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Posted by: mariobohemiohn
Case App Synon - On Power7 Systems
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Published: 19 May 2012
Revised: 23 Jan 2013 - 4051 days ago
Last viewed on: 24 Feb 2024 (5357 views) 

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Case App Synon - On Power7 Systems Published by: mariobohemiohn on 19 May 2012 view comments(3)


I'm a RPGILE Programmer, 

I just wanted to know if someone knows if use a Case Application as Synon it's better than create native RPGILE Programs, If the answer is "No" please let me know the reasons, just to explain to my coworkers cause i think Synon is a world closed.

Thanks for your time


Best Regards,


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Posted by: DaleB
Premium member *
Reading, PA
Comment on: Case App Synon - On Power7 Systems
Posted: 11 years 9 months 7 days 19 minutes ago

We developed an entire billing system using Synon/2E, later COOL:2E, in the mid-90's, and supported it through end of 2010. It was a large model - around 2 million lines of generated RPG. I have to say we were satisfied with it, when we were using it. All the code looks the same, no matter who "wrote" it, and all of the displays and reports have the same look and feel, which is a good thing. We even used Synon/Translator to deploy our product in Europe. Unfortunately we haven't used it since the support of the last install ended, though if another large project comes up, it would certainly be an option.

Posted by: Paulster
Premium member *
Sweden and The Netherlands
Comment on: Case App Synon - On Power7 Systems
Posted: 11 years 9 months 6 days 22 hours 11 minutes ago
Edited: Mon, 21 May, 2012 at 10:28:37 (4298 days ago)

I've worked with the both of them, 2e and manual programming, for over 20 years and still do. Just pick the right tool for the job at hand.

In general, if a system was once written using CA 2e (aka Synon) you'd continue using 2e for maintenance. Did you start out with manual coding you do have the option to import your DB to 2e and continue there, the other way around is a nightmare and not to be recommended.

Development with 2e is a speedy process and generates reliable code and applications. You can set up templates for most things and that'll let your new application inherit form the template.

The generated code checks for most events that can happen and can therefore contain (much) more lines than manual code would. The readability of the code is an issue that has been discussed extensively over the years. Mostly you do not need the code other than for the occasional debugging so I find readability not really an issue.

However, in my opinion, 2e is heavily tied to interactive processing as the focus is on generating dspf+rpg. Mind you, you can create robust batch programs too but 2e's strength and speedy development is most prominent on dspf+rpg type of applications. Personally, I would find it hard to beat the speed of 2e with rpg in this area.

As for new things, 2e offers a web-tool, popularly known as web:2e and does rpg with ile and modules/server programs nowadays. I do not use the latter options so I cannot advise on these.

After all this free advertisement for CA:2e, it can be noted that there are some downsides too. The price could be an issue. Also, I would not recommend getting started without proper training and running a pilot project. An experienced mentor during this process would be highly beneficial to guarantee the quality of the generated code. While 2e certainly has its quirks, they are easily spotted and be dealt with.


Good luck!


Posted by: neilrh
Premium member *
Jackson, MI
Comment on: Case App Synon - On Power7 Systems
Posted: 11 years 9 months 3 days 16 hours 56 minutes ago

Very little experience with the tool.  First company I worked with had bought an application package, which was then modified to match their business model.  Then they hired some trainee RPG programmers to support the applications.  Then as new business requirements were needed they purchased Synon and sent the two application analysts (former mainframe cobol programmers) to train on the tool.  The corporate idea was to roll out their many new projects using synon generated screens.  The two application analysts returned from training, said that they were concerned with some of the stuff Synon was unable to do - they were basically told you do the core stuff using Synon, then modify the code OR write callable routines to do the stuff that the Synon application couldn't figure out.  They just weren't that impressed - they realised all the programmers would need to be trained and 3 of us were already churning out code quicker than they could test and implement! (the other 2 weren't far behind).  Also Synon code was ungodly to read, and they also figured that there weren't enough folks out there who had Synon experience who could come in off the street and just pick up and run with it.  Even when that corporation was bought by a competitor I believe the Synon disks were still in the original box on a shelf in the computer room.

The second corporation who I worked with had used Synon early on to create their applications.  But as with many places as time passed the original programmers left, and the new guys didn't have the Synon skills to use the tool to make changes.  So changes were made using normal RPG programming techniques, code was migrated to RPGIV and some ILE technique also introduced.

From my experience Synon produced code sucks, however that level of suckiness is consistent and once you figure the rules easy enough to follow.  The old RPGIII stuff created a new subroutine for each thing you had to do, even if that same thing was done to 3 different values - I think the worst I found was 1 program with 15 unique subroutines duplicated 7 times each for each of 7 different processes - so much for the idea that subroutines are supposed to reduce code by reusability.  I think I became balder during my years at that corporation.  On a good point, while Synon code might suck, there are still folks out there who claim to be programmers whose code sucks even worse, so it's not entirely all bad.  The tool does what is needed of it - however, I am a programmer, and if you hire me then it is as a programmer not as a baby sitter to some automated process that writes code for you.