HATS Now Hooked Into BlueMix Cloud
December 2, 2015 Alex Woodie
IBM i shops adopting the latest release of IBM‘s Host Access Transformation Services (HATS) product will be able to create and run their modernized interfaces on BlueMix, Big Blue’s cloud service. Support for the latest Rational development tools and improved security round out HATS 9.5, which shipped in November.
When it comes to application modernization, IBM i shops have a number of options available to them. Many of those modernization tools come from third-party vendors that you have read about in past issues of The Four Hundred and the discontinued Four Hundred Stuff, which included more than 3,000 stories on IBM i products and services during its run from December 2001 to December 2014. (Don’t worry–the archive lives on at www.itjungle.com/fhs/fhsindex.html.)
But IBM offers its own collection of modernization tools, including Rational HATS, which is a rules-based screen transformation engine that turns 5250 and 3270 screens into graphical Web clients, Java- or Lotus-based rich clients, or Web services. The software includes plug-ins for IBM’s Eclipse-based IDEs (such as Rational Developer for i), and runs on WebSphere Application Server.
With HATS 9.5, IBM adds support for the same release levels of the Rational development tools, such as RDi 9.5 and Rational Application Developer (RAD) 9.5. It also gets support for the latest runtimes, including the latest version 8.5.x releases of WebSphere Application Server, WAS Liberty Core, and WebSphere Portal Server, not to mention new releases of Geronimo and WebLogic.
But the more interesting news may be the addition of BlueMix capabilities into HATS. Support for IBM’s BlueMix Server in HATS 9.5 enables the user to create, run, and debug HATS applications on the BlueMix Server, Big Blue says. “This enables easy integration of HATS applications into a hosted cloud environment on BlueMix,” IBM says.
This addition of BlueMix support could make it easier for IBM i shops to get started with their modernization strategy. IBM doesn’t support its IBM i operating system on BlueMix, of course. But BlueMix does run Windows and Java, which is what HATS runs on (the HATS toolkit is an Eclipse plugin that runs on Windows, while the HATS runtime is a set of Java classes).
The new release of HATS brings several other new features, including TLS 1.1 and 1.2 connectivity. HATS 9.5 users have the ability to choose the Java Secure Socket Extensions (JSSE) for secure connections, which will result in HATS trying the highest level of secure connection first (TLS 1.2), and using TLS 1.1 or TLS 1.0 only if necessary.
IBM also added a new HATS Visual Macro Editor that brings new features, such as trace actions, custom screen recognition, conditional screen descriptors, and set the recognition limit and pause time functions.
HATS 9.5 also brings support for Dojo Asynchronous Module Definition (AMD) format, which should make it easier to author and debug code. IBM has supported Dojo since HATS 8.0 shipped in 2011. It also brings support for the Google Chrome browser, for both the HATS and WebFacing components, which have shipped together since 2006.
For more information see IBM United States Software Announcement 215-498.