Versata Completes Port of Java Tool to iSeries
September 14, 2004 Alex Woodie
Versata recently followed through on its promise to support the iSeries with its J2EE development tool, which, it claims, can automate 98 percent of the process of generating Enterprise JavaBeans (EJBs) and cut Java development costs in half. In August the Oakland, California, company announced that Versata Logic Server Version 5.6.2, which, together with the Versata Logic Studio, make up the Versata Logic Suite, is now available on iSeries servers running Linux.
In March, Versata announced plans to support the iSeries with its Versata Logic Suite (see “Versata to Bring Java IDE to OS/400”). The Versata Logic Suite is a Java code generation system that has primarily been used to develop transaction systems of Fortune 1000 businesses in various industries. The company says that, by enabling analyst-level employees to design transaction and business logic workflow, and then executing that workflow with the Versata runtime component, customers can eliminate the need for close-to-the-iron programmers and reduce the need for expensive Enterprise Java developers.
Versata got into the iSeries racket at the request of a German software development house that was rewriting, in Java, an RPG-based ERP application for the rental car industry. Ametras Informatik appears to have been pleased with Versata. “Compared with other Java tools and runtime environments that we had evaluated, Versata has addressed performance and resource requirements extremely well,” says Klaus Heller, who headed up the conversion at Ametras Informatik. “With the Versata Logic Suite, we were able to carry out the porting of our latest application to Linux and iSeries rather quickly. The results were convincing during load tests.”
Heller says that Versata was able to handle more than 4,000 concurrent users, while delivering safe transaction processing. “In addition, the software performed well on the iSeries and the declarative, model-driven architecture reduced our time to market dramatically,” he says. Another bonus is Versata’s capability to allow Ametras’ RPG business logic to be made available in the form of Web services.
Versata hopes to entice OS/400 shops that are looking to move forward with Java and build new Web services on top of their reliable RPG-based transaction systems. “We’re seeing a global demand from IBM iSeries customers who want to support service-oriented applications and Java, while leveraging their current investments in applications, systems, and skills,” says Linda Giampa, Versata’s vice president for field operations.
Versata customers don’t need expensive Java programmers, only someone with domain knowledge of the business system. In Versata, the development process begins by having the analyst or business manager define their data model, or import existing data models, developed in products such as IBM’s Rational Rose, through plug-ins. The developer then defines new rules and business logic for these data models, using Transaction Logic Designer and the Process Logic Designer (in the Versata Logic Studio).
Once the developer has defined the new business logic and process flows, the Logic Suite generates EJBs, with up to a 98 percent automation rate, Versata claims. These EJBs can then be run on standard J2EE Web application servers, such as WebSphere or WebLogic.
In terms of data access, Logic Server Version 5.6.2 supports both native DB2/400 databases, as well as DB2 UDB for Linux. Versata also says it supports Oracle‘s databases on Linux. This is interesting, because for the last 10 months Oracle has been talking about plans to develop a production release of Oracle 10g for IBM’s Power-based iSeries and pSeries Linux servers, but so far it hasn’t delivered one and won’t discuss timelines or details.
Versata Logic Server Version 5.6.2 also includes support for Web interfaces via JavaServer Pages (JSPs) and Struts. For more information, go to www.versata.com.