Expand your hiring base with UniData and Python

UniData and Python: Part 2 of 5

For years, customers have asked for a new and modern development language, more prevalent with younger developers, as UniBasic is mature (30 years old) and modernizing the language would not entice new developers. We needed a modern language that was easy to extend and embed within UniData, which had to be as performant as UniBasic or better, well-known and taught in colleges and universities. To satisfy these criteria we chose Python as the language to extend and embed into UniData 8.2.1.

UniData Python allows Rocket partners and direct end-users to attract and retain new development talent ensuring continuity planning by expanding the candidate pool of MultiValue developers. It can be used to easily extend your UniData application to prototype faster utilizing existing open-source Python packages with fewer lines of Python code. You can leverage the existing Python packages and modules found in the open source community. The Python Package Index (PyPI) currently has over 123,000 packages posted and is growing daily.

With UniData 8.2.1, Python is available for Windows and Linux 64-bit platforms (Python for AIX is currently under development). The XDEMO test files are now bundled with UniData 8.2.1 and have additional examples using Python. This allows anyone to use the example code as a starting point on which to build new and updated applications utilizing Python.

What can you do with Python:

  • Call Python functions directly from UniBASIC
  • Call UniBasic programs directly from Python
  • Run Python programs from ECL via the RUNPY command
  • Enter the Python interactive shell from ECL via the PYTHON command

For more reference material please see Video on Introducing U2 Python and the Video on how to use RUNPY and PYTHON commands.

For other Rocket MV Python resources, please visit our Python Community Page and we’ve published a number of blogs on Python:

In part 3 I’ll cover UniData 8.2.1 and UniBasic.

Jonathan Smith 11 Posts

I’ve worked in the MultiValue industry for over 30 years, during that time I’ve covered many roles from developer to consultant. I joined Vmark / Ardent in the UK back in 1997 as a consultant, I moved into Technical Support around 2004. I took over the role of UniData ATS in 2012 and as I’m still UK-based my working day is time shifted in order to cover all the geos we cover around the world. Outside of work I’m married (silver wedding anniversary this year), have 3 grown up children and I’m a senior county football (soccer) referee and like many at Rocket I’m a bit of a musician as I play the drums.


  • Thomas w VanKirk Reply

    June 22, 2020 at 11:45 am

    When will Python on AIX be offered? It’s been promised for years and we have put off upgrading from 7.3.3. to 8.#. Its getting frustrating and management keeps wanting to know for the future of our environment.

    • Kathy Larson Reply

      June 23, 2020 at 9:32 am

      Hi Thomas, thanks for your question and I understand your frustration. Currently, we plan to support Python for AIX on UniData in August. I’ll let you know if I hear about any changes. Kathy

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