Something to consider...

In addition to what most of the folks said about the power and
flexibility of SQL you can combine it with REXX and get all the
capabilities of SQL with the strength of a programming language that
doesn't have to be compiled but runs very fast none the less.   Most of
the IBM mainframe operating systems have used REXX for years with SQL to
do most anything with DB2.   In the case of REXX, you can use it with
the native iSeries flat file system or with the true DB2/400 relational
structures.   Most folks on the other IBM platforms use REXX to create
simple or complex utilities   

On the iSeries you can also create a command file (QCMDSRC) that calls
your REXX program and invoke the programs like you use CL to call RPG,
except you only have to "compile" the CMD file once, unless you change
the name of your REXX EXEC, and then you can make changes all day long
to your REXX EXEC and quickly test those changes by invoking the CMD
file.   Its a very quick and powerful way to create programs.   And if
you need to do all kinds of concatenations, string manipulation, matrix
programming and much more, REXX can't be beat.   Lastly, the structure
of its programs are free-form, no more worrying about getting the
statement pieces in certain columns.   You can create any kind of
program from simple utilities to more complex applications with REXX.  
There are a gazillion books out there on how to program in REXX.  The
one's from IBM are good, especially if written by Mike Colishaw, the
creator of REXX.

Hope that opens up a new avenue for you.

Later,

Dave Odom

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