- IBM i / AS400
Traditionally RPG is the most used language on the IBM i platform. As RPG developers are retiring, companies running the IBM i are getting concerned about a talent shortage. While we at Briteskies offer a great solution to retiring developers and system admins, if you want to think even further into the future, Node.js is a great option.
Now let’s break that down.
One of the most significant features of Node.js is its asynchronous I/O. Backend systems like PHP and ASP send requests using a synchronous method, programs “line up” in a virtual queue line and wait their turn to be sent. This means that one larger job can block the line for subsequent jobs.
In contrast, Node.js is single-threaded and non-blocking, meaning commands execute concurrently or in parallel and use callbacks to signal completion or failure. This feature makes Node.js significantly faster than PHP for example, since it doesn’t get stalled by a single large job. However, because Node.js is single-threaded it is not ideal for large computations that will take up a large CPU percentage as they will clog the thread and reduce command speed.
You may be wondering where the IBM i fits in to all this. The IBM i has built-in open-source technologies which allow for applications written in Node.js to be integrated with the legacy system. Companies can keep their existing legacy RPG code and write new code in Node.js and meld the two together. Writing code in Node.js is notoriously quick since developers can take advantage of the NPM, a free code repository, and minimize the need for new RPG development.
While it all depends on skill level, Node.js has the potential to decrease project cost, accelerate project timelines, and improve developer efficiency.