For IBM, you are the biggest thing happening to V5R1. You have ordered more than 15,000 licenses for WebSphere Development Studio for iSeries in the first 90 days since V5R1 became available. By year's end, you will have exceeded every IBM forecast for this new iSeries server development toolset. And that's before most of you have had the opportunity to really explore all the benefits many of the new tools in the package offer.
What's is WebSphere Development Studio for iSeries?
IBM has repackaged iSeries server host-based and workstation-based development tools into one package: WebSphere Development Studio for iSeries. The package is available as a no-charge upgrade to existing customers of the IBM iSeries server AD tools with software subscription. Ordering 5722-WDS includes the full package: host components and workstation components. The workstation components are packaged on separate media for install on workstations with unlimited licenses per server.
The host components include the following:
- ILE RPG
- ILE COBOL
- ILE C
- ILE C++
The workstation components include the following:
- VisualAge for Java Professional edition with AS/400 Enterprise Toolkit
- WebSphere Studio for iSeries: Professional edition with iSeries Affinity extensions
- WebFacing Tool
- VisualAge RPG
What's easier now?
Now you can
- generate Java Web front-ends (JSPs, servlets, Javabeans) for 5250 RPG, Cobol applications using the WebFacing Tool
- generate more Java Web applications using Studio and VisualAge wizards accessing host batch and service programs
- visually build Web database queries and updates with WebSphere Studio
- test WebSphere applications in VisualAge's WebSphere Test Environment
- write business logic for new e-business applications in ILE RPG or ILE Cobol with added interoperability enhancements for Java.
- customize, generate and create new Java beans.
- build advanced Java applications for new e-business applications from beans.
- use enhanced remote debug support included with CODE/400.
In addition, the IBM tools suite now cover the full range of e-business use cases:
- rapid Web-enablement of existing RPG and Cobol applications
- quick Web access to iSeries server data
- the ability to build advanced Java applications with a variety of network protocols
- the ability to create J2EE EJB applications
- b2b applications with new Web services support (coming in the next release)
The tool set also supports role-based, team development well:
- solid version control, code management with standard interfaces (XMI) to enterprise level code management and design tools
- tools easily focused by role: Web site master, page producers, application assemblers, bean developers, host integration, host development
Many of the e-business applications developed can run in any open standards runtime: IBM WebSphere, Apache Tomcat or other Java Web application servers.
IBM offers software extensions to the WebSphere environment that complete e-business application needs: Commerce Suite, Payment Manager, LDAP server, Connect for iSeries, Business Intelligence access, etc.
The impact of the new IBM tools?
The bottom line is that you can do e-business a lot faster and for a lot less.
Development tool impacts include the following:
- significantly lower costs for e-business enablement
- much faster payback on e-business investments
- lower learning curve for e-business
- flexible Web growth strategies for rapid enablement, extension and re-engineering
- increased productivity and interoperability in all programming languages
- easiest way to build Web applications for iSeries
- easy access to existing RPG business logic and data for Web applications
- better Java integration with other languages
- higher productivity through continuous upgrade and extensions of tools
A year ago, I made a preliminary estimate that it took 24 to 30 man weeks to build a Java Web application that integrated an existing order-entry, inventory application and related data for a customer. At the time, the customer decided it was more than they had available in the budget.
The time needed now is significantly less. Based on using the new tools, my time is now eight to 10 weeks. That's a 65% reduction in the time and cost to deliver the Java Web application. Yes, e-business is real on the iSeries ... and the tools are getting better all the time.
Direction for IBM development tools
IBM will continue to move toward implementation of current open e-business standards in all their tools. This has big payoffs for both reuse of existing IT assets across platforms and major improvements in productivity for runtime and development tools.
In the next release, IBM is adding Web services development support for discovery, development, description, object and data mapping, publishing and consuming Web services to make Web applications more dynamic, service-oriented and component-based.
IBM will continue two "levels" of offerings: a Professional edition that is included in WebSphere Development Studio and an Advanced edition that will have an additional license fee for the workstation tools. Typically, the Advanced edition offers more automated builders for J2EE EJB (Enterprise Java Beans) and Enterprise connector tools (e.g., MQ, etc). Both WebSphere Studio and VisualAge for Java have Professional and Advanced editions.
There will be a common IDE (Integrated Development Environment), WebSphere Studio Workbench (WSW), that will integrate both IBM and vendor/partner development tools that let them interoperate using common services. The IDE will provide customizable "role-based" perspectives of the tool repository to ease the developer learning curve. In addition to lower tool building costs, this will improve developer productivity and shorten the learning curve as well.
WebSphere Studio version 4.0 adds
- new Web services wizards to define, build and publish Web services
- supports SOAP, WSDL, UDDI
- improved support for pervasive applications (WML, WAP, etc) with WebSphere Everyplace SDK included
- more JSP 1.1, Servlet 2.2 support ( 3.5.3 has this now)
VisualAge for Java version 4.0 adds
- limited to EJB 1.0, JSP 1.1, Servlet 2.2 support (WebSphere 4.0 supports EJB 1.1)
- wizards with WAR file support for deployment to Web application servers
- JDK 1.2.2 development with deployment to 1.2.2 or 1.3 environments
- wizards to generate JCA (Java Connectivity Architecture ) code to invoke host applications
- an updated WebSphere Test Environment
With the new "extensible, pluggable" architecture for the IDE, IBM will be able to implement the newest standards faster in the tools. In addition, third parties can add their tools as custom plug-ins. Expect to see fix packs that update the following items on a continuing basis:
- Java JDK 1.3, then 1.4 with API's for RMI-IIOP, JPDA, JCA, XML, XSLT, JNDI, JINI, JDBC, SQLJ, JNI, Servlets, JSP, JMX, JXTA
- J2EE 1.2 with extension support for: JSP 1.2, Servlets 2.3, EJB 2.0, JDBC 3.0
- Web Services: SOAP 2.1, UDDI, WSDL 1.1, XML DADs, DTDs & Schemas and future Web Services standards
How to get started with WebSphere Development Studio
If you follow these suggestions, you should be successfully using them in no time.
- Visit the IBM Web site for more information.
- If you don't have the tools yet, order program 5722-WDS. (Remember, it's a free upgrade if you have iSeries server AD tools and software subscription.)
- Look at the IBM Web site above for education and training sources. There are a variety of training options, including self-study courses, IBM and third-party training classes and Internet-based training.
- Attend the IBM labs at COMMON Oct. 22-26 on the new tools.
- Look to IBM business partners that have services and tools to Web-enable your applications using the new tools -- some are listed on the IBM Web site above.
- For business partners, look to Partner World for Software for iSeries for added support.
- Visit the IBM WebSphere Developer Domain and VisualAge Developer Domain Web sites for more developer tips
About the authors: Jim Mason is president of Cape Cod Bay Systems, and he writes, consults, teaches, designs and develops AS/400 Web applications using Java, WebSphere, DB2, Lotus Domino and the WebSphere Development Tools for AS/400. Dave Slater is World Wide Market Manager of AS/400 Application Development at IBM Canada.
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This was first published in September 2001