As a a product manager, I’m often asked “what’s new or what’s coming?”., and the simple answer is : “Change” We have all heard the quote “Change is our friend”, although in many cases I’ve not been completely sure, but it is a fact: change is a trademark of the IT industry.
I started out as an IT professional developing CICS and COBOL applications. Even at that time change was underway… we were in the midst of changing from Macro to Command level CICS programming interfaces. That change was definitely good for both customers and IT. Customers got more, IT was able to deliver more easily.
Then came the client/server revolution. Certainly customers got beter ways to view and process - but it was unclear if IT was able to do more. I don’t think I would ever say that C and the Windows programming model and API’s were easy.
With the advent of the Web, it certainly was clear to me that users could get more information more readily to support better business decisions and business processes: all in all customers received lots more value. Phenomenal value. But it was also pretty clear that instead of doing more, with the proliferation of technical complexity , IT could be doing less. Not because IT staff wasn’t working harder –they were – but because of the growing number of artifacts, technologies,languages, and the fact that runtimes did less and code had to do more.
To compound the problem, as complexity grew, the economic climate and business demands increased the pressure on workers, who were expected to be more and more productive. On average between 3 and 6 percent more productive according to overall worker productivity economic estimates. I think you get the picture.
Then SOA and web services emerged. Really cool stuff that enabled transaction managers and platforms to seamlessly communicate. Again, customersgetting more. Like that. But some fairly good complexity built in as well : SOAP, XML, WSDL, WS-Security, WS-Transaction, WS splat, headers, payloads, and so forth…. Left me wondering why it all just couldn’t have been implemented in a simpler fashion.
Now it’s the time of Web 2 and Rich Internet Applications. With Web 2, we’re realizing the power of the Web by exponentially increasing the power the browser can deliver to the users. We’re also getting a simpler and cleaner programming model. Client side programming and application flow stays in the client tier, facilitated by client side scripting languages. Server side programming focuses on flows and processing of business logic and data. It’s clean, and separates concerns. The architect in me likes that. And customers that have standardized on business processing in J2EE, CICS, IMS and other transaction managers can continue leverage them for back-end (heck, whoever wanted those high valued business systems to be processing User Interfaces anyway?). Now we’ve certainly got something for the users with significant value , but what about IT?
That's where EGL comes in. It’s a simple common language for the various elements of the application. Both the UI as well as enabling integration – including Web Services – and all the way to back end business and data processing. EGL provides something for IT as well, it enable developers to deliver more with less effort, simplifying innovation.
But most importantly it’s an Easy General Language. The idea here is that a standard language across application tiers makes developers more productive. And also hedges an organization's bets that the next great platform, runtime, language is coming. Let’s see – you ever hear that said about PHP, Groovy, etc. The point here is that EGL is an Extensible Generalized Language. Support for new runtimes, languages, frameworks and technologies continue to be added as needed. To net it out EGL applications are meant to be portable between runtimes and platforms, yet not be constrained by one specific architecture.
So does the world need another language? Whole heartedly I say yes. In fact we’ll see many many more new languages and runtimes over the next 20 years. What we don’t necessarily need is for IT to have to code in them all to accomplish a single business system. Think about the change from TV to HD. You get a converter box – everything just works.
Finally, I’m asked will EGL be a standard. If a technology having a set of processes, API's, extension points managed by an open community can be considered a "standard" then the answer is absolutely! The community is this one, the EGL community. We’ll shortly be implementing a process, accessible on this site, where all members of the community will be able to participate in the development and vision of the language. So you’ve heard it here first. The current target for the establishment of this process is late 2008, after the next major release of EGL and RBD.
I encourage everyone to become an active member of this growing community, so hit the EGL café “JOIN” button and let's talk EGL![Read More]
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Matching: eglcafe X
This EGL Cafe blog will contain announcements, discussions, and experience reports on topics such as:
- web2.0, what it means to us and what it means to you
- the value of Ajax and how it impacts the programming model
- how Dojo can be used successfully to build professionally-looking applications
- how Rich Internet Applications differ from server-side applications
- using end-to-end EGL for developing browser-based business applications
- adding a Google map to your application
- examples of real-life usage of EGL Rich UI
- how to call SOAP and REST services from EGL
- how security impacts the deployment story
- and so on
We will have various members on the EGL Rich UI development team contribute blog entries over the time to come and we will invite others to blog here also. Let us know if you have a specific proposal for a blog topic, and we'll write something on your favorite topic here.
Thanks for visiting, and we hope you will visit us often in the future.
Chris Laffra, EGL Rich UI Architect, RBD Product Architect, IBM Rational[Read More]
Hello from Mark and Dave.
We hope this will be a blog that is of interest to many people. We work with a lot of customers who have existing applications running on System z in CICS, IMS, or batch that access files, DB2, or DL/I. The focus of this blog will be how you can transform existing z-based applications into a more modern architecture using EGL. This could include using EGL to wrapper existing applications into web services for SOA based systems, to restructuring applications to segment out the business and data logic, front-ending existing services or callable programs with EGL JSF or EGL Rich Ui (Web 2.0 capability currently in AlphaWorks), integration of EGL web technologies with the web services capabilities in Rational Developer for System z, and other appropriate topics.
We welcome your participation in this blog and hope you will share you thoughts, solutions, or other information related to using EGL to modernize System z based systems and environments.[Read More]
Welcome to the EGL Development Team blog! The EGL development team consists of the testers, developers, writers and architects who make the magic of EGL technology happen. This is a highly talented group of individuals who are dispersed around the world: North Carolina, US (our main site), Connecticut, US, Beijing, China and Toronto, Canada.
In this blog, you will hear from us what we are up to with driving our technology and products forward. Occasionally, you might even hear about what we are up to with our personal lives. We hope to develop a virtual connection with you, our users. Please give us feedback by commenting on our blog entries.
I am very excited about what we are doing and where we are headed with the product. My team and I look forward to sharing our excitement with you via this blog.
Wing Hong (Albert) Ho, Senior Manager, EGL & RBD Development[Read More]
NorthCarolina 120000QHDE Tags:  maestro powerbuilder vb ca_ideal eglcafe ca_cool:gen cobol application_transformatio... natural application_modernization ca_telon application_conversion adabas rpg 2 Comments 9,956 Views
The Application Transformation Blog is a forum for IBMers, customers and business partners to discuss the who, what , when, where , how and whys of transforming legacy applications written in VAGen, SmallTalk, I4GL, Natural/ADABAS, RPG, CA Cool:Gen, CA Ideal, CA Telon, Maestro, APS, Powerbuilder, VB, and other 4GLs to Rational Business Developer featuring EGL technology.
This blog should be used by customers who have spent huge sums of time and treasure developing custom applications that set them apart from competitors and optimally support their specific business processes. Yet when it comes to functionality and technology, these custom applications can quickly grow old and lose their value. So th ey need to find alternatives that leverage their investments.
Who is a candidate for Applicaiton Transformation?
Literally any IT organization running older legacy systems that are core to the business, not necessarily broken, but are on life support due to the software being in maintenance mode, a lack of skilled IT programming staff in the older language or an IT strategic direction is to move to a new , modern software development platform.
When is it appropriate?
That depends on the specific business need, for example:
Extending the application lifecycle
Transitioning to an SOA
New UI (User Interface) requirements - Web/JSF, Rich Client/Web 2.0
Improving agility and Increasing competiveness
Vanishing RPG developer skills - Consolidating development teams
Through maintenance, functional aging can be circumvented or at least significantly slowed. Most of the time, however, technical aging goes unnoticed until unreasonably high maintenance costs arise later on in the lifecycle; application agility declines; or the development platform begins dying a slow death. These are all indications that it's time to migrate an application to a new technological platform before its costs outweigh its benefits.
When they reach this point, companies often find themselves in a bind. They realize that it's not cost-effective to simply replace their legacy applications with modern standard software. And few can afford to continually rewrite all of their custom software to keep it up to date. Even if they can afford rewrites, companies realize that the money could be better spent on a more cost-effective approach to modernizing and migrating to the latest technical standards.
How do you approach application transformation? What's involved? Which technologies? Are there phases?
There are three main phases in any applicaiton transformation:
Discovery aNd Analysis(DNA)
Implementation, Testing and Deployment
From a technology perspective the target of all Rational Application transformations is Rational Business Developer featuring EGL technology. Embedded in Eclipse, EGL offers a modern, service-oriented language for the efficient development of different application types, including Web programs, database applications, Web services, and batch and high-performance servers for fast transaction processing. Thanks to the tightly knit integration in the IBM Rational tool chain, EGL development can be embedded in a professional development process or lifecycle -from requirements management to modeling and coding, to testing and deployment. EGL's ease of adoption helps facilitate the transformation of RPG applications. Because EGL is easy to learn, it enables RPG developers to transfer their valuable business know-how in just a fraction of the time it would take for those same developers to transfer to Java technology.
Where does it occur?
Some tasks can be performed off-site on secured servers - the initial DNA and actual code transformation. The actual code transformation is typically performed off-site on secured servers. An EGL Project or Projects would be delivered to the customer site for implementation and testing which can be performed by the application owner or a service provider. Other tasks must be performed on-site - Education & training, code remediation (if required), implementation and testing.
Who performs which tasks?
Depending on the legacy source code environment, IBM & IBM specific business partners will perform the analysis and code transformation. The code remediation (if required), implementation, testing and deployment can be performed by internal IT staff with or without assistance from IBM, IBM SI or IBM Business Partners.
None of this is trivial, but it is all doable. The best advice is to contact Ed Gondek at IBM Rational - email@example.com and start the discussion![Read More]
Hi, and welcome to the Extending RPG Applications to the Web with EGL blog. This is a blog by some of the IBM i application development tools team members at the IBM Toronto Lab. We've all been involved with RPG and related application development tools for 10+ years (each of us, not cumulative!)
We all believe in using the right tool for the right job. RPG is a very powerful business language on the IBM i. EGL is a powerful language for working with new technologies such as AJAX, JavaServer Faces (JSF)and Web services. So this blog will focus on using the two together; taking business logic written in RPG and providing a Web user interface or Web service interface to it using EGL.
To that end, we hope to provide tips, techniques, stories, pointers and probably even a few questions in this blog. If you are an RPG developer and are using (or looking to use) EGL, we encourage you to comment on blog postings.
Claus, George F, George V, Satish, and Don[Read More]
I am the chief architect and inventor of the EGL programming language. I would like to use this blog to involve the community in issues that revolve around the language itself such as:
Tim W Wilson, STSM, EGL Chief Architect [Read More]
Hayden Lindsey here. Let me be one of the first to welcome you to the EGL Café!
First, let me introduct myself. I am responsible for Enterprise Tools & Compilers within Rational, which includes development and jumpstart services for EGL and the Rational Business Developer product. I have been with IBM for almost 23 years now, and for my entire career, I have been involved in one way or another with what is now EGL. While I have seen many great technical advances, customer success stories and the like through the years I have never been more excited about the potential and WW momentum that I am now seeing around EGL.
The goal of this Café is to accelerate that momentum and, in particular, accelerate the growth of the EGL community. Customers, business partners, and IBM employees can use the Café to connect with each other, share best practices, share code, get access to the latest product information, and learn from each other. Of course, like any social network, the value that you will gain from the EGL Café is directly tied to the active participation of the community--if you participate, you increase the value for everyone; if you do not...well let's assume that will not happen.
In the last 2 years, I have travelled extensively, meeting with hundreds of cusotmers worldwide. When discussing their IT challenges, I frequently hear the same set of issues...customers wanting to know how they can:
So, again, welcome to the EGL Café. Let's all participate in order to raise the value of this venue for everyone.[Read More]
Who am I?
On the surface, I am responsible for IBM Rational's Enterprise Modernization tools and compilers. EGL is included in that category because it is a key element of our strategy to help customers modernize their applicaiton portfolios. EGL is multi-dimensional, though, so lets be careful about pigeon-holes. Much more on this in future blogs!
A second answer to who am I can be found in what I have been. Prior to working for IBM, I joined a small start-up System 38 Independent Software Vendor that focused on the Oil & Gas industry. For the 11 years that I spent with that company I built or managed the building of line of business applications for that industry in the RPG language for the System 38/AS400/iSeries/System i/IBM i platform. We were "business developers" before anyone had coined the term in the software industry. This meant that our understanding of the Oil & Gas business was valued as highly as our ability to write killer applications for that industry quickly. This blending of business and technical knowledge and a keen focus on solving business problems with software applications was a perfect match for the System 38 and its successors. This is because that platform was targeted at providing a well-conceived, complete, end-to-end, highly productivce, yet simple application environment that encourages a focus on solving the business problem, not technology issues. So, this tells you that I wrote business applications and liked the i platform...
What does EGL mean to me?
This description of the System 38 can also help to describe a key aspect of EGL...that is, its keen focus on helping developers to solve business problems. Specifically, It's designed be a highly productive, complete, well-conceived, yet simple way to build business applications from one end to the other, with the added advantage of being able to run in several different runtime environments.
My hopes and aspirations for this site
Community is essential to a language today and we've had countless suggestions from our customers and partners that they needed a central place to meet, share experiences, and get the latest on EGL. The EGL Cafe is that place. I expect to see blogs from partners and ISV's that are leveraging EGL and have parts or services to share or sell. I expect to see additional forums spawned around specific sub-communities like Web 2.0 development with EGL or ISV's or exploiting IBM i or ... These sub-communities can drill deep and talk about things that are specifically interesting to them. I expect to see Jon Sayles' extensive portfolio of EGL content exposed to more EGL developers in "Jon's Corner". I expect to see all sorts of documents related to the wonderful world of EGL application development. And finally I hope to be surprised with new and interesting content and ideas for the EGL world![Read More]
I am getting ready for RSDC 2008, where I will be showing off EGL Rich UI in the Rational Labs sessions at the exhibit floor, and presenting at session EM09. To organize my way around the conference, I wrote a conference scheduler with Joe Pluta, and together we showcase EGL being used end-to-end, starting at an IBM i box to WebSphere to a UI running on an iPhone.
See you there...[Read More]