Welcome to the Dictionary of Programming Languages, a compendium
of computer coding methods assembled to provide information and
aid your appreciation for computer science history.
Browse the dictionary by clicking on a section:
Get a full dump of the dictionary:
List of Names
- Language type:
D - Database or Text-processing
RPG, Report Program Generator, is a
high-level database access and text
generation language invented for
mainframe MIS environments.
The RPG language is designed around
the programmer's presumed goal: generating
informative large-scale reports from
mainframe databases. To this end, RPG
supports input forms definition,
database access, and
very extensive output formatting facilities.
Because it is mainly intended for
formatting and presenting data, RPG does
not have very extensive computational
support, but most versions have at least
a minimal set of sequential control-flow
operators, support for subroutines, etc.
Data types in RPG include integers,
fixed-format numbers, reals, strings, and
records. Often, data types and records
are declared as having a particular print
format (like in COBOL) and the compiler
takes care of choosing a suitable internal
The lexical structure of RPG is column/card
oriented. Programs consist of four
distinct sections: file description, input
formats, calculation, and output formats.
RPG-IV (1994) added another section: the
RPG programs are typically compiled.
They must be supported by an extensive
run-time environment that provides I/O
and data management services.
Commercial implementations of RPG
are available from IBM, Lattice, and
other companies. There are no free
implementations. Books are RPG programming
are widely available from commercial
- See Also:
There were several dialects or versions of
RPG over the years: IBM created RPG for the
System/360 (1964), RPG-II for the System/3
(1965), RPG-III, RPG/400 for the AS/400,
RPG-IV, and Visual
Age for RPG. Other companies produced
versions of RPG-II and RPG/400 for
MS-DOS and Windows operating systems.
RPG's support for different kinds and formats
of textual output is very broad. RPG/400
has at least 20 different output field types.
IBM's newest RPG products allow the developer to
create graphical user interfaces for
forms input and output presentation.
- Sample code:
Descriptions in this dictionary are ©1997-99 Neal Ziring. Some
examples copyright of their respective authors. Some
technologies and languages are trademarked. Permission to
copy descriptions is granted as long as authorship credit is preserved.
Comments on this dictionary, corrections and suggestions, are all welcome.
Please use email, the address is firstname.lastname@example.org
[Ziring MicroWeb Home]
Dictionary and script maintained by Neal Ziring, last major modifications 3/18/98. Most recent
additions to dictionary and master list, 1/00.