I really must call you on the following:
"Among other challenges, SQL does not work worth a damn on program-described files in the S/36 e.e."
Now, tell me, what DBMS anywhere could work on "myData.txt"....
In actuality, you COULD work SQL over a file in QS36F, with a set of UDFs to convert packed numeric strings into values. Even files in QS36F are database tables on OS400, albeit they are single column character tables. Yes, it could still be a lot of work to do it this way, but I'm sure we've all used CPYF map that data into an externally described table.
There's even IDDU (yuk) that allows you to map QS36F files to an external definition, for use in queries.... You have more facilities to support the use of flat data than any other platform I can think of....
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