For a quick boost, nibble your way to RDi

One common challenge cited by reluctant RDi adopters is the tool is simply “too big.”  When pressed for further explanation, a frequent response is with all the new features, terminology and overall UI experience, compounded by strong allegiance to traditional green screen (and might I add, outdated) tools, the road to RDi can be a bit daunting.  With this in mind, I submit this solution.

Don’t eat the entire elephant, take smaller bytes (sic)!  In fact, take only half bytes.  In our parlance, this is a nibble.    Which is exactly how you should consume a new process or IDE, including RDi.  

It’s true, RDi contains lots of perspectives, views, preferences and customization.   But it can also be used quite easily, out of the box, with much familiarity.  How?  It’s simple.  Once you create your connection, go immediately into the PDM perspective.   Select “Work with Members” mode – sound familiar?   Type in your parameters and watch the middle of the screen populate with fast results.  Just like PDM.   Want to edit a member? Option 2, just like before.   Browse?  Sure, option 5.   Use RDi’s feature rich LPEX editor as a direct replacement for SEU.   It understands the majority of the line commands, such as “CC” and “DD.”  In fact, you can also configure the screen itself to look like a green screen, although I would hardly recommend this.  The secret is in bringing your SEU and PDM experience with you, combined with very little new effort. Even with only these two ingredients you will immediately realize tons of newly found productivity and faster and deeper source code understanding.

For starters, take tokenization.  Your code will be shown in full color.   Expand any of the filters in the outline view and you can quickly navigate throughout your code.

Even with these few nibbles, and even if you don’t use any other features (of which there is a seemingly unlimited supply) you may never go back to SEU again.   Truth be told, you are already light years ahead of where SEU has left off.  Because SEU is exactly that – a basic Source Entry Utility.  

Once you save your work, you can even return to the green screen to compile and check the spooled file for errors. Certainly, RDi provides mechanisms to perform these features, and so much more, but the premise here is to start small.  I can nearly guarantee, it won’t be too long before you begin exploring what else this amazing tool can offer.

Published by Charles Guarino

Charles Guarino believes in the “power” of IBM Power Systems. His career reflects his interest in bringing the platform and its solutions to others. Charles started his professional journey as a department of one. Today, he is serving individuals on a worldwide basis though his consulting work and award-winning speaking engagements. Charles is a true people person and can often be found at conferences sharing his expertise in RDi and other IBM i topics. Reach out to Charles through his company, Central Park Data Systems, at [email protected]. He looks forward to hearing from you.