But according to IBM and the tools developers who’ve developed plug-ins to Big Blue’s Eclipse-based WebSphere Development Studio client (WDSc), PDM and SEU no longer provide the best access to OS/400.
WDSc’s Remote Systems Explorer (RSE), which gives developers access to libraries on the iSeries, “is something everyone should have on their desktop,” says Marty Acks, MKS’s iSeries product manager. “It’s a great development experience for the person who’s historically used SEU and PDM. Although there’s a certain comfort level associated with green-screen development, you can really do native development faster [with RSE] than with SEU.”
With WDSc Version 5, which became available April 25, Toronto’s tools team made numerous tweaks to boost RSE’s performance and utility. Green-screen traditionalists may especially appreciate a new PDM-like table view and the inclusion of many more CODE-like functions in the built-in editor, such as RPG, COBOL, CL, and DDS syntax checking; RPG, COBOL, and DDS program verification; outline views of RPG source; language-sensitive F1 help; support for persistent markers for quickly accessing specific locations within source members; and user-defined actions that support all PDM substitution variables.
Graphical wizards aid in the creation of libraries, source files and members, data areas, data queues, and message files. The running and debugging of iSeries programs now tightly integrates with RSE and the built-in editor, and extensive other enhancements make it easier to work with all aspects of development.
Because RSE is written in Java, not only can RPG and Cobol apps use it for access to the iSeries, but so can Java and Web-services-based applications, says Dave Slater, worldwide market manager for iSeries application development. And because it was written in Java, it can also be used to access libraries on the pSeries, xSeries, zSeries, Solaris, and Linux. “All you have to do is make sure you have some agents running on those platforms,” Slater says.
“That’s the magic of Eclipse,” he says. “If you write it once and architect everything correctly, everyone who plugs in gets to [use] it. ... RSE was built for RPG and Cobol programs, but everyone else gets to benefit, too.”
All the base work already built into RSE will soon be part of an upcoming refresh of WebSphere Studio Workbench, which will be available across platforms.