IBM Data Studio Deserves a Closer Look
September 10, 2013 Alex Woodie
Good developers are always on the hunt for new tools that allow them to accomplish their everyday tasks faster, cheaper, or better. For IBM i developers who like to stay within the comfy confines of Eclipse, there’s a little-known database management utility called IBM Data Studio that could become a go-to tool, particularly when it comes to graphically debugging SQL and Java stored procedures on the IBM i server.
IBM Data Studio is a free graphical development tool based on Eclipse that previously went by a couple of names, including IBM DB2 Developers Workbench and IBM DB2 Development Center. The product helps streamline a range of common development and administrative tasks for DB2 for i and every other relational database management system.
On the development front, Data Studio can be used to create, test, debug, and deploy database routines, including stored procedures and triggers, according to IBM’s Data Studio webpage. It gives developers the capability to browse and edit data in tables, to create and run SQL statements, and dozens of other capabilities aimed at the database developers.
The software has worked with the IBM i database for a while, but few IBM i developers are aware of it. That should change as the result of a move that IBM made earlier this year with the launch of Rational Developer for IBM i (RDi) 9.0–the current name of IBM’s flagship Eclipse-based development tool for IBM i.
By including Data Studio with RDi 9.0, IBM is making it easier for IBM i developers to get the latest, greatest tooling. While the product has been free for some time, IBM hopes that it will get more developers to be aware of it and start to use it with their database development tasks.
Charles Guarino, an IBM i programmer and speaker who gives presentations on IBM development tools at conferences and other events, says that IBM made a good move by including Data Studio in RDi 9.0.
“The inclusion of IBM Data Studio, even though it’s been available prior to 9.0 for free is not to be ignored,” Guarino tells IT Jungle. “Many developers are not aware of this database product, so by bundling it as part of the install the RDi value proposition is increased. IBM was smart to do this since developers now have another reason to remain anchored in Eclipse.”
The big news with RDi (besides the fact that IBM changed the name of its Eclipse-based development tool to a name that it had already used for several years) was the inclusion of Worklight Studio in the tool. Worklight Studio is used to develop mobile applications, which is a big priority at IBM i shops and the rest of the computing world.
As IBM i developers move to adopt RDi 9.0 to get the Worklight Studio functionality, they will be happily surprised to find Data Studio as well, Guarino says.
“Combining this with Worklight Studio, I am optimistic even more developers can bolster their case to using modern tooling in their shops whenever pricing objections arise,” he says. “As a speaker who presents sessions on RDi, I suspect attendance will only grow as more content is made available.”
For more information on how to make the most of Data Studio in an IBM i environment, check out IBM’s Kent Milligan’s recent developerWorks article “IBM Data Studio debugger and IBM DB2 for i” at www.ibm.com/developerworks/ibmi/library/i-debugger-db2-i/index.html?ca=dat-.