The least disruptive way would be to extract the logic into procedures in a service program. Then modify your black box program to call these procedures. That way, new programs get the flexibility of using ILE, but your existing programs can continue to call the "black box" without change.

As to the benefit, that is subjective. Multiple variable scopes is usually enough to justify it for me personally. Also, if you never advance your existing codebase, your new development will always be held back by it.

Brian May
IBM i Modernization Specialist
Profound Logic Software
937-439-7925 Phone
877-224-7768 Toll Free

Modernization Made Easy!

-----Original Message-----
From: RPG400-L [mailto:rpg400-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Jeff Young
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2014 8:46 AM
To: Midrange Systems Technical Discussion; RPG programming on the IBM i (AS/400 and iSeries)
Subject: Service Program or Stand Alone

(Cross Posted to Midrange Systems / RPGLE) I have a number of systems that are mainly written in RPGLE that were converted from prior versions of RPG (RPG/36, RPG400) to the current RPGLE format, but most not using any ILE functions.
I have a number of "Black Box" programs that are called to preform a specific function and return values.
Newer programs are being written that *do* use ILE functions (where appropriate).
In these programs, it is often necessary to call some of these "Black Box programs".
Is there any benefit to converting them to Service Programs?
If so, what would be the best method to use to avoid having to recreate the 100's if not more existing programs that currently call them as a stand alone program?

I am just asking for my own information, but am very interested in all suggestions.


Jeff Young
Sr. Programmer Analyst
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