Status of the IBM RPG II product in z/OS


Product Status in z/OS

As of January 2009, the OS/VS RPG II product (5740-RG1) V1R1M0 is fully supported by IBM and available with their ServerPac, CBPDO and SoftwareXcel offerings.

For over 10 years, rumors about OS/VS RPG II have circulated around the world, often forecasting an about-to-happen disappearance of the product. These rumors were often expressed by IBM/IGS employees in various parts of the world. As far as we know, these rumors are as unfounded today as they were when we first heard them in 1996.

Having said that, it is true that references to OS/VS RPG II on the IBM software Web site are rare. In particular, OS/VS RPG II is not listed on the Traditional Programming Languages and Software Support Lifecycle pages.

There is no indication that IBM will drop support for OS/VS RPG II in the future, as they are well aware of their customers who run large inventories of RPG II programs in OS/390 and z/OS and have no alternative to the product. Furthermore, many VSE customers use RPG II and the OS/VS RPG II compiler is required for those which migrate to z/OS.

OS/VS RPG II (5740-RG1)

OS/VS RPG II (5740-RG1) was announced by IBM in 1981. Prior to that announcement, RPG II was only available in DOS/VS (5746-RG1) which was announced in 1977. Until 1982, IBM OS/VS customers who needed RPG II had to use a compatible compiler developed by an independent software vendor.

The OS/VS RPG II product was a quick-and-dirty port of the DOS/VS RPG II product (5746-RG1), as attested by the presence of CSECTs called IJSYSIN, IJSYSLS, IJSYSPH, IJSYS01, IJSYS02, IJLSTWK and IJPCHWK. This is obvious if you look at the link-edit maps of the RPGII and RPGIAUTO load-modules which were produced with the LINKMAP product and are available here.

After it became available in 1982, OS/VS RPG II rapidly established itself as the de-facto standard RPG II compiler in MVS and displaced its older non-IBM competitors which soon disappeared.

Since its introduction, OS/VS RPG II has been a largely functionally-stabilised product which has received no significant functional enhancement. In particular, OS/VS RPG II never received support for 4-digit years, as was the case for its ancestor, DOS/VS RPG II. Defect support, however, was always available and a number of PTFs were issued to correct bugs.

One annoying problem I experienced in 1983 on MVS was that RPG II programs trying to read an empty VSAM data set would terminate with a U1299 abend. I designed a complicated procedure which included UPSI switches, control cards, and a front-end module to avoid the abends for a particular customer converting from DOS/VSE. Some years later, I noticed that the RPG II run-time module that handles VSAM OPENs had been updated to avoid the abend, as in DOS/VSE.

The OS/VS RPG II products includes the RPG II compiler itself, the Auto-Report pre-compiler, and the run-time library. OS/VS RPG II is not LE-compliant, which may cause some issues when OS/VS RPG II programs CALL sub-programs written in COBOL or PL/I.

OS/ VS RPG II V1R1M0 is compatible with DOS/VS RPG II 1.3, except for year 2000 enhancements such as UDATE4. The RPG II LCP of the Prism Conversion System product (Prism-CS) performs all the source code changes that are necessary to ensure that DOS/VS RPG II programs compile, link-edit and execute successfully in the MVS/ESA, OS/390 and z/OS environments.

RPG II Documentation in PDF format

GC33-6029-03 DOS/VS RPG II Specifications
SC33-6031-03 DOS/VS RPG II System Library
SC33-6032-02 DOS/VS RPG II Installation Reference
SC33-6033-01 DOS/VS RPG II Messages
SC33-6034-01 DOS/VS RPG II Auto Report Manual
SC33-6074-00 DOS/VS RPG II User's Guide
GC33-6120-01 DOS/VS RPG II OS/VS RPG II General Information (Current Release)
SC33-6122-00 OS/VS RPG II Installation Reference
SC33-6128-00 OS/VS RPG II Addendum to DOS/VS RPG II Auto Report
SC33-6130-00 OS/VS RPG II Addendum to DOS/VS RPG II Messages
GC33-6131-01 OS/VS RPG II Program Summary
GC33-7098-00 OS/VS RPG II LPS


In February 1991, IBM announced SAA RPG/370 (5688-127) as a future replacement for OS/VS RPG II. The product was withdrawn from marketing in October 1993, and program services were discontinued in June 1995. The announcement letters are here

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