Multi-Platform App Dev Capabilities Tops List Of Midrange Dynamics Priorities
May 3, 2017 Dan Burger
Most of the time, we don’t go looking for the unexpected. And maybe the last place you’d look for it is in the IT department of an IBM i shop, where things are normally predictable. That mold is being broken though by organizations moving forward with multi-platform development environments.
There’s a new playing field and Midrange Dynamics is hearing about it from the most innovative shops in its customer base. “Since IBM now supports distributed version control systems such as Git on IBM i, progressive development organizations like to have options regarding where their native and non-native source repositories are located,” says Midrange Dynamics Managing Director Michael Morgan.
Acting on product suggestions from customers is a good business practice when you believe the resulting improvement will become widely appreciated.
“Several prospects as well as existing customers want to move the editing of source code to a central repository – most of them want to use Git and some use Subversion (SVN) – so that Java teams, RPG teams and other teams are working from the same collaboration tools. They can then rely on MDCMS to manage source repositories and bring those repositories to the IBM i, where they can compile and deploy objects to their targeted applications,” Morgan explains.
MDOpen, the Eclipse-based plug-in to MDCMS, is used to bring changes to native IBM i source from Subversion or Git repositories into the change management cycle. MDOpen automatically converts the source from stream files to source members when the compiler requires it and automatically applies the description and type to those members. Developers using Git or Subversion (SVN) to manage source repositories can request MDCMS deployment of file and folder changes or deletions directly from those perspectives
MDOpen allows an RDi development environment to replace the green-screen environment that comes with MDCMS. Most of the IBM i code writing is going on outside of green-screen development. RDi and Remote System Explorer (RSE) are popular tools for this segment of the IBM i community, which are reporting favorably about LPEX editors. Some developers, of course, prefer using source editors within their non-i development environment of choice.
Another function of MDOpen is to allow the tie-in to Git and SVN for cross-platform deployments – back-end RPG as well as front end Java, PHP, or .NET being the most common. The deployment process involves creating a package of IBM i and non-native objects and simultaneously distributing the package to all systems.
For example, an installation package could include files and programs to be installed on the IBM i, as well as Java, C++, Visual Basic objects, and any other type of component to be installed in highly distributed environments.
“We’ve put our hooks into every core concept of Git and SVN so developers working with those tools can get to something time-based or current,” Morgan says.
Midrange Dynamics’ IBM i customers are fairly balanced in their preference for using Java for developing front-end applications and those that use PHP. To a lesser extent, .NET is also in the mix. Most of the time the repositories are not on the i. It’s more often found in the cloud or a server within their organization because non-i development teams are driving the projects.
In addition to expand Git support in MDCMS V8, the Midrange Dynamics development team also worked on its integration with FrescheView and X-Analysis.
Midrange Dynamics just a few weeks ago, announced it has joined the Fresche Power Partner Program as a reseller member.
“For several years, we have made it a priority to integrate Midrange Dynamics Change Management with leading application, user interface, and database modernization solutions,” Morgan says. “MDCMS customers can choose the tools that best fit their modernization approach and development environment.”
Already opportunities to present Fresche’s solutions to Midrange Dynamics change management users have led to purchases, Morgan says.
Integration with X-Analysis is the latest addition to Midrange Dynamics’s modernization support for Fresche solutions. MDCMS already had interfaces with Fresche’s application development tools WebSmart and Presto, which were acquired with the purchase of BCD Software in mid-2016.
“MD has been working closely with the Fresche team to create deep integrations with our solutions, and we look forward to announcing new interfaces this spring,” Morgan says.
Another highlight of this release is the attention given to SQL management.
MDOpen works with MDCMS’ new Smart Sort feature to automate table management in the same way it handles bound objects. When an SQL entity, such as a view or function, is ready to be compiled and deployed, MDCMS checks dependencies in both directions. It then automatically sorts the dependencies so items it depends on are compiled first and items that depend on it are compiled afterward.