Informing the IBM Community

ARCAD Observer LPEX integration brings new levels of development speed & accuracy to IBM i


Annecy, France and Peterborough NH, USA – 30 June 2020 – ARCAD Software, international leader in DevOps and Modernization solutions, today announced the V12 TR1 release of ARCAD Observer, introducing a powerful application-wide IBM i cross-referencing capability into the LPEX editor in RDi. The new LPEX integration brings massive productivity benefits to IBM i developers, delivering context-sensitive “where used” impact analysis and dependency information directly from within their source code editor.

ARCAD Observer is the IBM i application analysis and documentation solution common to the vendor’s DevOps and Modernization product lines.  The solution simplifies application understanding throughout the DevOps cycle and delivers application intelligence during the initiation phase of any IBM i modernization project.

ARCAD Observer is distributed worldwide by IBM, via both the Passport Advantage and e-config channels.  Today’s new LPEX integration is the result of close collaboration between ARCAD R&D and IBM’s RDi development team.  In line with the latest refactoring technology in RDi, ARCAD Observer answers the need for a navigation tool to reveal the flow of information throughout the fields in an IBM i application.  

Where RDi alone can provide local in-program information such as an outline view, ARCAD Observer adds an “application-wide” dimension, placing developer actions such as where-used, check-out and compile just a click away on the LPEX source code view.

Andrew Clark, DevOps Product Manager at ARCAD Software summarized the value of this feature to the IBM i development community: “What differentiates ARCAD Observer from other analysis tools is the depth and scope of the cross-referencing provided.  Dependency information is detailed to the field and source line level, the fruit of ARCAD’s 28 years of R&D in IBM i application analysis and transformation. Previously, to utilize the full power of this cross-reference metadata, developers needed to leave the LPEX editor and skip to a separate perspective.  Now, the new V12 TR1 release of Observer delivers dependency information right at the developer’s fingertips, while they are changing code, compiling or debugging. The convenience and productivity gains for the developer are just enormous”. 

Instant access to the ‘Program Calling Chain’ from RPG source code edited in LPEX

ARCAD Observer relies on metadata stored in an IBM i application knowledge base, generated in real time using ARCAD’s unique parsing technology.  Valuable application “insights” are organized by version to provide a multi-level cross-reference view.  By simply double-clicking on any text inside of the LPEX editor (e.g. field, file, procedure, program, data area, even literals), a right click instantly provides all of the power of ARCAD Observer:  

  • View where a component is used, and which components it uses.
    • Display cross-reference dependency information for fields, data areas, binding directories, binder source, literals, display files, etc…
    • View calling chains, ascending and descending
    • Directly browse the source of the selected object
    • Direct checkout, version log and worklist support integrated with ARCAD Skipper version control
    • Supports all source and program types: RPG, RPGLE, CL, CLLE, COBOL, SQLRPGLE, PF, LFDDS, BND, etc,

All native languages are supported, including all variants of RPG from Fixed to Fully Free, COBOL and also the CA 2E Synon 4GL.

Philippe Magne, ARCAD CEO explains the drive behind this new release: “Even in today’s modern development environments, developers typically over 50% of their time trying to understand an application before they can make a code change.  This is critical on IBM i where skills are increasingly rare and core business applications are often a “black box” to the new developers responsible for their maintenance.  Having access to the ARCAD Observer knowledge base and cross-referencing directly from LPEX will radically speed up development cycles on IBM i, lower development costs and risk.  We are excited to deliver this key functionality that will ultimately help our IBM i customers retain their competitive edge”.

The business value of the new ARCAD Observer release derives from time and cost savings in the areas of:

  • Enhanced precision in impact analysis enabling more accurate estimates of development effort involved in each and every code change
  • Elimination of potential defects early in the CI/CD cycle
  • Continuous Improvement and optimization of DevOps processes

Magne continues: “This new functionality in Observer is just one example of the unique insights into IBM i best practices we have gained from working with some of the largest and most innovative IBM i / RPG development teams on the planet.  ARCAD’s unrivalled position as the market leader in DevOps for IBM i stems from the investments we have made in DevOps automation, continuous improvement and advanced “value stream mapping” of the RPG development process. These advances mean that any RPG development team, large or small can benefit from the innovations our ARCAD R&D team are delivering to our rapidly expanding customer base”.

Learn More [Observer datasheet]

About ARCAD Software

Celebrating 28 years serving the IBM i community, ARCAD Software combines DevOps and Modernization in an integrated, in-house developed product range, distributed by IBM worldwide. 

With ARCAD solutions:

  • Automate a CI/CT/CD pipeline on IBM i with application analysis, build, test, and deploy
  • Share Git, Jenkins and Jira across all platforms IBM i, Linux, UNIX, Windows, z/OS
  • Transform RPG or Synon applications to modern Free Form RPG and SQL
  • Modernize green-screens and generate Webservices
  • Discover and Anonymize personal data
  • Synchronize Deployment of all your code AND data, on-premise or cloud

Press Contact:  Olenka Van Schendel, WW Marketing Director

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