Lets not forget that there are other things that can be done also. There are php programmers out there and so don't think you have to just look for rpg programmers. I had a very major project here on our i, that we want to turn our order entry for phone orders gui, and actually utilize some of the information off our ecommerce site because of the fact we personalize products and it made sense not to re-invent the wheel.
I had the php programmer here who had never seen the ibm i, who never messed with db2 databases, I loaded inav on his pc so he could build the tables in the schema and create that front end that then feeds into the whole order system. I gave him a couple of simple rules, (such as no null values) and he coded it all up, it runs on the ibmi, calls at a few points within an iframe stuff from the ecommerce site and it runs FAST on the i.
I don't know how many different dashboards and webpages with stats, and top xx items, and such (with an option to export into excel) I have done which are SO simple in php and give folks what they want. You can do graphing really easy. Sure I am an rpg programmer at heart (actually mostly maintaining thousands of rpg2 programs that interface just fine with the php).
And one can go and stick a front end say in php and go and call the business logic that is in cobol or rpg and return said results.
Bob mentioned bcd and they have both bolt on, they have also a php and rpg ide sort of development system.
And don't forget there is the avenue of even having some pc applications written in dot net and call the db2 db via odbc, which is super fast (I have a shipping scale that used to run ms access, and we changed it over to be db2 via odbc and it is faster).
My point is if you think that you can just putter along doing things like we would have done them 15 or 20 or 30 years ago, as far as the front end interface, pinch yourself. I won't disagree that the green screen for straight data entry is faster than a web browser, (and I can go further and tell you that data entry say onto an 8" floppy with an ibm 3741 or 5280 was faster than a green screen), but folks want such or so they think.
Ironic my boss thinks they do, and so I made all our c/s inquiry to be web based but left the green screen. Need I tell you which gets more usage?
But I don't know what your business is, but there are web services you can call (like authorize credit card (green screen or gui)) or address validation with usps web api's (again green screen or gui), etc. and so I believe you have to be doing all these things.
Why my ibmi "reads" emails, does cc validation, does address validation, gives us not only green screens but web screens, talks odbc to shipping scales, shares control files that drive presses, etc. and we have developed a bunch of web services where we get info to and from our ecommerce sites, etc. (update order statuses, etc.). And 95% of the reports these days are automatically pdf'ed, and they sit on a server that users go get. Very little is printed on paper these days as far as reports.
So yes you might need an rpg programmer, but don't overlook how a php or even a dot net programmer can help you in your argument. I have right now a dozen or more little projects that if the php programmer wasn't busy with ecommerce things, I would have him do.
My users love the web pages that give them popup gui calendars they can pick the dates, they can select sort orders, they can download into excel and these are really simple things.
And php is so expensive on the i (free).