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August 03, 2011


Marinus Van Sandwyk

Hi Jon/Susan
We fully support your opinion that ROA should be part of the base OS, but at least it in now "easier" to try.

Marc O. Vadeboncoeur


I just went to the link you provided, logged-on to my IBM account, and downloaded & installed 5733-OAR on my IBM i 6.1 box.

I only ran into one roadblock... When you click-on the link, you jump right into a summary document that lists the "Key prerequisites", and under "Software requirements" it states that you need "IBM Rational Development Studio for i V6.1 (5761-WDS) or V7.1 (5770-WDS) applicable PTFs" but it doesn't tell you WHAT those "applicable PTFs" are. I had to call IBM Support to find out, to install 5733-OAR you need just one critical PTF for IBM i 6.1 which is SI43988 for LPP 5761WDS, without that PTF the ILE compiler will not recognize the "Handler" keyword on the F-spec after you install 5733-OAR and your compiles will fail.

So, here's what I did, step-by-step:

1) Clicked on your link to go to the IBM page for the 5733-OAR product evaluation.

2) Clicked on the link towards the top of the page to dowload the .ISO file containing the install CD image (link is under "Access" heading), was prompted to log onto my IBM account as soon as I clicked on it. File is tiny, under 1 meg to download and about 9 meg uncompressed.

3) Burned the downloaded .ISO image to a blank DVD (I use the freebie "Active@ ISO Burner" software that you can download from the web at You can of course use an image catalog instead but I wanted this little jewel on a DVD.

4) Popped the DVD into the system optical drive (OPT01) on my IBM i 6.1 box.

5) Restored the 5733-OAR LPP to the box using this command: RSTLICPGM LICPGM(5733OAR) DEV(OPT01)

6) Logged-on to IBM's Fix Central and downloaded the following PTFs: SI43158 for LPP 5761SS1, and SI43988 for LPP 5761WDS. Loaded those 2 PTFs with the LODPTF command and applied them temporarily with the APYPTF command (applied them right away, no need to apply on IPL).

7) Compiled a test ILE program using an example Open Access for RPG handler that I found on the web and program compiled normally & functioned as expected.

Done. :O)

Overall, a fairly streamlined and painless process (for IBM!). Now, I just have to cough-up the $1,000 bucks when my bloody 70-day trial expires... :O(

Aaron Bartell


Just curious, what things (big or small) are you hoping to accomplish with OAR? It's good for everyone to hear the possibilities so we can all think with an open mind. I ask because a couple weeks ago a customer of mine introduced a concept I had not thought of.

Ed Evers

If you have SWMA, I can see no reason there should be a charge for an RPG enhancement... That's like charging you to go to a new release with all it's enhancements.... Is that going to be the next step???

Jon Paris

Thanks for the feedback Marc - I think the best reference point for the current PTF requirement is the RPG Cafe - since it is "manned" (womaned?) by the developers it is usually up-to-date on PTF numbers. This is the short URL for the OA part of the Cafe

Good luck with your OA exploits and don't forget to share your exploits with the rest of us.

Jon Paris

@Ed "If you have SWMA, I can see no reason there should be a charge for an RPG enhancement"

You won't find any disagreement here Ed - or from anyone else I have talked to on the subject. It is a long and complicated story and I hope it will be remedied before long. I can see no way that IBM can make money from it at the current pricing level and it wouldn't sell at a higher price. Right now it is just annoying for everybody.

Jon Paris

@Aaron "I ask because a couple weeks ago a customer of mine introduced a concept I had not thought of."

And you're not going to share with us what that was?


Yes, Aaron, I too am waiting for the concept YOU hadn't thought of.

Aaron Bartell

>And you're not going to share with us what that was?

Ha! Well, I guess I can. It isn't an approach I would take, which is somewhat why I didn't think of it :-)

They are wanting to re-use their existing green screen programs and modernize them with minimal effort. Their thought was to utilize all the screen meta-data you can get with OAR and feed that in real-time to a ASP.NET front end that would dynamically paint the page based on the meta-data delivered to it (delivered using JSON most likely).

A couple things I am not a fan of (though they are not wrong) in this concept is using ASP.NET for the front end (why not just render right to the browser using ExtJS or jQuery) and I also am not a fan of building on the existing 5250 data stream for new development. But on that note, if it is just used as a stepping stone to modernization then I guess it is a pretty decent thing to do. I would imagine this is what ProfoundUI's Genie product already does - probably would be better/less-expensive to just purchase that vs. trying to develop something in-house.

Marc O. Vadeboncoeur


We installed OAR to support our new shop tooling standard for web apps, Profound Logic's "Profound UI" product ("PUI").

We have been blown-away by what we've been able to create thus far with PUI and plan on doing a lot of new development with it along with the conversion of critical legacy apps to a web interface. We have no plans at this time to do custom RPG development that interacts directly with OAR (i.e. we have no plans at the moment to write our own handlers).

Aaron Bartell


That is great to hear you are doing new things with PUI. I highly respect their team of developers and believe they have the most full combination of solutions for an RPG shop (i.e. allow to convert existing apps and great framework for creating new apps).

I am always excited to hear of shops finding ways to modernize without going the route of .NET/Java/PHP. Not that you couldn't develop solutions with .NET/Java/PHP, but if you are an RPG shop and modernize using RPG, then you are doing good to your company by being mindful of their investment.

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