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COBOL (Common Business-oriented Language) is a computer programming language designed specifically for business purposes. And, since 2002, the language is object-oriented, imperative, and procedural. COBOL programming language is mainly used in private and government institutions for administrative functions. Also, the language is used in legacy applications like IBM iSeries, for large-scale batch and transaction processing.

But with time, the popularity of COBOL has decreased, and experienced COBOL developers has also retired. Furthermore, the COBOL programmers started to migrate to new platforms, and codes were re-written in modern languages.

However, most of the COBOL programmers are still there to maintain existing applications.

COBOL was introduced in the year 1959 by CODASYL. COBOL was developed for the US Department of Defense (DoD) in an effort to develop a portable programming language for data processing. COBOL programmers referred to it as a stopgap, but DoD forced the COBOL developers to provide it. This resulted in widespread adoption of the language. It was standardized in 1968, and since then, it has been revised four times. The expansion was in favor of IBM iseries services and OOP. The current version of this language is ISO/IEC 1989:2014.

Although many other programming languages are available for the business environment, being fifty-year-old doesn’t mean that COBOL is outdated. COBOL programmers are still accountable for more than 70% of business transactions all around the world.

How is COBOL Different from Any Other Language?

If you’re a rational developer for iseries and enjoy working on any common language like, C, C++, Java, and many others, then COBOL is a totally different breed. It is not like your general-purpose language and not a great fit for the tasks performed by high-level jobs that other languages can perform.

Assuming that COBOL was introduced before UNIX and C saw the daylight, there won’t be any surprise that its heritage is different. As the name describes, COBOL (Common Business-oriented Language), as the name says, was invented as a business application. Have a look at the list, which highlights the primary difference between COBOL programmers and modern-day languages:

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It is not easy to pick between the two enterprise software development platforms. Both are leading technologies. Both frameworks have been there and done that. Companies that used Java continue to do so because their existing projects were built with Java. For newer projects, these companies are going the .NET development way after discovering that their ‘bias’ against a ‘proprietary framework’ was totally wrong. A proprietary framework’s benefits far outshine its so -called ‘cons’. After all, paying some extra bucks for an air-tight framework yields far-reaching dividends over the long run.

Research shows that companies that chose Java did so because they had more Java developers than .NET developers. C, C#, and C++ – the common programming languages of the .NET framework are not as popular as Java, because they are more efficient languages. Languages that stress efficiency requires sound coding skills. So, finding good C, C++, and C# .Net developers is not as easy as finding Java developers.

Now here’s the catch – and a big one – read this carefully – COMPANIES THAT USE .NET ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING!!

If you are a company that is using Java frameworks simply because you find it easy to find Java developers in comparison to .NET developers, then it’s time to change strategy. We will give you a drill-down as to why .NET application development is better than Java and why you would need quality .net developers. The blog also discusses how .NET is a vast software development platform, and has all the tools for web, mobile, and desktop application development.

.NET is Proprietary and that Makes it Secure – a big thumbs up to Decide on a Dot Net Developer

Java Development Kits can be downloaded for free and used for commercial consumption. .NET is proprietary. This makes it better because no one knows the source code, even .net developers. It’s a black box. Sealed. Secure. Top companies around the world prefer their application’s inner workings to be just that – ‘inner’. They don’t want a public framework that has passed the hands of millions of people to carry their secure applications. It’s like opening the pigeon door and hoping the cats won’t creep in at night. That’s why .net developers are always in the reckoning.

Being a closed platform, most issues and resolutions are made in-house. No one gets a wind of it – even champion .net developers. Open-source platforms such as Java have a wide developer community. Non-supported Java distributions may also get issues fixed. But the fixes are just that – ‘fixes’ and may not really be resolutions. There could still be cracks in the code.


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 You must have heard this term earlier and might be searching for an answer on the Internet. Well, we are going to answer this for you.

Web service is defined as a program that talks about “something” on the web. The integrated web service for IBMi is a term that describes the following technologies for IBM AS400 RPG:

  • The IWS Server
  • The IWS clients for ILE

The IWS server serves as a fully functional server where ILE-based program entities can be installed as web services.

The IWS client for ILE allows the application to act as web services clients by generating RPG, C, C++ counterfoils that an ILE program can use. The counterfoils remove the complications of the web service protocols by managing to serialize and deserializing service requests and responses.

Web services provide the ability to represent the database to external developers through APIs and Web services. Even though that thought takes a shiver down the spine of many RPG AS400 developers who learned the proprietary ways of the AS/400, multi-platform incorporation is the latest development path. The stress on integration cannot be exaggerated.

In the era of the Internet, things are changing rapidly, and businesses worldwide are continuously watching at what can be done to make web services modern.

Since IWS’s introduction as part of the V5R4 operating system in 2006, it has been upgraded many times. The most notable enhancement in this series was – SOAP to REST services. Nowadays, most web services development in IBM as400 RPG shops uses REST services, but earlier, the web services were developed using SOAP, and they quickly outnumbered the new web services.

Anyone following the progress of web services must have seen RESTful architecture rise over traditional SOAP architecture. Web development services providers and particularly mobile-based app developing companies, have welcomed REST. To keep up with the increasing demand, Krengel Technologies had launched the 3.2 version of its RPG-XML Suite. The latest version can deliver web services to IBM as400 RPG customers.


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You already know that you need to change your current software service partner or vendor for benefits like a better ROI, faster time to market, doing more in less time and optimized TCO. Maybe you already have experience outsourcing or you are considering it for the first time. Whatever the situation, there are some common concerns, fears, and risks that can hold you back.

We absolutely understand that your fears are valid and are based on your past experiences. This is exactly where we come in to not just become your newly contracted software partner but become an extension of your team and your business. We address all your fears and concerns, help you overcome them, and move ahead only when you start trusting us.

Based on our 20+ years of dealing with multiple customers, we have summarized a list of top fears businesses have when it comes to switching software partners or outsourcing software development.

Also described herewith is our unique approach on how we work through each of them.

Four Common Concerns Every Prospect Has

Let’s begin by classifying these concerns type:

Price Based Concern:

Price is the most common concern as you may be worried about, mainly the financial risk associated with negligence, wrong estimations and going over budget due to poor requirement analysis of the exact services you need.

Customer Trust Concern:

People love to do business with trustworthy companies or someone they already know. Trust objection shows your concern regarding credibility of the service provider. The common objection we have heard – “I have never heard of your company.”

Time Related Concern:

Time-related objections are common, and we hear terms like “Send details in an email,” “I don’t have time,” and many more.

Comparing with Competitor/Current Software Partner:

Many a time, our potential customers compare our services with a competitor and come up saying – “Your competitor’s services/prices are better,”.

We are being brutally honest about the type of concerns our potential customers put across when communicating with us. However, we ensure that they realize the empathy in our efforts for their cause right from the first conversation – no matter the type of concern they raise.


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This is an old and ongoing debate about which Framework should be used to develop software applications? However, the choice of a platform ultimately depends upon various factors. This blog will discuss the characteristics needed to be considered before choosing an asp.NET technology for your next project.

Developed by Microsoft, .NET is an umbrella term, and it consists of two Framework – .NET Core and .NET Framework. .NET Framework is the traditional version. Microsoft launches .NET Core to address the limitations of previous versions.

The struggle to choose between .NET Framework and .NET Core is real. And, before moving to that discussion, let’s understand the difference between these two.

.NET– An Overview

.NET is a software development platform developed by Microsoft to help .NET programmers formulate different applications for small, medium, and large enterprises. The .NET platform offers tools and libraries that allow .NET Developers to develop applications quickly and conveniently.

.NET supports two implementations for application development-

  • .NET Framework
  • .NET Core

Although both have similar components, still there are things that make one platform different from the other.

.NET Framework

Microsoft developed .NET Framework in the 1990s, and after one decade, .NET 1.0 was released. After this, Microsoft keeps releasing new versions by adding new features.

.NET Framework support websites and desktop apps only on Windows. And goal behind creating this Framework was to develop an easy-to-use OOP environment, and multiple languages can support it. But the biggest de-merit of the .NET Framework is – it is closed source. And, to stay alive in the competition, Microsoft introduced .NET Core as an open-source platform.

.NET Core

As described above, .NET Core is an open-source platform developed by Microsoft to support all types of OS. Moreover, it supports C#, Visual Basic, and F# languages on .NET Core can write applications and libraries.

.NET Core has been designed to support broad compliance to new platforms.


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Are you aware of the features and functionalities of your IBM iSeries software? Or do you know how to plan and manage the ongoing operations on your IBM as400?

IBMi can handle many tasks automatically, whereas another OS requires a team to handle similar tasks. IBM iSeries AS400 always emphasis on security, software management, and problem-solving approach. Get an introduction to system architecture and built-in functions through this blog.

Have a look at ten IBM AS/400 iSeries utilities that can give you a boost in system administration:

History Log

Since starting, if the system has been shipped with the value QHSTLOGSIZ set to 5000, it means the number of records allowed in a single QHST log file before moving to another one.

Previously there happens to be very little activity onto the system, so 5000 was the best limit. But in today’s scenario, we’ve thousands of users using our system and data in multiple ways. Moreover, it’s a fact that more and more information is being uploaded on the IBM as400 iSeries system, which denotes the formation of a new QHST file every minute.

Message Queues

IBM as400 i-Series is excellent at logging events, and that mostly goes to the history log or message queue. But you should be aware that the message queue is capable of holding only 75,000 messages. In the absence of proper maintenance services, more messages in the queue can result in the process stopping.

System value QJOBMSGQFL allows users to dictate at the system level and decide what will appear on the screen when a queue is full. The system value is denoted through – *NOWRAP command, which means “do not wrap.”

If you rely heavily on the QSYSOPR command, keep in mind that this queue is clear at IPL time and can wipe your entire audit trail.
CRTMSGQ MSGQ (QSYS/QSYSMSG) – This command can be used to create a message queue.

Disk Space

Large IBM as400 iSeries organizations often find that their disk space grows 30% every year organically, but they cannot figure out what is growing and what can be done with these growths.

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List of Best IBM iSeries Code Editor Tools for RPG

Many companies and RPG developers migrated from SEU (Stoneage Editing Utility) to RDi (Rational Developers) in order to edit RPG codes. But there are many other code editors available. In this post, we have described various advanced integrated RPG code editors. Let’s go back to the old days of terminals when there was no internet, and the green screen was only accessible. In that era, IBM’s code editor SEU, and the green screen 5250, remained supreme for decades.

Every RPG programming and development services provider must have been familiar with SEU. Although it was introduced around fifty years ago, but it was the standard code editor for IBM AS400 and iSeries.

In 2008, with the launch of IBM i V6.1 in a significant OS upgrade process, IBM announced to withdraw the support for old SEU. This move was intended because IBM wanted people to adopt their flagship code editor, i.e., RDi. But SEU has not ended completely, it is still in use, it’s just that updates are longer available for the same. For more than a decade, SEU syntax checking was part of IBM V6, and now it is a nightmare to write new IBMi codes on SEU, as it counts the latest features as an error.

IBM RDi is also a code editor for RPG developers. Earlier, RD was known as WDSC (WebSphere Development Studio Client), but after the complete revamping of IDE, it was re-branded by the name of RDi. If you are not using IDE code editor for RPG programming, your RPG developers are probably stuck with years-old text-based code editors. In this modern era, it’s time for you to make a switch to modern code editing software.

There are various IBM iSeries codes editing solutions available (Opensource, Freeware, and Modern), let’s have a look at them:



IBM SEU (Source Entry Utility)

The STRSEU command is used to create, display, change or print a member. Also, IBM SEU is a part of the RDi licensed program.

If you use SEU to enter the source in a database file, it will add the sequence number and data field to every record. Also, you can edit or delete that record anytime.

Let’s understand this with an example – Suppose you are adding a source record between 0002.00 and 0003.00, then the record sequence will be 0002.01. SEU will automatically make entries for the newly added records. Sadly, IBMi ended all the enhancement of SEU with IBM I v6.1. But still, it’s commonly used by various IBMi service providing companies.



IBM Rational Developer for IBMi

Rational Developer for IBMi or RDi is the official tool for RPG development. It’s a good tool, but very expensive and very extensive. IBM rational developers is IBM’s code editor used in the software development process. It provides an integrated development environment (IDE) to develop, maintain, and modernize IBM iSeries software. It is integrated with development tools, like – search, built, edit, and code debugging. RDi is built on the Eclipse framework and offers faster and easier application development.

IBM continuously releases the RPG programming language enhancement, so rational developers is the only tool that can allow RPG developers to stay updated with IBMi Services syntax changes and enable rapid code development.

Visual Studio Code

VS Code is fast and lightweight. It feels like NOTEPAD++ on steroids. It’s free, open-source, and comes with multi-OS compatibility. Through its plugin, you can work on various languages within the same IDE. Most importantly, all the major programming languages are supported by VS Code. It supports – RPGLE, SQL, PHP, Python, HTML, JavaScript, C++, and many more. Visual Studio Code also has a complete Git Integration.

The popularity of Visual Studio Code is increasing rapidly, but it is not limited to IFS. Its plugins can enhance the code capabilities and allow access to native IBM iSeries RPG web services and the database structure of LIBS and files. At Integrative Systems, we can integrate several RPG plugins.

Visual Studio Code (IBM iSeries Language Syntax Checking Plugin)

This is a decent plugin for highlighting languages like RPG, MI, RPGLE, CL, and DDS.
NOTE: This plugin was separated from RPG Language Plugin

Visual Studio Code – Plugin for RPG Language

This plugin offers RPG source highlighting and ILE syntax checking for free if you have RPG version 7.1 and above.

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In today’s fast-paced world, where businesses are using advanced technology solutions, hiring employees in-house is not the only option. Globalization and technical advancement in IT services have made it possible for businesses worldwide to build remote teams for their projects efficiently.

Nowadays, more and more technology-related businesses (like IBM AS400 iSeries.Net Development, and Custom Software Development) are switching from traditional in-house hiring to IT Staff Augmentation.


What is Staff Augmentation?

Staff Augmentation is an outsourcing model intended at staffing resources within an organization according to their project needs or to fulfil pre-defined objectives. In terms of IT staffing, the terms imply – staffing an organization with the needed developers, project managers, analysts, architects, etc. (especially at remote locations)

Usually, what happens is, companies fail to find the required resources due to various reasons. In such a scenario, it’s good to connect with some IT Staff Augmentation services providers and get the resources needed.


What’s so Good About Staff Augmentation?

Employers can make strategic savings through Staff Augmentation or temporary staffing by keeping the workforce flexible. The Staff Augmentation service providers will avail temporary staff according to the contract, or if any instant requirement emerges. Have a look at some important benefits of Staff Augmentation:

  • Cost-saving on staff training as you bring in already trained people from outside
  • No need to take any liabilities for hired employees
  • It’s not necessary to pay bonuses, health insurance, and other allowances
  • You have the authority to increase/decrease the team size as per convenience
  • Your staff won’t feel insecure as they are not permanent employees
  • Practically, there is no contractor vs. employee scenario


Is Staff Augmentation Popular in IT Companies?

If you are concerned about the popularity of this service, our answer is a big YES. Many companies like Integrative Systems provide a dedicated team to many prominent & remote IT companies working in the field on IBM AS400 iSeries, .Net Development, JDA Merchandise Management System, and many more technologies. This is just one example that shows that IT companies recognize the importance of the staff augmentation model.


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Business Transformation should be approached not like an emergency medical life-and-death scenario but like an elective medical intervention that should be revisited from time to time to maintain optimum business health. The business transformation aims to make changes in processes or technology within an organization so that they can better align with business strategy and company vision.

What is Business Transformation?

In simple words, business transformation is all about identifying resources, be it human or non-human/technical, that are not working to their maximum capacity and finding alternate solutions. These alternate solutions are sought for multiple objectives like
increasing productivity, gaining market share, increasing revenue, better customer satisfaction, or reducing inefficient expenditure.

Business transformation is a positive change that brings about implementing the best thought processes and systems within an organization that can bring measurable improvements in an organization’s work effectiveness.

However, it is not as easy as it looks because multiple factors are involved in running an organization. Say an organization decides to replace an outdated technological system that has been in place for decades, and the staff is such that they fear change. Now, imagine the tough decision the leader has to take to disrupt the process while dealing delicately with people to come out positively. And this Transformation can take months of uncertainty!

Hence, transformation requires a vision, an execution plan, a deadline, and a firm footing to stick with the vision no matter what others (majorly other people in the company) say. Only then a business transformation is possible.

Besides, it is not just the responsibility of the leader to think, but every employee should keep suggesting ways to bring about transformation. Who knows, one’s idea might be taken up, and it could transform the business!!



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Innovation has taken the corporate world on a roller-coaster ride – every business organization, whether small or large, uses some unique technology or software to perform its business operations successfully. Upgraded versions of these software are regularly rolled out to enable companies to serve their customers better.

This means software development services offering companies like a .net development company should stay updated with the latest offerings. There is no denying the way that legacy applications require constant upgrades, and as a .net development firm or any business that has an application or a software built on .Net framework you can’t ignore this fact.

The inability to accomplish such an up-gradation can be harmful for organizations in long-run, and it can be the most significant contributor in losing your competitive edge. The application that your organization is utilizing currently, may be perfect. Still, you will need modernization in future, as you won’t be able to deal with future challenges without having specific features onboard. This doesn’t mean that your dependency on the existing version is bad, but customer/user expectations will expand continuously, and you’ll need to be prepared for upcoming challenges.

What does IT Modernization Mean?

Technology changes every day, and so does the need of customers. To upkeep their requirements, .net development firms need to stay updated in terms of business strategies and technology. Therefore, .net development firms should be ready for adopting new software or ready to upgrade the existing software infrastructure to stay ahead of the competition. Unfortunately, up-gradation challenges distract more when the senior leadership does not show interest in migrating to the new platform or upgrade the existing technology. In this blog we have provided you some tips, so that you can convince your senior management for upgradation of existing applications.

Tips for Convincing your Senior Management to Agree for An Application Modernization

So, how are you planning to proceed and persuade them for application modernization? We have few tips for you, have a look:

Provide Facts

You must be knowing that statistics don’t lie, and you need a few real insights to express your idea effectively in front of senior management officials. The reliance of an organization on one application can have adverse effects. For example – The use of traditional computing applications for a long time can adversely affect the machine programming interfaces, so it is necessary to make changes in the existing application as per the requirement of end-users.

Second, the decision to stop using specific applications is not feasible since it’s expensive, tedious, and there is a risk of data loss, and undoubtedly data is essential for the smooth running of organizational operations. Furthermore, neglecting modernization can be a reason for internal failures, and you will be continuously at risk due to millions of inefficiencies.

While the above facts may seem to make reliance on existing applications critical, application modernization can provide you the answer to each question that you are looking to make your organization’s work process stable. And this is what every employer wishes at the end of the day.

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