Web 2.0 Development Such a ‘Drag’ in RBD 8
December 7, 2010 Alex Woodie
The new version of Rational Business Developer (RBD) that shipped Friday will have developers dragging and dropping their way to creating rich, Web 2.0-style user interfaces in new ways. With RBD version 8.0.1, IBM introduces a range of new code generation capabilities that are heavily dependent on developers arranging Web 2.0 widgets on a visual canvas, and conceal much of the underlying complexity.
Now with RBD version 8.0.1, IBM brings major improvements to the visual editor that’s used to develop those in-demand Web 2.0 interfaces. It also introduces a host of new widgets that are ready to use right out of the box, or fresh off the download, as the case may be.
One of the nifty new features in RBD 8.0.1 is the capability to create a complete GUI data entry form by simply dragging and dropping a database record onto RBD’s visual editor. All the code creation and binding is handled automatically by RBD, leaving the developer to worry more about the business logic and the look and feel of his application, and worry less about fiddling with the underlying programming that makes it all work. RBD handles all this plumbing instead.
The intent with RBD 8.0.1 is to enable a developer to spend more of his time in the visual editor, and less time viewing source code, RBD product manager Will Smythe says in his blog. Along those lines, the new version of RBD introduces a “grid-oriented layout widget” that makes it easier for developers to arrange widgets on the screen.
Developers will also get more feedback about widget placement with the new release. The new data grid widget supports things like sorting, pagination, selection, row checking, column-level customization, and support for cell editing, Smythe says. Meanwhile, support for the version 1.5 release of the Dojo Toolkit brings an assortment of ready-to-use widgets that RBD can plop right into their applications, including date/time pickers, graphs, and currency changers.
Developers who opt for the open source version of EGL, called EGL Community Edition, will not receive some of the high-level features that IBM reserves for RBD, namely the generation of COBOL code and Java Server Faces (JSF). But just about everything else that’s in RBD–the primary development environment that makes use of EGL code–can be found in the free and open source EGL Community Edition product.
Other new features added in RBD version 8, according to Smythe, include: the capability to test Web services without first deploying them to a separate application server (which is required in EGL Community Edition); the automatic generation of debug code; support for calling XML-based web services from Java-based EGL programs; support for creating a global breakpoint with a condition; and text reporting support for COBOL-based EGL programs.
Delivery of RBD 8.0.1 on physical media begins this Friday. For more information, see IBM United States Software Announcement 210-404 (PDF).