ARCAD-Transformer RPG (aka ARCAD RPG Converter for IBM i)

Free Format RPG conversion

»»»»ARCAD-Transformer RPG
(aka ARCAD RPG Converter for IBM i)
ARCAD-Transformer RPG
(aka ARCAD RPG Converter for IBM i)

Project Description

ARCAD Transformer RPGaka ARCAD RPG Converter for IBM i

Free Format RPG conversion

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Convert RPGLE to Free Format RPG automatically

ARCAD Transformer RPG tool (aka ARCAD RPG Converter for IBM i) automates the conversion of any RPG IV source code to RPG Free Format, achieving near 100% conversion accuracy. For example, the solution converts calculation specifications (C) and declaration specifications (H, F, D, P), and can even convert GOTO statements. ARCAD Transformer RPG supports unitary or mass conversion. That is, individual modules can be converted in a statement-by-statement fashion under the control of the user, or as a bulk operation on many sources at once. Flexible licensing options allow you to purchase the optimum number of conversions based on the size of your application suite.

Before ARCAD-Transformer RPG, I would spend half my day trying to figure out how to do something in Free Format which was frustrating. I have found that my productivity has increased by at least 50 percent.  I am using ARCAD-Transformer RPG as both a conversion tool and a teaching tool
Kody Robinson, Developer, Business & Financial Systems at Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp.
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Convert RPGLE to Free Format RPG


ARCAD-Transformer RPG converts fixed form RPG to Free Format RPG automatically, with near 100% accuracy.  To receive a free trial copy of the ARCAD-Transformer RPG please fill in our request form.  This trial copy will grant you 10 full conversions, free of charge.

For best results (full conversion of C, H, F, D, P specs), a minimum of IBM i V7R1 with TR 7 is required.  However, if you don’t yet have TR 7, conversion is still possible, but only C specs will be converted.

If you would like to obtain a permanent license, please contact your regional sales office:

FAQ for ARCAD-Transformer RPG

You can contact ARCAD Software technical support with any technical issues or questions you have via email or by phone.

North America and LATAM
+1 (603) 574-4860

+33 450-57-28-00

+852 8192 5740

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ARCAD-Transformer RPG

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More about ARCAD-Transformer RPG

With the IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 7 announcement on October 7 comes the long-awaited news that all current RPG IV features are now supported in RPG Free.   The importance of this announcement cannot be overstated. RPG is uplifted to the status of a truly modern language, with multifold benefits for users of IBM i and a strategic impact on the future of the platform itself.

On the following day IBM and ARCAD Software announce a tool to automatically convert RPGLE sources into RPG Free.  ARCAD-Transformer RPG (aka IBM Rational ARCAD-Converter) achieves near 100% conversion rates of any RPG IV code including calculation specifications (C) and declaration specifications (H, F, D, P).

Let us consider the implications of this double announcement.  RPG free form syntax frees developers from fixed column entry allowing natural left-to-right indented logic similar to most other languages today (such as Java or C# for example).  Taken at face value, this syntax significantly improves coding efficiency and the readability of sources.  But the true value is much more compelling.  Free syntax moves RPG away from a closed shop.  RPG Free can be easily understood by developers of all creeds, from new graduates to platform veterans.

This definitively resolves the resource squeeze that has been felt by IBM i development organizations for many years.  In a single pass, it is possible to convert a legacy RPG application into free syntax that can in principle be maintained by any developer on the market.

Further still, the readability advantage and the ability to freely switch between modern languages now gives RPG a lead over its traditional rival COBOL.  (The universal business language has stayed unchanged since COBOL 84).

By selecting RPG Free for new development projects, IT managers gain access to several unique benefits of the IBM i platform, not least the database technology.

Still not convinced?

So let’s take a closer look at Free Format RPG and the ARCAD-Transformer RPG tool itself…

RPG IV has evolved into a modern business language, supporting procedures, data areas, data structures, additional data types and extended file support.  Greater interoperability is offered between RPG and Java, XML and SQL.   And RPG source code is far more readable thanks to Free format, blank lines, and comments.

Free format programs have the same source type and are compiled in exactly the same way as fixed format RPG.  The IBM RPG compiler allows the two styles to be mixed freely.

The advantages of converting to RPG Free Form are numerous:

  1. Nested logic is indented to make it easier to understand at a glance
  2. Source code can be entered more rapidly (fewer keystrokes)
  3. More space is available for long expressions
  4. Comments (on the right of operations) can be placed immediately after the code
  5. Free format can co-exist with fixed format
  6. An increasing number of code examples are available only in free format
  7. IBM is focusing its efforts on Free Format RPG
  8. Easier to learn and read for new development team members
  9. Improves the experience for native developers

Experienced RPG developers can become proficient in RPG Free Format with just a few days of learning.  Free Format brings not only the personal satisfaction of learning a new technology, but also modern language skills that can enhance your IT career for the future.

An example side-by-side comparison of original and converted code is given below:


To see the complete source, click here :

As a general rule, to achieve maximum conversion (that is, of C specifications, and also H, F, D, P specifications), IBM i V7R1 with Technology Refresh 7 is required.

However, if you do not yet have Technology Refresh 7, but you have IBM i V7R1 (or V6R1 or V5R4), conversion with ARCAD-Transformer RPG is still possible, but only C specifications will be converted.

N.B. As part of Technology Refresh 7, a standalone PTF (number SI51094) for the RPG compiler is now available from IBM.  This PTF enables compilation of full Free Format RPG and also maximum conversion with ARCAD-Transformer RPG.

(Please note:  if you specifically need to compile any SQLRPGLE sources that have been converted to Free Format, you will then require the additional DB2 PTF group SF99701 level 26).

ARCAD-Transformer RPG is “DBCS capable”.  The solution is written 100% in Unicode and supports all CCSID sources, including Japanese, Chinese, Korean.

ARCAD-Transformer RPG (aka IBM Rational ARCAD-Converter) is an optional module offered as an integral part of the ARCAD Pack for Rational.  ARCAD-Transformer RPG can also be purchased standalone.
ARCAD-Transformer RPG is priced by number of conversions performed.  The first 10 conversions are granted free of charge.   For more details, please contact your local ARCAD sales representative or email our sales departments:
To receive a free trial copy (and/or purchase) your ARCAD-Transformer RPG, please fill in our request form.  The product will be shipped to you directly.
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Success Story

Arkansas Electric Success Story Transformer RPG

Arkansas Electric


Success Story

Letsos Success Story Transformer RPG



Success Story

Video: Kody Robinson, Software Developer at AECC: experience of a young developer on IBM i

Kody Robinson, Software Developer at AECC: experience of a young developer on IBM i


Success Story

Video: Barbara Harris, IT Director at AECC on her achievements in IBM i Modernization

Barbara Harris, IT Director at AECC on her achievements in IBM i Modernization


Modernization Redbook