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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