Aunque esté en ingles, por su interés para nuestra comunidad, copio el Overview de la IBM US Announcement Letter relativa a una de las novedades del IBM i 7.1. (el resaltado en cursiva del texto es mío)
The RPG IV programming language has a strong record of being an efficient and productive language for writing business applications on IBM i. The language has been continuously enhanced with each IBM i release, including the most recent i 7.1 release. These enhancements have allowed RPG IV to interoperate with other languages in today's mixed environments, improved application maintenance and quality, and kept RPG IV current with system enhancements.
Other major enhancements, such as the introduction of the Integrated Language Environment® (ILE) and local files support in procedures, have allowed organizations to write modular, reusable code following programming best practices.
To further modernize the language and allow RPG-based applications to interface with the wide range of new devices and resources, enhancements have been made to RPG IV in IBM i 7.1 and 6.1 to open up the file I/O capabilities, allowing anyone to write innovative I/O handlers to access other devices and resources such as:
- Mobile devices
- Cloud computing resources
- Web services
- External databases
- XML files
Software tool vendors, business partners, services organizations, and users write the handlers that extend RPG IV's I/O capabilities to new resources and devices. IBM Rational Open Access: RPG Edition provides the runtime enablement for the I/O handlers. RPG developers can access the resource or device in their applications using native RPG file specifications and I/O operations, allowing developers to reuse their existing skills and gaining the programming efficiency that organizations have come to expect from RPG.
IBM Rational Open Access: RPG Edition is required on partitions where programs using I/O handlers are being run.
Open Access is a full-featured version of the limited support provided by RPG SPECIAL files. It provides a way for RPG programmers to use the simple and well-understood RPG I/O model to access devices that are not directly supported by RPG.
When the HANDLER keyword is specified on a File specification, the RPG compiler will generate code to use the specified handling procedure for I/O operations to the file rather than generating code to call the system's data management functions.
The HANDLER keyword can be used for any RPG device, DISK, PRINTER, or WORKSTN. The provider of the handling procedure can choose the RPG device-type that best fits the function that the handler provides. For example, a user interface application could map to a WORKSTN file, an Excel document could map to a PRINTER file, and a Web service could map to a keyed DISK file.