Preview: New packaging, pricing, and functional enhancements for select IBM Rational i5/OS Development Tools

IBM United States Software Announcement 208-018
January 29, 2008


 ENUS208018.PDF (13KB)


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In addition to the announcements of WebSphere® Development Studio for System i™ V6R1 and the new IBM Rational® Developer for System i V7.1, several other new and updated components will be added to the Enterprise Modernization for i5/OS™ portfolio in the first quarter 2008.

A follow-on version of the Host Access Transformation Services (HATS) and WebFacing technologies will be designed to make modernization of User Interfaces (UI) and creation of Web services even easier. In addition, IBM intends to introduce the latest version of Enterprise Generation Language (EGL), the newest IBM business language for the i5/OS development community, with the availability of IBM Rational Business Developer V7.1. These new products, combined with WebSphere Development Studio for System i and IBM Rational Developer for System i will offer a comprehensive modernization portfolio for i5/OS IT organizations.

Previews provide insight into IBM plans and direction. Availability, prices, ordering information, and terms and conditions will be provided when the product is announced.
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IBM Rational Host Access Transformation Services

In the first quarter 2008, the next version of the HATS and WebFacing technologies will continue to offer easy UI Modernization and the creation of Web services of 5250 applications. The two technologies, rebranded as IBM Rational, will give you the tools to extend your terminal applications to your business partners, customers, and employees. You can make your 5250 applications available either as HTML through the most popular Web browsers or as a native client application running on an Eclipse Rich Client or Lotus® Expeditor Client platform. You can also help improve the workflow and navigation of your host applications without any access or modification to source code.

The HATS rules-based transformation engine makes it possible to extend your host applications to the Web or rich client platform. The power of HATS lies in its ability to accurately recognize the components of host screens and transform them in real time to a Web or rich client interface according to a set of predefined rules. You can modify the rules according to the specific needs of your application. With HATS, you can add a variety of elements to your host screens, such as drop-down lists, hot links, tables, buttons, valid value lists, tabbed folders, and graphs.

The IBM Rational Host Access Transformation Services macro support allows programmed navigation through multiple terminal screens. Examples of productivity improvements include skipping and combining screens, pre-filling text entry fields, and storing and retrieving data in global variables. IBM Rational Host Access Transformation Services can give you such programmed access to a single host application, or can integrate screens from multiple host applications into a single interface.

HATS allows you to represent core business application logic and transactions contained in your green screen applications as programmed navigation through multiple terminal screens. These core business tasks can be reused as standard Web services that participate as an integral part of your business process integration plan. Use your core business services as building blocks to develop new internal applications or to integrate with applications outside your enterprise. Your host-based business tasks can then be included in your service-oriented architecture (SOA) solutions with IBM SOA Foundation products, such as WebSphere Process Server, WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus, and others.

In addition to the continued consolidation of the HATS and WebFacing technologies under the IBM Rational Host Access Transformation Services name, IBM will announce a new pricing structure. The following are key new features planned for the next release:

  • Mobile Device Support — Wireless access to HATS applications from mobile browsers
  • JSR 168 support — Creation of JSR 168 HATS portlets (support standard portal APIs)
  • Visual Macro Editor — A new graphical editor for visually developing HATS macros (technical preview)
  • Web services usability improvements — Ability to identify which integration objects and/or EJB access beans are associated with a Web service
  • WebFacing Application Bridge — WebFacing applications that can exchange host data with other Web applications

IBM Rational Business Developer

IBM Rational Business Developer V7.1 delivers an Eclipse integrated developer environment (IDE) for EGL. EGL is a modern language designed to shield i5/OS application programmers from the technical complexities of Web and service-oriented architecture (SOA) middleware and standards. EGL provides a simpler and more abstract development paradigm to help accelerate development of robust and sophisticated Web applications and service-oriented solutions.

EGL allows you to embrace and leverage the strengths of Java™ and Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE) without forcing your entire team of developers to learn and master the low level intricacies of these platforms. IBM Rational Business Developer includes state-of-the-art tools that help simplify creation and debugging of EGL applications and services. It has an EGL compiler that transforms the EGL source into modules that can be deployed to either a Java runtime or to ILE.

By hiding the details of the runtime platforms and associated middleware, EGL frees you to focus on the business problem rather than on the underlying implementation technologies. If you have little or no experience with Java and Web technologies, you can use EGL to create enterprise-class services and applications. If you have little or no experience with i5/OS programming, you can create highly optimized i5/OS services and applications.

EGL is designed to address a full spectrum of business application requirements by allowing development of:

  • Business Services: The language built-in notion of service enables the creation and consumption of services in a simplified and straight forward way.
  • Web applications: Tight integration of EGL with Java Server Faces (JSF) framework and tooling enables the creation of Web applications without the need to know either Java or the details of the JSF framework.
  • Reports: EGL integration with BIRT, an open source reporting engine, allows the creation of professional reports.
  • Batch systems: The language includes the notion of batch program, which can be generated to run without end user interaction; for example, to produce reports or to batch database or files loads and updates.
  • Traditional i5/OS 5250 transactional applications: EGL includes language constructs. IBM Rational Business Developer includes tools to support the development of 5250 character-based dialogs and relative business logic.

IBM Rational Business Developer empowers you to increase your productivity for i5/OS application development through:

  • Abstraction: EGL provides concise and powerful notations that helps to eliminate the tight coupling. It reduces the amount of coding required to interface systems and middleware. This abstraction simplifies and speeds up your development work.
  • Declarative programming: EGL includes a certain level of declarative specifications to help you reduce repetitive and error-prone coding. For example, validation rules associated to a data item trigger validation to be executed whenever the item is used, in a Web page or a 5250 screen.
  • Language: EGL is a comprehensive but an easy-to-learn language. It is modern, modular, and readable. It has a rich library of built-in functions to boost your productivity for commonly required operations, such as date and time math, string manipulation, and so on. In addition, the language is extensible and offers full interoperability with other languages, including EGL interfaces to native Java, and seamless invocation of RPG or COBOL programs or any ILE procedure.
  • Tools: IBM Rational Business Developer contains a rich set of Eclipse-based capabilities, including EGL source level debugging, powerful smart editing, visual construction, graphical navigation, and automated generation of Create/Read/Update/Delete (CRUD) applications from Unified Modeling Language (UML) models or from data schemas.
  • SOA: EGL is designed to facilitate services development and deployment. A simplified SOA development paradigm is built into the language itself and complemented with the tools. You can create services without the need to know Web service protocols and standards such as Web Services Description Language (WSDL), Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), or Extensible Markup Language (XML).

The new release of IBM Rational Business Developer will include the following enhancements to further extend the ability to build modern business-critical i5/OS solutions:

  • EGL support for accessing Data Queues and Data Areas
  • Ability to create Portlets in EGL
  • Message Queuing (MQ) support through EGL language abstractions
  • Invocation of ILE procedures
  • Ability to create Web applications for deployment to the i5/OS Integrated Application Server
  • JSF enhancements (for example, AJAX, type ahead, and security)
  • IDE productivity enhancements: Formatting, dynamic error markers, and debugger hot swapping
  • Improved Web services development
  • Ability to invoke EGL programs from Java

IBM Rational Developer on System i for SOA Construction

In the first quarter 2008, a new software bundle offering called IBM Rational Developer on System i for SOA Construction will enable i5/OS users to do Web and SOA development. This software bundle will include IBM Rational Business Developer and IBM Rational Developer for System i. For information on IBM Rational Developer for System i V7.1, refer to Software Announcement 208-016 , dated January 29, 2008.

IBM Rational Developer for System i is an IDE for creating traditional i5/OS, flexible and integrated applications. IBM Rational Developer on System i for SOA Construction will enable System i customers to create Web services using their existing RPG/COBOL programs or service programs.

Business Partner information

If you are a Direct Reseller - System Reseller acquiring products from IBM, you may link directly to Business Partner information for this announcement. A PartnerWorld ID and password are required (use IBM ID).

BP Attachment for Announcement Letter 208-018


System i and i5/OS are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
WebSphere, Rational, and Lotus are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Other company, product, and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

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