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Benefits of Mel's service program
this means Version 2
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Mel's service program is a wonderful enabler for writing your RPG internet (CGI) programs in the easiest way while providing them the maximum flexibility for maintenance.
This comes from two hard facts:
  1. you do not have to directly interface the http APIs. These APIs are needed to communicate with your AS/400 http server and for asking some very basic funcions, such as
    • receiving the remote browser request
    • sending back the response html
    or some other optional functions, such as
    • editing a numeric field to be moved as a character string into the response html.
    Using Mel's service program you access APIs services thru simple calls to service module procedures, thus reducing coding complexity and by far the number of your tests.
  2. instead of having your CGI directly generating the response html (as you may have been taught in CGI classes, by storing pieces of html on a database file), you would be asking Mel's service program to access an external text source member or an external IFS stream file containing all the possible response html divided in record formats (sections) and containing also variables.
    This technique is conceptually similar to that of using DDS for defining an external display file, though its is much simpler to learn and to implement.
    As with DDS, you may then change the external html without having to recompile your CGI program.