November 2016 – Jon Paris and Susan Gantner Workshop


iTech Logo - blue  Partner 400


Jon Paris and Susan Gantner Workshop
Full-Day Training was on November 22, 2016

The IBM iTech Community announced a full day of hands-on training with Jon Paris and Susan Gantner of Partner400. The training was provided on Tuesday,  November 22.   Attendees brought their own laptop for the session and were guided through hands-on workshop exercises throughout the day. They had a virtual connection to an IBM i for the workshop. The training sessions covered fundamentals of ILE, Subprocedures, Service Programs, some Binder Language and more.

Training Description:
 Using RPG procedures are just the beginning. They make great subroutine replacements and make your programs both easier to read and maintain. The result is applications that are faster to build, easier to debug, and more reliable. To fully exploit them in your applications, you need to package them into Service Programs so that you can share them easily and efficiently among multiple programs.

In this full day hands-on workshop, Jon and Susan explained the advantages of using procedures to modularize your code and show you just how to utilize them to the best advantage. They will start with the details of coding procedures – the syntax as well as the best practices for using them as a means of structuring your code.


Specifically, they explored such questions as:

  •  What’s the benefit of return values?
  •  Why is local data important?
  •  Can prototype keywords make my coding life easier?
  •  Why should I code prototypes in a separate member?


The procedure lectures were followed by a series of hands-on exercises to help cement the principals discussed. They then moved to Service Programs. In addition to details on creating and maintaining them, they’ll explore:

  •  What Service Programs are
  •  Why you should use them
  •  How to package your procedures into them
  •  Simple ways to update them

More hands-on labs will follow during the workshop day to help you develop “muscle memory” for the required tasks. In the lab exercises, you may choose whether to use traditional fixed-format declarations or the newer free-format declarations. RDi is not required for the workshop. However, the PDM/SEU editor does not support free-format declarations. So if you want to try out the free form declarations during the lab, you will want to have RDi on your laptop. The lecture charts have a combination of free form declarations (with fixed format in the notes) and fixed format declarations (with free format in the notes) to help guide those new to free-format use.


Full-day Training fees - Lunch included:

- iTech member: $100 (membership must be current)
- Non-member: $175


 Training Day Information:

- Full-Day 9am – 5pm
- includes mid-morning and afternoon breaks and lunch
- Plan to arrive by 8:30am - 9am for Building Security Sign-in and
Payment at Training Room door
- Payment by Check or Cash or Online Credit Card option
- Location details provided at Registration


Susan Gantner

Susan’s career has spanned over 30 years in the field of application development. She began as a programmer developing applications for corporations in Atlanta, Georgia, working with a variety of hardware and software platforms.  She joined IBM in 1985 and quickly developed a close association with the Rochester laboratory during the development of the AS/400 system.  She later moved to the IBM Toronto Software Laboratory to provide technical support for programming languages and AD tools. Susan left IBM in 1999 to devote more time to teaching and consulting. Her primary emphasis is on enabling customers to take advantage of the latest programming and database technologies on IBM i.

Jon Paris

Jon’s IBM midrange career started with the System/38 while working as a consultant.  He then joined IBM. Subsequently, Jon became involved with the AS/400 and in particular COBOL/400. In early 1989 Jon was transferred to the Languages Architecture and Planning Group, with particular responsibility for the COBOL and RPG languages.   There he played a major role in the definition of the new RPG IV language and in promoting its use with IBM Business Partners and Users. He was also heavily involved in producing educational and other support materials and services related to other AS/400 programming languages and development tools, such as CODE/400 and VisualAge for RPG. Jon left IBM in 1998 to focus on developing and delivering education focused on enhancing IBM i application development skills.

Jon and Susan
are regular speakers at COMMON conferences, User Groups meetings, and other technical conferences around the world and both hold a number of Speaker Excellence awards from COMMON. In addition to their teaching work, Jon and Susan write a weekly blog column which you can find at They also act as technical editors and authors for IBM’s Systems Magazine and write a monthly column for the companion Extra newsletter. In recent years they helped to found the System i Developer education consortium which runs the popular RPG & DB2 Summit events. Susan and Jon are also award-winning speakers and co-authors of the popular IBM Red Book Who Knew you Could Do That with RPG IV?

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