RDP 8.0 Brings Linux Client, New Java Tools to IBM i Developers
October 12, 2010 Alex Woodie
The capability to run the Rational Developer for Power Systems Software (RDP) development environment on Linux-based PCs is one of the big new features that IBM has included with RDP version 8, which was unveiled last week and ships later this month. Also, a new “Power Tools” feature should make it easier to combine Java, RPG, and COBOL development on the IBM i platform.
Rational Developer for Power Systems Software–or RDP or RDp as some call it–is the new name that IBM gave to the Rational Developer for System i (RDi) Eclipse-based integrated development environment (IDE) with the Power7 launch earlier this year. In addition to a new name (perhaps you were still getting used to WebSphere Developer Studio Client, or WDSc?), RDP also represented the consolidation of the primary IDEs for writing applications for the Power Systems runtimes, IBM i, AIX, and Linux.
While Linux has been a server-side target of development work done in RDP, programmers have not been able to run RDP on a Linux-based workstation. That is, until now. With RDP 8.0, IBM introduces a new X86-based Linux client that offers a list of development features and capabilities identical to what’s available on the Windows client.
IBM supports the 32-bit version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop 5, and the 32-bit versions of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop versions 10 and 11. The software also runs on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2003 and 2008.
Meanwhile, on the Java front, IBM added a new Power Tools feature that should make it easier for developers to work on Java development projects that integrate and work with existing RPG or COBOL applications running on the IBM i platform.
Specifically, the new Power Tools feature combines Rational Application Developer (RAD) Standard Edition for WebSphere Software version 8.0 with the RPG and COBOL Development Tools for i. This Power Tool is an optional purchase for RDP customers, as are the RPG and COBOL development features. (In fact, nearly every platform-specific feature is an option with the new cross-platform RDP paradigm.)
The advantages come from making everything integrated and readily accessible. Costs are reduced and errors minimized when developers are given a single workbench that contains all of their tools for working with regular Java or Java Enterprise Edition (EE)–or any Web 2.0, SOA, or Web portal project that uses Java technology, for that matter. The lives of development managers also get easier, since they are providing a single workbench image to their developers.
IBM unveiled a second Power Tool aimed at simplifying the work that goes into integrating Java applications with C and C++ applications running on AIX. Many other features were released in RDP 8.0; however, there were no other IBM i-related features except the two discussed here.
RDP 8.0 becomes available electronically October 26. Physical media shipments begin November 2. For more information, see IBM United States Software Announcement 210-360 (pdf).