SmartPad4i for RDi
Use RPG or COBOL to Develop Web & Mobile Applications Directly Within the Rational Developer for i (RDi) Environment

With SmartPad4i for RDi you can use RPG (or COBOL) to develop web & mobile applications for your IBM i.


Web applications will run in any browser, including Edge, Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc.


Mobile applications can be installed on your SmartPhone or Tablet (iOS or Android) and can access local device services such as:

  • Address book to access an email address,
  • GPS for geolocation services,
  • Camera to use as a barcode reader or to take photos and add to your database,
  • Bluetooth to connect external devices with your application,
  • And more...


Click here to view the architecture of the SP4i Application..

New Version and New Module


SmartPad4i includes two versions:


  • A new RDi version with 'Plug-ins' that support all SmartPad4i modules within the RDi environment,
  • The standalone version that can be used outside of RDi.



SmartPad4i Development includes three modules:


  • SmartPad4i Generator—a module that automatically generates all RPG code for database-access and display functions of standard applications, including the ability to add 'Google-like' search suggestions,
  • SmartPad4i HTML Builder—a module that automatically generates standard HTML files for your application without the need to know HTML.

Key Application Development Benefits


  • All application development processes are done directly within the RDi developer environment. RPG and COBOL programmers can efficiently create graphical applications for web browsers on PCs and Macs, as well as mobile devices (iOS or Android), all without needing to know any Java or HTML.
  • Develop in one pass all types of graphical IBM i applications. Using RPG or COBOL, programmers can create applications for both web and mobile devices, and do so with the same process and workflow.
  • Integrate your SmartPad4i applications with built-in mobile device features, including address book, geo-location, camera, barcode reader and many others. For example, an RPG program can generate and send an email using the address book that is on the user’s mobile device..
  • Use a web application server instead of CGI for unlimited scalability. Your applications can be delivered to any number of transactions and/or users.
  • No need to develop your own app for mobile devices. Users simply download SmartPad4i’s global app for iOS or Android from Apple App Store or Google Play (search for "SP4i-V2"), and after installing the app, the user only needs to specify the address of the web application server associated with the application you created on SmartPad4i.
  • Easy to learn. Create fully functional web and mobile applications after a very short learning curve that’s typically measured in days rather than weeks.

SmartPad4i Designer


SmartPad4i Designer is the control point for the creation of your web/mobile applications within RDi, providing three key functions for the application development process:


  1. An IDE where you can enhance the functionality of your HTML files


  • When you add an HTML file to your SmartPad4i Designer project, each HTML component is displayed within RDi as a line in the IDE
  • Enhance each HTML component with information such as the type of field (such as Numeric, Date, etc.), its usage (such as input or output), the name of fields in your IBM i program (if you want a different names), etc.
  • Enter “Return Values” that define the function for each “clickable” component in the application, such as buttons, images, links, etc. In your program, these values will return in a variable named “SPACTN” and you will be able to execute the designated function when the user clicks the button, image, link, etc.


  1. The generation of your source program that displays your HTML file and reads the replies from the user.


  • Choose the name of your library where you want to generate your source program. You will also choose the name of the program and the language you want to use.
  • There is no need to create the QXXX source files to store your source program—this is done upon the deployment of the first generated program
  • After generating the source, you can easily add your own business logic to your web/mobile applications. You do this within your source program in the area within the tags, “<YOURCODE>” and “</YOURCODE>.” By specifying your business logic here, SmartPad4i preserves this logic with the next generation of the application. 


  1. The deployment of an “.ini” file under the “info” directory of your web application server used by SmartPad4i. This is needed to deploy your HTML files to the completed web/mobile application.


  • Note that you don’t need to create the “info” directory as it’s created upon the first deployment of the application


Once all the elements are defined in SmartPad4i Designer, you simply compile your programs to create your web/mobile application, and when completed, users can access the application with any web browser or any mobile device running iOS or Android.


Users simply install the “SP4i-V2” app from iTunes or Google Play to access your application on mobile devices. This is a “generic” app, and once installed, users change the “server address” in the app to access the web applications server where your newly created app resides.


Using WRKACTJOB on your IBM i, you can see each of your connections as a standard IBM i job running in the “SP4I” subsystem. As a standard job running in “batch” mode, you can use the STRSRVJOB command to “debug” it like any other program.

If you would like to have the application access local features of the mobile device where it runs—such as the address book, the camera, etc.—simply use the APIs shipped with SmartPad4i. No need to develop these access features using JavaScript programs.

When your development is finished, SystemObjects can build an “Enterprise” application to put your application on your own private store, such as within IBM Maas360.

SmartPad4i for RDi - Designer