e and was probably the most

popular (and pirated) S/36 software ever written. POP included a full-screen editor called FSEDIT which could be used in place of SEU, which only allowed single-line editing.

Data File Utility allows the programmer to quickly create a simple, single-record display program to add, update and delete records within a file. Also, simple report programs can be created.

Screen Design Aid allows the programmer to create menus, create and update simple forms which are called "display formats" or "prompt screens", and view existing display formats.

By using Operational Control Language, the programmer can assign files and resources to a particular program and pass run-time information like a processing date, order number, or user name to the compiled program. Programs can acquire up to 8 workstations, or run in the background, but usually they run on only one workstation. The largest program size is 64K.

Whenever a program is called, SSP searches in the named user library and then #LIBRARY. Therefore, a system program can be called from any library and all users have access to it.

S/36 has three types of security: (1) password security, (2) a badge reader option that almost no-one ever bought, and (3) resource security. There are five levels of users access and five levels of resource access. By using password and resource security effectively, the administrator (who was at that time often called a DP Manager or Information Systems Manager) can restrict access to critical and secure applications.

The cheapest, and therefore most popular, language compiler for the S/36 is RPG II, a language based on fixed logic cycles which arose in the days of card readers. Other languages include COBOL, FORTRAN and BASIC. Almost every S/36 shop with in-house design uses RPG.

It's interesting to note that the S/36 allows the operator to change a program while it is being used, which can be very dangerous on live data. The S/38 and the iSeries computer do not allow this.

IBM has not marketed the S/36 or Advanced 36 since 2000. Price/performance of the AS/400 (aka iSeries) and hardware technology of the present-generation PC makes the S/36 a much less attractive offering from a different era in computing.

Last updated: 2005-04-05

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