Keeping in mind that a lot of RPG code has been carried over from the S/34
and, that often once a database has a 'feature' added to it it is often
hard to back it out,
then think of this.
"Back in the day..." when you ran on pathetically slow disks or even cards
it was quite common to put a column in a order header table for customer
alpha search. A more normalized database might suggest a view joining the
order header to the customer master and doing the search that way. "Back
in the day..." if it was even possible the performance was pathetic. Of
course if you changed your customer name from Lyall Electric to Group
Dekko then you would have to remember to update this customer alpha search
in the order header files also. And it may have only been 5 characters.
There are ways to create join logical files to emulate this view, and use
that by RPG. However IBM never added the capability to index that join by
a column from more than one table. Something I DCR'd since about day 3 of
me having an AS/400.