How would you like to add millions of programmers to your staff without having to pay for them? Sound too good to be true? Well, amazingly, it’s not. This is exactly the promise and advantage of using Open Source languages like Node, Python and PHP on your IBM i. With Open Source, you no longer need to code everything yourself. You can assemble applications and application functions by downloading components that are already written. Need geo location information from Google Maps? Just click here for thousands of options: https://github.com/search?o=desc&q=google+maps&s=stars&type=Repositories Need the RPG plugin for Visual Studio code? Thanks to Niels Liisberg, you can just click here: https://github.com/NielsLiisberg/RPG-for-VSCode/blob/master/vsc-extension-quickstart.md. Want an entire ERP system for free? https://github.com/search?o=desc&q=erp&s=stars&type=Repositories
Currently, there are over 100 million repositories being maintained by over 37 million developers hosted on GitHub (the most popular cloud-based site for storing code repositories). A significant proportion of those repositories are open source projects you can use in your applications and they are written in languages like Node, Python, PHP and Java. And since these are the languages that are being taught in our universities, there are millions of potential programmers available to work with them.
Until just recently, it was challenging to take advantage of all this Open Source code on the IBM i because there was no easy way to download these components and keep them up to date. No longer! Back in 2018, IBM changed the way Open Source was delivered to IBM i users to bring the process in line with how it is done on every other platform. Now it is simple to use and maintain Open Source components on the IBM i.
In 2018, IBM brought YUM, RPM and NPM to the IBM i. These are Open Source tools that make keeping your Open Source components up-to-date remarkably easy. RPM and NPM automatically handle the download and installation of any Open Source Components you might be using. YUM makes sure that you have all of the right versions of those components for your machine and that you have all of the prerequisite components you might need for your code to run properly.
Now you can use all that free code from those millions of Open Source developers to dramatically increase the speed with which you can move your applications forward. At the same time, you can leverage the power of the Open Source languages and make it significantly easier to find developers who can work on your systems.