
>allow the AS/400 to reorganize temporaly used adresses. If you forget to
>do an IPL you will run out of free adresses and the system will stop. At
>this point you MUST do an IPL!
>A customer of our company owns a Model 320 and he has to do one IPL per
>week. But I think that this is independant of the model. Other people
>may correct this.

The RISC models can go a lot longer before requiring an IPL. Also, your
customer should contact IBM for some advice: There are a number of
programming style issues that affect temporary address generation, and it
might be that a slight change to some program would allow them to
significantly increase the time between IPLs. Remember, a lot of users
are going months without IPLing.

Obelix

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Mar 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/8/98
to

On Sat, 07 Mar 1998 18:09:11 +0100, Thomas Raddatz
<Thomas....@online-club.de> wrote:

>From time to time you have to do an IPL to
>allow the AS/400 to reorganize temporaly used adresses.

Thomas, this is true only for old CISC machine. New RISC model don't'
need to IPL often to reorganize addresses...

Obelix

Francisco R. de Leon

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Mar 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/8/98
to

Hello Todd,

Every disadvantage usually has one or more corresponding advantage. Here
are a few:

Disadvantage #1: The AS/400's main processor configuration (excluding the
FSIOP/IPCS), currently, runs only one operating system, OS/400. Compared
to, say, Intel-based systems, which are able to run NetWare, NT, OS/2, and
Unix (which has 16+ different flavors, just to name just a few), the AS/400
is limited in this regard, that is, proprietary.

Advantage: The AS/400's main processor runs only one operating system,
OS/400. Other operating systems which are able to run on Intel-based
systems are bloated with drivers and other "necessary" software components
in order to support the seemingly infinite number of hardware permutations
which make up today's Intel-based platforms, even within just a single
computer manufacturer's line of products. Indeed, if you order one specific
make and model today, then another order with the "identical" configuration
next week, there is no guarantee that you will receive the "identical
configuration" -- a newer chipset for this component, a slightly different
firmware for that, a different colored racing stripe, etc...Performance
suffers together with reliability. Compared to the other operating systems,
OS/400 is very restricted in its hardware requirements, but is extremely
focused in this regard. Plug-n-play literally works, versus plug-n-pray.
Hence, the more than significantly greater reliability factor (99.4+ versus
94.5+ uptime), which may not be that important in some environments, but
extremely critical in others.

Disadvantage #2: The AS/400 has no sound card support.
Advantage: The AS/400 has no sound card support.

Disadvantage #3: See #1 & #2 above.
Advantage: See #1 & #2 above.

Regards, Franko de Leon

tsn...@pssd.com wrote in message <6dplag$dka$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>...

The Programmer

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Mar 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/8/98
to

Everyone else has put in their 2 cents, so here's mine.

There really aren't any disadvantages to an AS/400, as long as you recognize
its intent and purpose. It's a business machine, designed to run business
applications, in a business environment. It's not a PC, and it's not a play
station, and it's not a piece of cutesie GUI equipment. If you want nice
colors and beautiful graphics and awesome sound and whizz-bang animation,
get yourself a Mac or a PC or one of them Sony things... they'll cost you a
lot less, and they'll probably knock your socks off. But don't expect a Mac
or a PC or a Sony Gameboy (I probably have this last product wrong) to
process your business data on a scale that an AS/400 does.

OS/400 is a rock solid OS, that's fairly easy to use (once you learn how it
works). No two ways about it. It's fast, it's reliable, and it does what
it's suppose to do without a hiccup. Simple as that.

On a personal note, though, being a COBOL person, the only disadvantage that
I've ever encountered on an AS/400, is the fact that IBM came out with an
RPG compiler for the thing. I mean, who wants to be cursed with actually
*having* to code in something as ridiculous as RPG? I mean, let's be real
here folks... anything that requires you to 'fill in the columns' can't
really be considered a real programming language!

::running for cover::

--
The Programmer Has Spoken -- SO THERE!

tho...@inorbit.com

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Mar 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/8/98
to

Lynn:

Your connection between GUI and "object-oriented" functionality is
interesting. The AS/400 has been object-based from the beginning, and
certainly much more so than something such as WinNt -- or even OS/2. In WinNT,
for example, it's possible to open a program executable in a text editor. Try
to do the same on an AS/400 and you'll see which supports object technology.

The AS/400 is now even beginning to move to object-oriented, beyond
object-based. It is becoming possible for 3rd-party developers to create
object types that are not supplied by IBM. Where this will take us, who knows?

As for GUI, never forget that we're talking (a) server technology or (b)
multi-user. For a server, GUI is irrelevant. For multi-user, it's plain
stupid. The GUI belongs on the client whether the server is Unix, NT or
AS/400. I've created GUI apps for AS/400s before using Visual RPG and Visual
REXX; others use Visual Basic. But just as for NT, the GUI runs on the client
PC no matter where it's served from. Yeah, you CAN run a GUI app on an NT
server, but would you hire programmers who coded that way?

Tom Liotta

In article <350128d9...@news.u-net.com>,


L Hat...@aida.u-net.com wrote:
>
> I agree, for me the lack of GUI functionality is perhaps the AS400's
> main disadvantage.
>
> The AS400 appears to be expensive to new users but the support costs
> should be a lot less than alternatives available. Unfortunately the
> real costs of a solution tend to be hidden and/or not found until the
> user is committed to their chosen platform.
>
> If GUI/object-oriented functionality were to be added to the AS400
> without impacting it's reliability and "ease of support" I am sure it
> would sell to an even wider market - but maybe it's the GUI nature of
> the alternatives that makes them so unstable/difficult to support?
>
> Of course the real answer is that most options have advantages and
> disadvantages and these tend to have different significance depending
> on what your application(s) is/are.
>
> There is no right answer for everyone (yet?).
>
> Lynn
>
> (PS contrary to an earlier view that this subject should not be
> discussed because it will lead to "flaming" - I think a mature
> discussion should be possible and beneficial - but then I'm new to
> this "newsgroup" lark.)
>
> On 7 Mar 1998 03:51:47 GMT, "Larry Shove" <La...@landar.co.uk> wrote:
>

> >One of the main disadvantages of the AS400 is that it has no native
> >graphics
> >or sound support.
> >
> >This may change in the future. The Java porting to AS400 does not include
> >the AWT Package so you can have 100% Java clients, but the server can not
> >run alot of Java applications - via OS/400.
> >

> >If IBM gave OS/400 a GUI instead of spending millions on OS/2, it could of
> >killed NT4 before it was born!
> >
> >Cheers
> >Larry
> >
> >
> >

> >tsn...@pssd.com wrote in article <6dplag$dka$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>...

Diarmuid Wrenne

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Mar 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/8/98
to

What I cannot understand about IBm is that they have this great product
that is a bitch to learn to maintain. With NT you have a gui that makes
maintenace so easy, yet with client access arround, Walldata, netsoft and
my favourite activeobjects www.tcis.fr, there is no client based
maintenance program. On of the earlier posters mentioned OS2 and the amount
of money that was sunk into that, Ibm should consider developing an across
the board maintenance, Windows front end. With java now on the as/400 the
awt may not be far away.

Larry Shove <La...@landar.co.uk> wrote in article
<01bd4985$9b38f080$b32c63c3@landar1>...

tho...@inorbit.com

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Mar 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/8/98
to

Todd:

Disadvantages come in at least three areas: price, education and openness.

First, price is not the same as cost. The price of setting up an average
AS/400 is relatively high compared to competitive systems. Hardware prices,
e.g., memory or disks, are high. There are reasons for the price that can be
offset when you start counting costs, but you only asked for disadvantages.

Next, there is a severe lack of educated AS/400 support people. Many came
originally from the S/3 line of systems and never had the opportunity to learn
what AS/400s can really do. This is as true for ALL areas of support,
including management.

You'll find that there IS a lot of expertise out there just by tracking this
newsgroup, but you'll also find a disturbingly high percentage of amazingly
naive questions. When you consider that many of these questions come from
programmers charged with the responsibility for a machine that's running a
business, I believe it's disturbing. Why would the questions be asked in the
newsgroup rather than simply asking the senior programmer at the site? Because
the person asking IS the senior (or only) programmer or the senior programmer
doesn't know or the environment doesn't encourage asking such questions or...?

Because education is poor at the management level, its importance is not seen
for technical levels. The old S/3 RPG programmer teaches the new guy who just
came from college (where AS/400s weren't mentioned.) The new guy learns enough
to make a living and teaches the next new guy the same. The pool of educated
talent just didn't grow as fast as AS/400 sites spread.

Some of the blame is IBM's for creating such a system, where administration
was easy. (Hard to think of that as a reason for blame.) IBM would not
even acknowledge that systems programmers were a valid need until OS/400 had
been out for quite a few months. By the time they did, many S/38s, S/36s,
etc., had already migrated. A pioneering core was created that has plagued us
ever since.

At the same time, there were those pushing to add functionality to the AS/400,
which IBM did. New features came faster than anyone could hope to keep up.
Given that the COST of an AS/400 is closely tied to decent education, I think
that cost of ownership for many sites is understated.

Finally, openness has been coming along with everything else. The initial
disadvantage was simply that it wasn't at all. APIs started coming, then
implementation of various open standards at various levels of compliance.

It's a disadvantage now because it's neither fully open nor fully closed. Not
being fully open means that there's no easy way to predict what the
implementation of a given feature will take. A product can be ported easily or
not. Who knows which? Likewise, interaction with other systems can be easy or
not.

And not being fully closed means that holes have been opened that didn't exist
before. Being open means adhering to external standards. An open program
expects to get a specific result from a given system call; but if that system
call violates OS/400 integrity, what should be done?

There are numerous debates about aspects of TCP/IP applications. "I can't
associate a printer to my (TN5250) workstation anymore!" Well, where in open
standards is that defined? IBM almost has to adhere to "proprietary
oppenness".

IBM is asked to supply an open application but then demanded to give it
proprietary features. And everyone wants it for free. "Where's the free
TN5250?" Well, open standards are for interoperability; but they're also to
allow 3rd-party developers to, well..., develop. What's the point of openness
if IBM gives applications away free? What are the 3rd-parties going to invest
their time in?

So, openness is a disadvantage. It has created a troublesome environment with
no easy path through. When combined with the education issue and price, it
puts the AS/400 at a market disadvantage.

IMHO. YMMV. And remember, you only asked for disadvantages.

Tom Liotta

In article <6dplag$dka$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>,

Daniel Côté

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Mar 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/8/98
to

Hi programmer...

I agree with most of your opinion but
the one on RPG. Column programming look weird for free format programmers that
don't see some of the advantages. For one, scanning the listing for field usage
is very practicle in RPG. Also, the language require much less typing than
COBOL. SEU, for a green screen type of editor has very neet validation features
because of RPG simplicity. The only thing missing is an automatic tabulation
feature to move the cursor on the columns. The column structure also prevent
some weird style of spagetti unreadable coding like C's embedded functions...
Finally, RPG in the AS/400 environment does a very good job. We have students
that becomes good maintenance programmers in a few weeks. I'ts pretty good for a
programming language in comparision with C, C++, COBOL, APL, PL1, etc... You
will not get that on C on a PC, you will not get that with COBOL on main frames
using CICS, you will not get that with COBOL in HP-3000 under MPEix, and...

So, with all due respect to COBOL, RPG is not such a bad business language
in AS/400's rich environement.

Sincerely,
Daniel.

P.S.- We use AS/400 to communicate with PLCs, scales, InkJet markers,
omnidirectionnal scanners with drivers written in C/400 and ILE C and RPG. The
AS/400 performs very well and handle event driven requirements in quite good
way.

The Programmer wrote:

> Everyone else has put in their 2 cents, so here's mine.
>
> There really aren't any disadvantages to an AS/400, as long as you recognize
> its intent and purpose. It's a business machine, designed to run business
> applications, in a business environment. It's not a PC, and it's not a play
> station, and it's not a piece of cutesie GUI equipment. If you want nice
> colors and beautiful graphics and awesome sound and whizz-bang animation,
> get yourself a Mac or a PC or one of them Sony things... they'll cost you a
> lot less, and they'll probably knock your socks off. But don't expect a Mac
> or a PC or a Sony Gameboy (I probably have this last product wrong) to
> process your business data on a scale that an AS/400 does.
> OS/400 is a rock solid OS, that's fairly easy to use (once you learn how it
> works). No two ways about it. It's fast, it's reliable, and it does what
> it's suppose to do without a hiccup. Simple as that.
> On a personal note, though, being a COBOL person, the only disadvantage that
> I've ever encountered on an AS/400, is the fact that IBM came out with an
> RPG compiler for the thing. I mean, who wants to be cursed with actually
> *having* to code in something as ridiculous as RPG? I mean, let's be real
> here folks... anything that requires you to 'fill in the columns' can't
> really be considered a real programming language!
>

> tsn...@pssd.com wrote in message <6dplag$dka$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>...

> >Hello everyone. I am doing some research on the AS/400. What I am looking
> >for is any information about the disadvantages of an AS/400. Any
> information
> >would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
> >Todd Snyder
> >tsn...@pssd.com
> >-----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==-----
> >http://www.dejanews.com/ Now offering spam-free web-based newsreading

--

av...@concentric.net

unread,
Mar 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/8/98
to

In article <6dplag$dka$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>,
tsn...@pssd.com wrote:
>
> Hello everyone. I am doing some research on the AS/400. What I am looking
> for is any information about the disadvantages of an AS/400. Any
information
> would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
>
> Todd Snyder
> tsn...@pssd.com
>
> -----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==-----
> http://www.dejanews.com/ Now offering spam-free web-based newsreading
>
The biggest disadvantage to the AS/400 is that it has 2000 more commands than
any other system in the world. 2000 commands come with the machine. 2000
commands come with various add on features from IBM. 2000 commands come as
packages from other vendors. 200,000,000 commands have been created by
programers including myself because they did not realize that a command
already exists to do what they want to do with their own command.
Avrom Pearson av...@concentric.net

RandallBart

unread,
Mar 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/8/98
to

Daniel Côté wrote:
>
> <RPG>

> The column structure also prevent
> some weird style of spagetti unreadable coding like C's embedded functions...

It prevents you from writing certain kinds of unreadable code, but RPG
programs can have some really bizarre indicator usage. A particular
line may be conditioned on a indicator which got twiddled three EXSRs
ago. The original programmer knew all the indicator conventions, but
how well are they documented -- not just how they get set, but the scope
of usage.

I've seen some ugly RPG, the logic of which I could never decypher.
Fortunately I didn't have to, I just had to stop the compiler from
choking on it.

--
I |\ Randall Bart mailto:Bart...@usa.spam.net
L |/
o |\ Bart...@worldnet.att.spam.net Bart...@hotmail.spam.com
v | \ 1-310-542-6013 Please reply without spam
e |\
Y |/ Panic in the Year Zero Zero: http://members.aol.com/PanicYr00
o |\ The puzzle too hard for human beings:
u |/ http://members.aol.com/PanicYr00/Sequence.html

Paul Nicolay

unread,
Mar 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/9/98
to

Hi Bart,

You're talking about bad programming practices, and this has nothing to do
with RPG. C is definitely the language that mostly attracts such people.
If they can write it on one line, they will do it.

Having started as a COBOL programmer, and switched to an RPG programmer in
the mean while, I must admit that RPG is much better suited for business
programming than COBOL is. Also the speed of programming is much higher
than any other language.

In addition, almost all disadvantages have disappeared since ILE-RPG...
extended string handling, free format where needed, support for pointers
and function prototyping, ....

Kind regards,
Paul
___________________
RandallBart <Bart...@worldnet.att.spam.net> wrote in article
<6e01u5$q...@bgtnsc03.worldnet.att.net>...


The contents of this message express only the sender's opinion.
This message does not necessarily reflect the policy or views of
my employer, Merck & Co., Inc. All responsibility for the statements
made in this Usenet posting resides solely and completely with the
sender.

Paul Nicolay

unread,
Mar 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/9/98
to

Hi,

At least it has commands... GUI's can be nice... but try to do some tasks
from the command line (ie. unattended mode) and you'll know why those 2000+
commands exist !

Regards,
Paul
______________________
av...@concentric.net wrote in article <6dvpo1$i7p$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>...


> The biggest disadvantage to the AS/400 is that it has 2000 more commands
than
> any other system in the world. 2000 commands come with the machine. 2000
> commands come with various add on features from IBM. 2000 commands come
as
> packages from other vendors. 200,000,000 commands have been created by
> programers including myself because they did not realize that a command
> already exists to do what they want to do with their own command.
> Avrom Pearson av...@concentric.net

The contents of this message express only the sender's opinion.

Paul Nicolay

unread,
Mar 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/9/98
to

Hi,

Maybe that it is to good ?

Serious, I believe that everybody is convinced about the AS/400 it's
superior server position (the client war has already ended long time ago
when Microsoft started with Windows). What is a problem is that ODBC is
still to slow (even when using API's). If this would run at the same speed
as MS SQL or Oracle, people could use their Client Server applications on
AS/400 as well (including all advantages that OS/400 has).

Another disadvantage is the IBM marketing. People (especially managers)
still believe that they need a UNIX system to have an "Open" system,
whatever that may be ?

Kind regards,
Paul
_________________


tsn...@pssd.com wrote in article <6dplag$dka$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>...

> Hello everyone. I am doing some research on the AS/400. What I am
looking
> for is any information about the disadvantages of an AS/400. Any
information
> would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
>
> Todd Snyder
> tsn...@pssd.com
>
> -----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==-----
> http://www.dejanews.com/ Now offering spam-free web-based newsreading
>

Richard Knechtel

unread,
Mar 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/9/98
to

The Programmer wrote:
>
> On a personal note, though, being a COBOL person, the only disadvantage that
> I've ever encountered on an AS/400, is the fact that IBM came out with an
> RPG compiler for the thing. I mean, who wants to be cursed with actually
> *having* to code in something as ridiculous as RPG? I mean, let's be real
> here folks... anything that requires you to 'fill in the columns' can't
> really be considered a real programming language!
>
> ::running for cover::
>


As one who is having to code in both RPG and COBOL, I must say i like
RPG a who lot more. COBOL is TO WORDY of a language. It takes you twice
as long to get something done. I had taught myself COBOL on the old NCR
midrange systems in the Air Force (due to necessity) and I hated it
then. I think programming launguages are a matter of preference. There
are Hard core COBOL programmers that think every other launguage sucks.
and the RPG programmers think COBOL sucks. Then of Course the 'C'
programmers think if it ain't 'C' it ain't Sh.. . So it really is a
matter of preference.

--

Richard Knechtel
EDS
(Systems Engineer/System Administrator)
(Aspiring AS/400 GURU)
(Aspiring Linux GURU)

The contents of this message express only MY opinion.


This message does not necessarily reflect the policy or views of

my employer, EDS. All responsibility for the statements
made in this posting resides solely and completely with the
ME.
I Ex-Spaminate spammers!
See US Code Title 47, Sec.227(a)(2)(B), Sec.227(b)(1)(C)
and Sec.227(b)(3)(C).


Bob Nelson

unread,
Mar 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/9/98
to

Have you tried Operations Navigator?

Bob Nelson

Diarmuid Wrenne <dwr...@tinet.ie> wrote in article
<01bd4a4c$35d98660$b3e0869f@dwrenne>...

Donald Charles Kuenz

unread,
Mar 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/9/98
to

There you go again! ;-) You had to get me started on ODBC's slowness.

FYI, the last thing you want to do is blame ODBC's slowness on the AS400.
ODBC is slow, regardless of where you run it.

Example: I wrote a Windows 95 application, which runs strickly on a PC.
My first cut used ODBC and it took well over an hour for my app to process
just one file. The processing time for that file dropped to below 5 minutes,
after I re-wrote it using Codebase.

After this episode, it will be a long, long time before I trust Microsoft's
marketing machine again. The generals may love Microsoft-- but down here on
the front lines we know bull when we see it.

Paul Nicolay (removethis....@merck.com) wrote:
<<snipped>>
: when Microsoft started with Windows). What is a problem is that ODBC is

Anton Gombkötö

unread,
Mar 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/9/98
to

ad COBOL:

I agree with Richard Knechtel. Although i learned COBOL in school, and RPG
isn't quite easy to learn (at least when you begin with the cycle), i think
RPG is still the best fitting and most common AS/400language, but i have to
rethink this from release to release, it's becoming more and more untrue.

ad disadvantage:

Yes, there is a big one: There are still sites without an AS/400, this is
what i call a disadvantage.

Tony


Bradley V. Stone

unread,
Mar 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/9/98
to

On Sun, 8 Mar 1998 16:08:31 -0500, "The Programmer"
<som...@someplace.com> wrote:

>Everyone else has put in their 2 cents, so here's mine.
>
>There really aren't any disadvantages to an AS/400, as long as you recognize
>its intent and purpose. It's a business machine, designed to run business
>applications, in a business environment. It's not a PC, and it's not a play
>station, and it's not a piece of cutesie GUI equipment. If you want nice
>colors and beautiful graphics and awesome sound and whizz-bang animation,
>get yourself a Mac or a PC or one of them Sony things... they'll cost you a
>lot less, and they'll probably knock your socks off. But don't expect a Mac
>or a PC or a Sony Gameboy (I probably have this last product wrong) to
>process your business data on a scale that an AS/400 does.
>
>OS/400 is a rock solid OS, that's fairly easy to use (once you learn how it
>works). No two ways about it. It's fast, it's reliable, and it does what
>it's suppose to do without a hiccup. Simple as that.
>

>On a personal note, though, being a COBOL person, the only disadvantage that
>I've ever encountered on an AS/400, is the fact that IBM came out with an
>RPG compiler for the thing. I mean, who wants to be cursed with actually
>*having* to code in something as ridiculous as RPG? I mean, let's be real
>here folks... anything that requires you to 'fill in the columns' can't
>really be considered a real programming language!
>
>::running for cover::
>

>--
>The Programmer Has Spoken -- SO THERE!
>

Friendly flame here. I find it curious that you call yourself "The
Programmer" yet program in COBOL, and put down RPG. RPG was created
specificly to run on the AS/400.

There's a quote that I hear quite often regarding the two languages.
"If you want to write a book, program in cobol. If you want to get
the job done, use RPG."

This is not intended to start a "which language is better" war by no
means. I'm just defending the language of the two that I would much
rather work with.

Don't forget to ADD A to B giving C!!! ;)

Bradley V. Stone
bvs...@usa.net
http://prairie.lakes.com/~bvstone/
1992 Yamaha FJ1200
1969 Suzuki T250
"Seinfeld's van! SEINFELD'S VAN!"

OSITim

unread,
Mar 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/9/98
to

I just love these RPG vs. COBOL debates....

What is better to drive a FORD PINTO, or an AMC PACER?

I myself prefer the '71 Lincoln Continental.

PL/I

It may be outdated, but the ride is real smooth...

Larry Shove

unread,
Mar 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/9/98
to


Bradley V. Stone <bvs...@usa.net> wrote in article
<35044d88....@news.lakes.com>...


> RPG was created specificly to run on the AS/400.
>

Err! I first used RPG 18 years ago on an ICL 2905.
Then used OS/RPG on an IBM mainframe, it didn't
have subroutines in those days!
As I understand it, RPG was chosen for the Sys/3
because it had such a small footprint compared to
Cobol, Pl/1 etc.
IBM tried to drop RPG when the AS400 first came
out (codename Olympic or something like that)
but thought better of it due to its great following.

Regards
Larry

danh...@millcomm.com

unread,
Mar 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/10/98
to

I don't think that's true. Even the most head-in-the-sand IBM managers
know how to count applications and application languages. If anything
there was a tendency to push a little too hard for a purely-RPG machine,
at the expense of other facilities.

The Programmer

unread,
Mar 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/10/98
to

I've gotta agree with danh...@millcomm.com with this one. Since the AS/400
evolved out of the S/3x environment, IBM won't have stood a chance of
selling the thing if they didn't fully support not only the RPG language,
but almost all of the S/3x layered products. In fact, you can transport the
entire S/36 *and* S/38 environment over to the AS/400 (OCL, data files,
everything) and run it in emulation mode. Doesn't run quite as fast as
native stuff, but, as far as I understand, it runs *faster* than on either a
S/36 or a S/38.


danh...@millcomm.com wrote in message
<6e2m11$q9s$1...@usenet54.supernews.com>...

The Programmer

unread,
Mar 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/10/98
to

Robery A. Heady wrote in message <350476D2...@liant.com>...
>Two cents of my own here.
>
>About ten years ago I worked a bank which had an AS400. We had two
>programming groups, one which developed in RPG and another which
>developed in COBOL. I worked in the latter. Now I don't know if the
>COBOL group had smarter programmers but it sure seemed like the RPG
>programmers were called in the middle of night to fix a program crash a
>lot more often than the COBOL programmers.
>
>


LOL!!!

Being a COBOL person myself, I'd tend to agree that RPG people are less
evolved, and therefore, would have difficulty grasping the basic concept of
logic... I mean: Factor1?, Factor2??, Resulting Indicators?!?... and let's
not forget Left Hand Indictors!!?!!... can you *blame* them for being lulled
into a comatose state?!!?

But, just so that I'm not flayed alive here in a public forum, allow me to
hastily put forth that there are many RPG people out there who'd be just as
quick to point out that COBOL is verbose, highly over rated, and that the
companies that use the language are so damned institutionalized, it's near
impossible to get anything done without having to go through 12 layers of
managers and supervisors. And that's not mentioning the fact that it takes
three paragraphs of COBOL code to do what can be done in five lines in RPG
(have you ever tried sorting a table in COBOL? In RPG, there's a single
op-code: SORTA).

So, Robery A. Heady, although I agree with you 100% (or more), when you
state that COBOL programmers tend to be smarter (that *is* what you said,
right?), I've also got to point out that RPG people aren't all that bad
either...

OK, OK, OK... RPG people are *wonderful*, *gorgeous*, *beautiful*... just
don't flame me on a bbq pit!!!

The Programmer

unread,
Mar 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/10/98
to

I may not know diddly about PL/1, OSITim, but (!), I gotta say that I like
your style... :D

--
The Programmer Has Spoken -- SO THERE!


OSITim wrote in message <19980309183...@ladder02.news.aol.com>...

ChangAtNYC

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Mar 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/10/98
to

<<<<< Robery A. Heady wrote in message <350476D2...@liant.com>...
>Two cents of my own here.
>
>About ten years ago I worked a bank which had an AS400. We had two
>programming groups, one which developed in RPG and another which
>developed in COBOL. I worked in the latter. Now I don't know if the
>COBOL group had smarter programmers but it sure seemed like the RPG
>programmers were called in the middle of night to fix a program crash a
>lot more often than the COBOL programmers.
> >>>>>

I can't believe that there are people out there like you who would judge a
programmer's smartness (or lack of thereis) by the language that they program
with. So now we have COBOL people bashing RPG people? I tell you what,
C/C++/Java people out there will be and already have been laughing at us -
AS/400 people - in no time. I have met and worked with plenty of smart RPG
programmers, whose programming skills will carry them far no matter what
language they choose - or happen - to use. I have also seen plenty of bad, I
mean badly written COBOL programs that I wouldn't recommend anyone to fix them
- if only they have a choice.

So what's my take on this RPG vs. COBOL thing? I side with RPG, cause it's the
language the company I currently work for happen to use - and guess what, it
pays well and allow me to put food on my family's table.

David Chang
Senior Systems Analyst
Parade Publications

Brian Singleton

unread,
Mar 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/10/98
to

Hi Donald,

You can't make a comparison like that without giving more details.
Codebase (if I remember correctly) is a database library geared
towards dBase files. If so, it is record oriented (like RPG), rather
than 'set' oriented (like SQL and, therefore, ODBC).

ODBC is NOT inherently slow, especially not to the tune of 1 hour vs.
5 minutes. The Jet database engine, used by MS Access and VB, is
relatively slow with ODBC, and that's what many people use to draw
their conclusions.

ODBC on the AS/400 _is_ relatively slow for many things, compared with
the times we are used to seeing with RPG and record level access. But
in small environments, it is very fast when used with something like
MS SQL Server, for example. The point is, by itself, ODBC is not by
definition slow.

(I don't want to start a SQL Server vs. DB2/400 flame war - I'm just
pointing out that in a small environment, SQL Server blows away the
AS/400 when accessing both via ODBC i.e. connection, retrieval, and
update times, etc. Of course, the AS/400 scales much higher and has
other advantages, but that's not the point of this message.)

Brian Singleton
NEWS/400
www.tnt400.com


ku...@lance.colostate.edu (Donald Charles Kuenz) wrote:

>There you go again! ;-) You had to get me started on ODBC's slowness.
>
>FYI, the last thing you want to do is blame ODBC's slowness on the AS400.
>ODBC is slow, regardless of where you run it.
>
>Example: I wrote a Windows 95 application, which runs strickly on a PC.
>My first cut used ODBC and it took well over an hour for my app to process
>just one file. The processing time for that file dropped to below 5 minutes,
>after I re-wrote it using Codebase.
>

<<SNIP>>

Brian Singleton

unread,
Mar 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/10/98
to

EBCDIC instead of ANSI/ASCII/UNICODE.

Are you asking this question because you want to convince your company
_not_ to buy an AS/400? If so, then I suggest you be fair and ask
about the advantages too.

Brian Singleton
NEWS/400
www.tnt400.com

Richard Knechtel

unread,
Mar 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/10/98
to

Actually if you want the Programer group laughing at all of us. Talk to
the Assembler people. When I was in Germany for 4 1/2 years there were
the assebly coders that said "If you can't code assembly you ain't
Sh..!". I my eyes you have to be smart as hell to code assembly, it's a
tough SOB. RPG, CObOL those are the jokes for lauguages. It took me all
of about 2 seconds to teach myself COBOL, hell just type english. RPG
reminded me of Assembler in its own respects. C/C++/JAVA those are some
good languages as well.

Jim Burgardt

unread,
Mar 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/10/98
to

On 9 Mar 1998 20:16:44 GMT, "Larry Shove" <La...@landar.co.uk>
wrote:
"

"Bradley V. Stone <bvs...@usa.net> wrote in article
"<35044d88....@news.lakes.com>...
"> RPG was created specificly to run on the AS/400.
"
"Err! I first used RPG 18 years ago on an ICL 2905.
"Then used OS/RPG on an IBM mainframe, it didn't
"have subroutines in those days!
"As I understand it, RPG was chosen for the Sys/3
"because it had such a small footprint compared to
"Cobol, Pl/1 etc.
"IBM tried to drop RPG when the AS400 first came
"out (codename Olympic or something like that)
"but thought better of it due to its great following.
"
"Regards
"Larry
__________

Larry and Bradley:

I first encountered RPG 35 years ago on the IBM 1401. It was a
cumbersome, fill-in-the-blanks type of software, which was
intended to be used to generate programs to produce reports;
hence its name Report Program Generator. It was not intended to
be a full-featured programming language.


When IBM developed the System/360, they re-engineered the
product completely, and intended to change the name to Right
Programming Guide, thereby keeping the acronym, but changing the
concept from a pure report generator product to a complete
programming language. They decided to call it Right Programming
Guide.

The new name never caught on, however, and IBM changed it back
to Report Program Generator.

I worked in the systems programming group in San Jose and
Sunnyvale that wrote RPG for TOS, DOS, and OS. (There was also
a BOS version, but that was developed in Endicott, NY.)

They tried to get out of developing an OS version, but there
were more than 60 customers throughout the country with
large-scale systems on order who said that they would cancel
their orders if there were not going to be a version of RPG
available. So they developed it, but said privately that it
would never last in the OS environment. And they were right.

When IBM developed the AS/400, they re-engineered RPG again
specifically for the AS/400. It was called RPG/400, to
distinguish it from earlier versions of the language. It was
intended to be the primary programming language for the AS/400.

So it looks as though everybody was right, depending on how you
look at it.

Thanks for bringing back fond old memories.

Jim Burgardt

Daniel Côté

unread,
Mar 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/10/98
to

Couple of precisions:

Lots of S/38 shops had huge amount of COBOL stuff.
Lots of S/38 shops had some applications that came from System 3 RPG
machines
S/38 code doesn't really run in emulation in the AS/400. Th MI code was
regenerated from the template layer at migration time, the same way code went
from CISC to RISC machines.
S/36 run in emulation in the AS/400.
Lots of PL/1 code that came from the S/38 got migrated to the AS/400.
The AS/400 architecture did not come from S/36's architecture. Just some
user intercace things.
Some PASCAL code that came from the S/38 got migrated to the AS/400.

Obviously IBM made AS/400 backward compatible with the S/38. Fortunately
OS/400 is backward compatible with previous releases. Is it not great ? Saved a
deal lot of money...


Daniel.

The Programmer wrote:

> I've gotta agree with danh...@millcomm.com with this one. Since the AS/400
> evolved out of the S/3x environment, IBM won't have stood a chance of
> selling the thing if they didn't fully support not only the RPG language,
> but almost all of the S/3x layered products. In fact, you can transport the
> entire S/36 *and* S/38 environment over to the AS/400 (OCL, data files,
> everything) and run it in emulation mode. Doesn't run quite as fast as
> native stuff, but, as far as I understand, it runs *faster* than on either a
> S/36 or a S/38.
>
> danh...@millcomm.com wrote in message

--

tho...@inorbit.com

unread,
Mar 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/10/98
to

Jim:

Thanks much for mentioning the 1401 first. I thought about it but wasn't sure
how many would believe it. I figured I'd just say I used RPG on S/360s "over
20 years ago" and leave it at that.

Remember the IOCS! Toggle the memory-clear switch!

Tom Liotta

In article <35059ca2...@news.value.net>,

David Fosdike

unread,
Mar 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/11/98
to

In article <6dplag$dka$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>,

tsn...@pssd.com wrote:
>
> Hello everyone. I am doing some research on the AS/400. What I am
looking
> for is any information about the disadvantages of an AS/400. Any
information
> would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
>
> Todd Snyder
> tsn...@pssd.com

Coming (many years past) from a mainframe systems programming background I
can see the advantages to having a system like the AS400 which requires
little or no systems expertise. That is unless, like us, you have 6
internetworked AS400s (B70s, a 640, an S20...), 130 branches,
interconnection to 3rd party networks and the internet, using traditional
SNA as well as IP and Frame Relay - all this with no decent AS400
management tools available (roll on Tivoli?). As the platform has
increased in size and complexity various features haven't grown with it
making management a nightmare - e.g. the restriction (undocumented) that
IBM recommends all interactive and communications subsystems to have no
more than 255 active jobs at any time (we now have 6 of each kind of
subsystem on our main production AS400). Another one: there is nowhere
(above the MI) where you can match an APPC device to the physical device
running it. Etc. etc. etc.

Despite all this, it's still the most cost effective platform of its genre,

David Fosdike,
Senior Network Administrator
Elders Ltd
Adelaide
South Australia
dfos...@elders.com.au

danh...@millcomm.com

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Mar 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/11/98
to

In <6e51bl$ku2$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, tho...@inorbit.com writes:
>Jim:
>
>Thanks much for mentioning the 1401 first. I thought about it but wasn't sure
>how many would believe it. I figured I'd just say I used RPG on S/360s "over
>20 years ago" and leave it at that.
>
>Remember the IOCS! Toggle the memory-clear switch!
>
>Tom Liotta

Yeah, but Jim left out System/3. I think the RPG sequence went something
like 1401 -> 360/20 ->System/3 ->System/38 ->AS/400, with another branch
going System/3 ->System/32 ->System/34 ->System/36 ->AS/400.

Larry Shove

unread,
Mar 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/11/98
to

And don't forget the other platforms... WANG, ICL etc :)


danh...@millcomm.com wrote in article
<6e56fr$l04$1...@usenet54.supernews.com>...

Donald Charles Kuenz

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Mar 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/11/98
to

Brian Singleton (nos...@nospam.com) wrote:
: You can't make a comparison like that without giving more details.

Hi Brian,

My app must read a data base schema, create 100 Foxpro tables, and load
the tables with data from flat files. The data base schema contains info
about table and field attributes. At least one table contains over 250
fields. God only knows about the remaining tables. My program needs to
gracefully handle whatever comes along.

ODBC probably shines -- as long as you can carefully define all data fields
ahead of time. Then you can use record sets, your app runs fast, and your
life becomes good and happy.

My problem differs because the field attributes remain a mystery until my
app actually reads the schema. In my scenerio ODBC forces you to abandon
record sets. Instead, ODBC demands that you spoon feed it SQL statements,
one at a time. My guess is that the ODBC Foxpro driver spends most of its time
interpreting each and every SQL statement.

You can prove ODBC's slowness to yourself by writing an app, which uses the
"DROP TABLE foxtable ...", "CREATE TABLE ... foxtable", and
"INSERT INTO foxtable (name1,name2,...,name250) VALUES (val1,...,val250)"
SQL statements to load records into a Foxpro table, which contains 250
fields. Remember to create these statements "on the fly", from a schema,
as the program runs. Under these conditions your program will load
approximately 5 records per second. At that rate, it takes about an hour to
load 20,000 records.


Brian Singleton

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Mar 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/11/98
to

Hi Donald,

OK, that makes it easier to see why ODBC was slower in your app. Your
app really wants record-level access, and ODBC is designed to work on
sets of records. As you said, it is probably interpreting the SQL each
time it inserts a record. There are definitely more efficient ways to
do this, even with ODBC, although the FoxPro ODBC driver doesn't
support such things as prepared statements and stored procedures,
which are available on the AS/400 and greatly speed these types of
database interactions.

ODBC is dynamic, so it makes no major difference whether or not you
know about the schema ahead of time. Your performance problems with
ODBC stem from SQL interpretation you mentioned.

In your situation, I'm guessing that ODBC did something like this:

<READ SQL statement>
<Interpret SQL statement - what are we doing with which file?>
<Examine file for schema information (indexes, keys, etc.)
<Open file>
<Insert record>
<Close file>
<Repeat>

Whereas with record based access, it becomes:

<Open file>
<Insert record>
<Insert record>
<Insert record>
...
<Close file>

For another comparison, you could try an SQL bulk insert if the FoxPro
driver supports it. That reduces the number of steps in the first
scenario above. The only problem is, with 250 fields, you'll most
likely run into limitations of SQL statement length.


Regards,
Brian Singleton
NEWS/400
www.tnt400.com


ku...@lance.colostate.edu (Donald Charles Kuenz) wrote:

Robert Robbins

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Mar 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/11/98
to


tho...@inorbit.com wrote:

> Jim:
>
> Thanks much for mentioning the 1401 first. I thought about it but wasn't sure
> how many would believe it. I figured I'd just say I used RPG on S/360s "over
> 20 years ago" and leave it at that.
>
> Remember the IOCS! Toggle the memory-clear switch!
>
> Tom Liotta
>

I have the Trident RPG/400 compiler for the PC (student version). You have to
buy a specific textbook for this compiler and use its examples. What do you think

about Visual RPG? If there was ever a developer tool made in hell it would have
to be the combination of RPG and windows programming.


Jeroen Roozendaal

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Mar 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/11/98
to

As far as I can see, nobody who replied to this message has come up with a
real disadvantage, and that's my conclusion. No real disadvantages.
Taking into account V4R2 you don't even need a PC-server anymore to run NT.
It does anything you want except making coffee.

av...@concentric.net wrote in article <6dvpo1$i7p$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>...


> In article <6dplag$dka$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>,
> tsn...@pssd.com wrote:
> >
> > Hello everyone. I am doing some research on the AS/400. What I am
looking
> > for is any information about the disadvantages of an AS/400. Any
> information
> > would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
> >
> > Todd Snyder
> > tsn...@pssd.com
> >

> > -----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==-----
> > http://www.dejanews.com/ Now offering spam-free web-based newsreading
> >

> The biggest disadvantage to the AS/400 is that it has 2000 more commands
than
> any other system in the world. 2000 commands come with the machine. 2000
> commands come with various add on features from IBM. 2000 commands come
as
> packages from other vendors. 200,000,000 commands have been created by
> programers including myself because they did not realize that a command
> already exists to do what they want to do with their own command.
> Avrom Pearson av...@concentric.net

Paul Nicolay

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Mar 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/12/98
to

Hi Jeroen,

Wasn't making coffee (ie. Java) not included in V4R2 :-)

I'll guess that V4R2 is the first OS that runs Java system wide (can be
called from other languages, used for triggers, ...) with a speed (it get's
compiled) that no other VM can deliver !

But yes, an AS/400 is still that old an silly machine... people who said to
buy "Open Systems" hardly now these days what an AS/400 is capable of. So,
I'll guess the only disadvantage of the AS/400 (and of IBM in general) is
it's marketing. They should just tell the world that you can do everything
with it (like Microsoft does, even if it doesn't work, or get's released 1
year later).

Regards,
Paul
___________________
Jeroen Roozendaal <jeroen.r...@advalvas.be> wrote in article
<01bd4d35$9d515340$dcf507c2@pcjeroen>...


The contents of this message express only the sender's opinion.


This message does not necessarily reflect the policy or views of

my employer, Merck & Co., Inc. All responsibility for the statements
made in this Usenet posting resides solely and completely with the
sender.

Gary Lee NSP

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Mar 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/13/98
to

Friendly reply here.
-------------------------- snip ---------------------------

> Friendly flame here. I find it curious that you call yourself "The
> Programmer" yet program in COBOL, and put down RPG. RPG was created

> specificly to run on the AS/400.
----------- more snip -----------------------------
I find it curious that 'RPG was created specificly (sic) to run on the
AS/400.' You see, back when the AS/400 (Silverlake?) was being developed
in, among other places, Rochester, Minnesota, and IBM was hiring people and
contractors to work on the development of the OS, the optional products
(DBMS, transaction processor, etc.), and applications, one of the major
skills they recruited for was 'experience in RPG'. Some of the people
applying had 5, 10, or even 15 years experience. They must have been using
prototype 400's, right ;-)?


Ed Smith

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Mar 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/13/98
to

The Programmer wrote:
>
-snip-

> So, Robery A. Heady, although I agree with you 100% (or more), when you
> state that COBOL programmers tend to be smarter (that *is* what you said,
> right?), I've also got to point out that RPG people aren't all that bad
> either...
>
> OK, OK, OK... RPG people are *wonderful*, *gorgeous*, *beautiful*... just
> don't flame me on a bbq pit!!!

No we're not. Mostly we're just, um, *brilliant*, *talented*, *yet
somehow not jaded like those COBOLers*! ;)


--
Edward R.Smith http://www.scvnet.com/~ersmith/
ATS Project Leader http://www.ibmuser.com
SMUG Webmaster http://www.ibmuser.com/smug
Tip for bulk e-mailers: Get a real job.

Francis Lapeyre

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Mar 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/13/98
to

RPG goes back to the 1960's. The AS/400 only goes back to 1988. RPG was
developed when 16KB was considered a lot of memory for a mainframe, and the
fixed disk had not been invented yet. It was designed to produce reports
from data files, and little else. Now, of course, it's powerful enough to do
most interactive business tasks.

I liken RPG to the vacuum tube -- old technology, but there are still some
applications (in the case of the vacuum tube, high-powered commercial
broadcast transmitters, for example) for which it is superior.

Francis
---------------
Francis Lapeyre

Remove the obvious in my address to reply.

WARNING: Spammers will be hearing from their ISPs.
I WILL track you down and complain!

"An nescis, mi filli, quantilla prudentia mundus rogatur?"


Gary Lee NSP wrote in message <01bd4e96$13342f90$5085aac7@ctmn136b>...

The Programmer

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Mar 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/14/98
to

Robert Robbins wrote in message <3506EB88...@sunlink.net>...

>
>
> I have the Trident RPG/400 compiler for the PC (student version). You have
to
>buy a specific textbook for this compiler and use its examples. What do you
think
>about Visual RPG? If there was ever a developer tool made in hell it would
have
>to be the combination of RPG and windows programming.
>

I haven't kept up-to-date on all the variations of RPG that's available
these days.

Pray tell, what's Visual RPG all about? Is it anything like Visual BASIC??
If so, is it still column dependent? Is there a special Windows-based editor
available for this product... and who makes it? Any web page I can visit to
find out more about it??

I remember reading about RPG/Free five or six years ago, but then
encountered it anyplace that I worked (not that I ever sought out RPG
shops). Did THAT ever take off??

David Dunfield

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Mar 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM3/14/98