Correction: WebFacing Lives On, in HIS and HATS
August 5, 2008 Alex Woodie
Despite what we wrote last month, IBM continues to sell and support the WebFacing Tool as part of the Host Integration Solution (HIS) for 5250 Applications. This article will hopefully set things straight as to what IBM has done with the development tools included within the HIS suite. IT Jungle apologizes for any fear or uncertainty it may have caused loyal System i customers and WebFacing users as a result of its misunderstanding of IBM’s announcement.
Instead of ending support for new WebFacing development, as we erroneously wrote in the July 15 story, what IBM has done is restricted the use of the version of Rational Developer for System i (RDi) that’s included with HIS version 7.1 (called RDi for SOA Construction) to only support Host Access Transformation Services (HATS)-related development. Because WebFacing remains part of HATS, (as it has been for more than two years), WebFacing lives on.
It was this line in the IBM announcement, combined with the mistaken idea that WebFacing and HATS were still separate, that threw us: “Note: Starting in IBM Rational HIS 7.1, IBM Rational Developer for System z and IBM Rational Developer for System i for SOA Construction are restricted to HATS-related development activities only.” You can read the entire announcement at www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?subtype=ca&infotype=an&appname=iSource&supplier=897&letternum=ENUS208-178.
William Smythe, IBM’s product line manager for HIS, HATS, EGL, and Rational Business Developer tools, explains exactly what IBM meant with that line. “In previous versions of HIS, we allowed developers to use any capabilities of WDSc,” he says in an e-mail. “Starting in HIS 7.1, we restrict developers to use only features of RDi SOA when in conjunction with developing a HATS project.”
Smythe acknowledged that the line was “somewhat vague,” but defended the central thrust of the move. “The main idea is that developers should use the RDi SOA provided in HIS for HATS-related development only,” he continues. “So, for example, if a developer is building an EGL application that consumes a HATS Web service, the EGL tooling (which comes with RDi SOA) can be used. If the developer wants to use the EGL tooling to build a stand-alone EGL application, this would not be allowed (i.e. the customer would need to purchase a full license of RDi SOA).)
So there you have it. WebFacing, as it exists in HATS, is still alive and kicking. You just have to shell out extra bucks to get a full license of RDi SOA if you want to use it to build stand-alone applications that don’t have legacy components Web-enabled by HATS.