TMW to Give EGL a Chance for i OS App Modernization
December 1, 2009 Alex Woodie
“All we are saying, is give EGL a chance.” You can almost hear the folks in IBM‘s development tool organization in Raleigh, North Carolina, chanting this variation of the old protest song in the hopes of convincing large i OS customers and ISVs to adopt Enterprise Generation Language (EGL) for their application modernization projects. And at least one ISV–trucking software developer TMW Systems of Cleveland, Ohio–is heeding the call, and will give EGL a chance in a pilot project.
TMW develops two RPG-based applications that run on the Power Systems (System i, iSeries, AS/400, i5) platform, including the TL2000 enterprise dispatching application, and TMT Fleet Maintenance–IBM i edition. These products have run on the platform for years, and are relied upon by many of the largest trucking organizations in the country.
But TMW also develops an enterprise dispatching application for Windows, called TruckMate, and has been positioning it as a suitable replacement for the heavy dispatching workloads that used to be reserved for only the most powerful and reliable IBM platforms.
In other words, TMW is responding to customer demands for a modern-looking application (such as TruckMate), and TL2000 and TMT Fleet Maintenance–IBM i editions do not exactly stand out as modern-looking systems. Hence the need for a user interface re-design, which could spur existing and prospective TMW customers to reconsider an i OS solution for their fleet management needs.
David Mook, COO and CIO for TMW Systems, sees the adoption of EGL for a modernization project as a strategic investment in System i technology.
“The opportunity to partner with IBM directly on a project of key importance to TMW and many of our customers, namely, protecting their investments in System i (OS/400) applications and infrastructure, is compelling for us,” Mook says in a press release.
“The modernization of legacy applications and code are key components of TMW’s market strategy and ensures that all of our customers have full access to Web-ready business technologies and ongoing product innovations. IBM has focused on these same challenges for customers on the System i platform for several years and we look forward to bringing more of their expertise to our development teams.”
IBM has been enhancing EGL and related Rational Developer tools to address the application modernization needs of System i and System z customers. Three months ago, the company announced EGL Community Edition, a free development tool for creating Web 2.0 interfaces for System i applications. EGL Community Edition doesn’t require developers to know EGL, and includes templates and automatic code generation capabilities designed to help get developers productive more quickly.