Mrc Christens New Java Development Tool: M-Power
July 27, 2004 Alex Woodie
Michaels, ross & cole last week announced M-Power, a new development tool for Java largely based on the mrc-Productivity Series development environment. As we previously reported, M-Power runs on all major databases and platforms and, as mrc points out, enables users to use inexpensive PCs to develop, test, and even run Web applications that previously would have been tethered, under mrc-Productivity Series, to an OS/400 server.
Chicago-based mrc has been hinting at M-Power for several months through an ad campaign featuring Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. In June, mrc announced that it would begin shipping its new development tool in July, although it did not yet have a name for it (see “Moving Beyond RPG: mrc-Productivity Series Evolves Openness”).
Last week, mrc revealed M-Power, the next generation of its mrc-Productivity Series. M-Power and mrc-Productivity Series are very similar tools, with more similarities than differences. Both tools are menu-driven and generate Java servlets, applets, XML, and HTML that can be deployed from any number of platforms, including OS/400, Windows, Unix, and Linux, and databases, including DB2/400, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and the open-source MySQL.
But there are some key differences between the tools that traditional OS/400 shops should take note of. Specifically, the M-Power development tool does not generate RPG or CGI. On the flip side, however, M-Power has the flexibility to install on any platform and is no longer tied to OS/400, as mrc-Productivity Series is.
This flexibility will “empower” M-Power users, mrc officials say. Developers can now code, test, and even run their applications on cheap Intel PCs. Since mrc’s development tool is no longer tied to the OS/400 platform, companies no longer need to spend money beefing up their iSeries with memory or CPWs to handle code generation, mrc says. This also frees developers to code from anywhere; a live connection to the OS/400 server is no longer needed, as it was with mrc-Productivity Series.
M-Power expands mrc’s potential customer base outside of the OS/400 world for the first time. But this is not to say M-Power apps won’t see their way onto the OS/400 server, which all mrc-Productivity Series customers today must have. The company foresees many of its customers using the iSeries as database server (which is really where the box excels) and using PC servers on the application server layer.
Since M-Power supports all platforms, users will save money by eliminating redundant development environments, mrc says. The capability to build reports from information stored over a number of different databases is another benefit of M-Power, the company says.
M-Power licenses start at $28,800, which is less than the mrc-Productivity Series. The company says it will continue to support the mrc-Productivity Series for the foreseeable future.